As I come to the close of the year, and Advent folds into Christmas etc… I find myself looking at my core self, asking who that is. As I was watching TV last night it dawned on the answer to this question.
My core self is Italian-American Artist and Coach. That is the core of who I am and part of that Italian identity are the Italian language, and Catholicism, not that I am in total agreement with everything the Church teaches, even my mom 92 a devout life long Catholic is not. However, my Italian heritage is the core of who I am, and a good part of where I get my feisty from, my tell it like is it, like or lump it, all that jazz. Yet, there is this pull to understand the faith of Jesus, to fully understand the roots of Christianity and in some way live it. Now I have to figure out how to balance these two things and remain true to the core of who I am, Italian-American. How will I do that? I will be using the arts to stay close to my Italian heritage because the arts is a big part of what I am working to make a part of my daily life and full time vocation. I will be involved through the local church in my neighborhood in working to bring the Italian heritage back to the neighborhood and do what I can to bring Italian-Americans to the church, to their heritage, to appreciate it. That is how I plan to preserve my core heritage, core self. It is also about my mom and my dad. Being their daughter means that Italian is literally in my blood, and I am very proud of that. I understand that artistically I need to not be in a bubble, so I can’t just work within the Italian-American and Catholic community, but these are important ones for me as my core identity as my parents’ daughter. I have great pride in being Italian-American, so not having that be a major part of my life in some way is not an option.
What about the roots of that, of the faith that is the core of my heritage, the faith of Jesus, Judaism? I realize that the main thing for me is learning, learning how Jesus and the Apostles lived the Jewish faith. It’s the learning and understanding part that matters to me. That I can do in a variety of ways, including the Internet.