I had an interesting time at the Purim seudah. It was nice to be among friends. It was interesting looking across the table at people I respected, but I wasn't so sure they know yet who I am. One thing I learned the last place we lived was to be authentic in our yiddishkeit. Don't try to be something you're not. And don't try not to be something you are.
I am Lubavich, no question about it. I am frum, no question about it. However, I do have quirks that would make some people doubt my authenticity if I put on a persona or a show pretending to be something I am not.
I make no secret of my shyness. I make no excuse for hiding from people for sometimes weeks at a time. It's just one of those quirky things about me. Yiddishkeit is at the center of my being. My relationship with G-d is one of the most turbulent relationships I have. We fight quite often, that's just the way it is. As a result, I withdraw from the community only temporarily until I can muster the strength to step back in, apologize for my absence, and stay engaged for as long as I can. Inevitably, I always get overwhelmed and I withdraw again. People wonder where I go, what I do. Really, I'm just hiding out and busying myself with being a father, a husband, and a spouse. I don't fry out -- I do everything I would do if I were engaged with the community -- I just do it alone.
That being said, I was thinking to myself that the guys around me are truly good guys, and I appreciate that Hashem has brought me to a place where I can develop a trust for those in my community. I also thought to myself that there is nothing that stops me from breaking past my limitations and changing who I am. Today I might be the shy one in the room, tomorrow I could be on the table dancing and singing. Only I can dictate who I am at any moment. I thought that thought was quite profound.