I am now a Jew!
I got super grumpy with D. last night when she started talking about (and getting a little weepy about) what a big change I was going to go through. I couldn't figure out why I was so upset, but I really was, to the point that we almost had an argument about it. [E.t.a.: Just to clarify, D. was weepy because she's in touch with her emotions and was celebrating what a big change I was going through, whereas I was kind of shutting down emotionally at that point to deal with my jitters!] But this morning on my way to school, I realized that it was because it wasn't feeling like a big change. Instead, it was feeling like my outsides were finally going to match my insides.
And yet, for all of my calm, I was so nervous this afternoon. Well, "nervous" isn't quite the word, in that I wasn't afraid of what might happen. But I was keyed up and sweating.
The first part of conversion is meeting with the beit din (the court of rabbis). That's what I was so nervous about, even though my rabbi had told me more than once that there was really no question of "passing." It was actually a delightful conversation, and I would have been pleased for it to continue for much longer than it did.
I had thought ahead of time that the beit din was going to feel like the big moment, but actually it was the mikveh. My rabbi had encouraged me strongly to be fully present in the moment, to which I thought, "yeah, right, that's not really my strength." But then it actually happened! Standing there in the water, I thought, "This is it. I'm becoming a Jew." And it all felt so right and so good. And the three immersions, and the prayers, and my friends and the rabbis shouting "Amen" after each prayer -- it was lovely!
As I was drying off afterward, D. came to my little showering/dressing area so that she could be the first person to hug and kiss me as a Jew. And then she put on me the Star of David necklace, which had arrived only today.
I was so moved by the presence of so many folks from school. By the way, most of them are Jews, and not one of them had ever been to a mikveh before or attended a conversion before, and more than one said that she found the whole thing unexpectedly moving.
I had a little reception afterward -- mostly FGS folks, because people with normal jobs can't necessarily be at a mikveh at 4:30 on a weekday -- and a few people stayed until we got (very kindly) kicked out because the mikveh was closing. Then they helped me clean up and carry stuff out to the car. On the way home, D. said to me that it was clear to her that I was very loved by my colleagues, which is totally how it felt tonight.
I am feeling so deeply, deeply relaxed right now, as though I'd had a long vacation and a massage and a million other relaxing things all rolled into one.