When you look at me, you’d have no idea that I was anything but a relatively young, financially stable, healthy male (even if some who see me in public think I am a "Islamic" terrorist but that's another story for another day). If you talked to me you might think I was intelligent but hardheaded. You might think it rude of me to be so blunt (I've been called "challenging") or not get up for a woman or child on the bus. After all, you don't really know that much about me if you've never met me before so all you have to go on are your expectations, hopes, dreams, fears, insecurities and the norms we have been taught.
The truth is that in pretty much all aspects of my life, I don’t fit the stereotype or norms. I’m Jewish and religious but I don't wear a skullcap and I'm non-Zionist, I’m not typically "masculine", I’m a pacifist and also an anarchist, I don’t believe in answering the question "Where are you from?", I don’t eat meat, poultry or shellfish but I do eat certain fish. I’m from a middle class family, I have a university education and I’ve travelled the world over, but I’ve also been homeless more than once. Those are just some of the parts of myself where labels based on groups I belong to by default don’t fit quite right.
"Why are you telling me all of this?"
Well, I’ve been looking for something to do with my time and talents ever since the clinic coordinator at the rehabilitation centre I attending as an outpatient told me I had to accept that I can never really expect to compete on the job market ever again. That was almost 3 years ago and I'm still haven't fully accepted it. It’s been really hard to. After all, I am healthy, intelligent and relatively young and I have a lot to offer the world, right? I shouldn't just sit at home binge watching shows all day and living off the government. Yet here we are. Let me tell you, it's been frustrating! Not only because of everyone's "helpful" comments about ignoring the "experts" and willing myself back into gainful employment but because I am bored out of my mind and because I have a lot of life goals that I will…