I am initiating this blog as I set out on my journey to convert to Judaism. I have been studying Judaism (formally and informally) for six years and have seriously considered conversion for the past four years. The period between considering conversion and definitively deciding to convert was a long and hard process, and I know that my journey is still just beginning and that is what this blog is all about!
The title of my blog comes from a book by a similar name, Daughters of Another Path: Experiences of American Women Choosing Islam. This is one of the many books I turned to in the process of deciding to convert and thinking through the changing relationship with my family, specifically parents. The book is largely statistics and personal stories that a mother, Carol L. Anway, collected from a survey she conducted on women in the United States who converted to Islam. Anway was inspired to write the book after her daughter converted, because she wanted to look at the experiences of other women converting to Islam. I choose the name “Daughter of Another Path” as my blog title for two main reasons: 1) “Daughter” is one of the most significant titles I bear, and right now I am trying to find the harmony between daughter to my parents and daughter of Israel. 2) “Another Path” is a fitting way to describe my journey not only because I am converting to religion that no one in my family and only a very few friends, practice, but the process of conversion in general makes me feel like I am constantly on another path- alone. I no longer easily fit into a category of clear identity or practices and don’t have a box to check off when asked what religion I am. The lines have been blurred and it is only through continuing my journey on this other path that I will hopefully, one day, begin to journey on the larger path with all of Israel. The path of Israel is still another path than my family and mainstream society, but we will be together. I hope that sharing my journey on this path will help someone see that this “another path” is not as lonely as it feels.
So you can know where I am coming from as I embark on my journey: I am in my early twenties, live in the Texas, and study Religious Studies (specifically Judaism) in university. I was raised with a strong Roman Catholic identity in a stable, loving family, and my entire (extended and immediate) family is Catholic. My mother and father were initially mostly in denial about my decision to convert to Judaism, but remain much more supportive than I anticipated. My sister and brother-in-law are supportive and help me through the hard days. I don’t think I could get through the ups and downs of the conversion process without my best friend, sister, and brother-in-law.
This blog is a medium of informal reflection on my past and present experiences related to conversion. My thoughts are continuously developing and never intended to be a final conclusion. I just want to reflect on my adventures and share my story. Thanks for giving me time to share. Please feel free to explore my blog and comment with questions or stories from your own personal journey.