Now that I'm Jewish (at least as far as the Conservative movement is concerned) I feel the same kind of disorientation I had when I first returned from studying in Prague at the turn of the century(Yikes, but I had to say it. You understand.). I had fallen out of the regular lock step hipster rhythm of New York City, after striking dramatic poses and giving serious cheekbone across snowy Central Europe.
In Praha, I was mostly cut off from pop culture, unless you count the steady and relentless thump of that one fucking Cher song popular in 1999. I was attempting to learn Czech, not that this Americhanka ever got beyond the absolute survival basics like, Beer please, Another please. Marlboros Please. (Marlboros in Czech is still Marlboros, though drastically cheaper) I actually spoke more French than anything, since the African Hash dealers tended to be comfortable en francais. Et moi aussi.
I was more concerned with the plays of Havel and golems than Stella Adler and Patricia Fields. I didn't watch t.v. really. I went to the opera instead, mostly alone, because it was cheap, made me feel European and tragic, dressed up in my single box at the Statni Opera House, watching Nabucco.
I've spent most of the last year and half in another kind of single box; reading Jewish books, studying Jewish thought, beginning to observe Shabbat and holidays and learning Hebrew(which rivals Czech in bitchiness). I've been basically immersing myself in all things Judaica until the final immersion in the Mikveh. I've done less reality television watching, I've spent less time searching out obscure music that is about to be hip, hell, I can't remember the last time I broke out my leg warmers.
It's not that these things are no longer me or that they aren't important (The Wendy Williams Show, is a perfect example of new important ironic likes) but they had taken a temporary back burner.
But now that the JSATS are behind me and my dunk done, I'm recollecting myself, if that makes sense. I wonder how I integrate the Liz of before with the Liz of now. I'm thinking about how I marry the somewhat observant me with the historically iconclastic me. Constantly trying to catch up with myself seems to be an ongoing project.
I'll keep you posted.