College Freshman talk about creating a new persona as they head off to school. I moved to the other end of the country with a chance to be a different sort of rabbi and individual. For most people, it doesn’t quite happen. We are who we are and we can’t simply shut that off and be someone else. But we also live in the real world. If one only lives in the movies, there’s a chance to become someone wholly new.
Our image is what we try to project to the world to define ourselves. In one of my favorite recent movies (thanks to you Ben Walnick), Crazy, Stupid, Love., we run into a host of wonderful characters (and actors playing them) who battle with the image they present to the world. The movie deals with the rich personages in surprising and interesting ways. Go see it.
But as Elul marches on, consider your image. You can’t wholly find a new one by plopping on a leather jacket or changing your name to Princess Consuela Banana Hammock. But you can make steps forward. Don’t try to become someone new this year; try to adjust some aspect of who you are. Cut yourself some slack. It isn’t easy. But don’t be satisfied with where you are now. All of our images need some sparkle and some updating.