Today was Halloween. I usually don’t dress up, but one of my professors encouraged us to have a costume for class, specifically a Harry Potter costume. I have watched and enjoyed the Harry Potter movies, but I have never read the books and remain largely ignorant of the Harry Potter pop culture. To take the easy way out, I decided to just buy a Harry Potter house scarf and call myself a student at Hogwarts. A few days ago, my roommate and I visited the local Halloween store, and I was about to buy a Gryffindor scarf when she, being an avid Harry Potter fan, turned to me and asked if that was the house where I belong. I hadn’t even thought of buying a particular house scarf, I didn’t even know the name of all four houses, but she insisted that I could not just buy any house scarf. The house scarf I bought had to reflect the particular house where I belong.
An online test, of over 100 questions, was what I used to place myself in a Hogwarts’ house. As I answered the questions, the majority related to moral character, I tried to really reflect on my answers. I found myself conflicted in answering questions based on who I am or who I try to be. Was I supposed to answer the questions based on my average response or on the ideal response I would hope for? I realized there is sometimes a disconnect between who I am in my day to day life and who I am when I put my best self forward. I told myself that I was going to make a conscience effort to give the world nothing less than my best self. After I took the test, I wrote in my journal how I see myself acting in the world and how I wish I was acting in the world. I made a list of things to work on daily, weekly, and monthly to help me make a conscience effort to provide the world with the whole person I was made to be.
I easily related the experience of identifying who I am on an average day compared to who I am on my best day to my conversion process. Right now, I am living my life and while things are going well, I know that I am not at my fullest, not yet. I am in the process of working towards being at my fullest. I pray from my siddur everyday, but these efforts, while bringing me closer to expressing myself more fully, are still limited. Right now, mitzvot for me are only actions that I am doing, they are not yet who I am. They are very much who I feel I am, my best self, but not yet my reality. As I continue through this process, I will continue to practice being a fuller, better person in the world through mitzvot, the 613 commandments and more generally good deeds.