Ed. note: This posts and the comments show what a supportive community looked like in 2006. It was all hugs and kisses, but it was a good discussion with many people looking to give support.
I recently started growing my payis. They have gotten long enough so that when I tuck them behind my ears you can see a little bit of them peeking out from the bottom of my ear.
When one of my coworkers, an FFB, noticed that I had started growing my payis he said, “Don’t be such a ba’al t’shuvah.” Even though he didn’t say it, what he meant was if I wanted to be more frum, growing my payis was not the way to go about doing it. Instead, I should focus more on torah learning and middos development.
I like having them, but at the same time I am definitely very self-conscious of them and find myself often hiding them behind my ears especially in the presence of teachers and mentors for fear of feeling foolish because I know they would disapprove.
I always wanted to grow my payis but now that I have them I need to ask myself if my decision to grow them is truly serving G-d, or is it serving myself by helping me to feel more like someone I would like to be instead of who I truly am.