First impressions can last a lifetime and quite truthfully – I shouldn’t care how or what people think. Yet I have come to understand that no matter how much we try to change the way our DNA works… we all judge each other. Maybe some more and others less but we all judge, categorize, stereotype and place people we know (or think we know) in little organized boxes with nice labels on the outside to remind us where that person fits in.
Recently I was quite surprised (though I really shouldn’t be) when friends told me that when they first met me they thought I was a “tough cookie”. Now I have always known I was a tough cookie but to get that impression of me at a first introduction shook me up a bit.
I will not apologize for being a strong, independent female who has goals and direction in her life. Truth be told I live in a community where drive and ambition are not always high on the totem pole. Maybe being surrounded by a large community of non-ambitious or goal oriented individuals makes those characteristics a bit more noticeable than back in the States.
These characteristics are in me and are a large priority. How else would I have been able to move across the world to re-start my life in a foreign country and still be as positive and optimistic now as I was pre-aliyah about aliyah? How else would I be able to challenge my religious thoughts and beliefs and work on getting closer to G-d?
I have gone through my ups and downs so far in my life and by now understand that in order to survive this life and make the most out of this go-around … I need to have goals even if they are always evolving and growing. I also understand that having goals is not enough – I need to have the ambition and drive to chase after them.
But that does not stop me from also being the chewy cookie dough in the inside of the tough cookie – you know – a typical female. We all know the stereotype – overly sensitive, hormonal, maternal, dreamer, etc. Those characteristic are me just as much as my tough cookie exterior appears to be. I just chose to share these characteristics at a later time and not an initial meeting. But maybe its too late at that point?
Maybe people will never take that bite and reach the delicious cookie dough in the middle.
But I know it is worth the bite.