I consider myself an observant Jew. I celebrate Shabbat and the holidays, as well as keep kosher and live in a Jewish community. But just because I follow this lifestyle, it doesn’t mean that I never question aspectsI used to live without faith and structure and laws of my faith and belief system.

I think there is a misconception that observant Jews are brainwashed or don’t have their struggles with Judaism. While some people completely dive into it and go to the extreme, most of us are well-balanced and go through our own issues with it.

It’s not that I sometimes doubt that there is G‑d, or that He is constantly watching over me. I fully believe in Him. It’s that following all the laws come at a price, figuratively and literally.

For example, every Passover, our grocery bill skyrockets since kosher-for-Passover packaged foods can be quite expensive. As a married woman, I cover my hair according to Jewish law, which doesn’t always make me feel pretty or comfortable. When my husband and I are on the road on tour (he’s a comedian), it can be difficult to find kosher food. I don’t get to go to a lot of fun events because they’re held on Friday nights. For reasons of modesty, I wear a skirt all the time, even at the gym—and it’s not easy working out in a skirt.

It can also be very isolating to live this lifestyle. I’m in Los Angeles, and there are a lot of conflicting values that don’t match up with my beliefs, like always putting one’s career first and delaying having children for a long time. I haven’t worn pants in years, unlike many of my friends and peers who wear pants and shorts every day. When I go to a networking event, I usually can’t eat the food, even if it’s through a Jewish, but nontraditional, organization.

Sometimes, I think: “If I just stopped being observant, things might be better.” I think about going out on Shabbat again, eating nonkosher food and uncovering my hair.

And then I get depressed when I realize how empty all of that would feel. Before I converted to Judaism, I used to live without faith and structure and laws. I would eat all kinds of nonkosher food, go out on Fridays and Saturdays, and wear whatever I wanted.

And you know what? It wasn’t that great. I felt lost, and without guidance. I was lonely since I didn’t have a community. And I was hopeless about life. I don’t think human beings are meant to live without rules. At least for me, all the choices were overwhelming.

Though there is a huge trade-off to being observant, my life is way better now. And when I struggle with it, I think about the practical parts of being traditional.

Prayer has the power to calm me down and make me feel centered. When I cover my hair, at least to fellow observant Jews, I’m showing that I’m married and off the market.

When I eat kosher food, I’m doing G‑d’s will, and I’m often helping fellow Jews survive financially. I’m also eating animals that were killed in a more humane way than they would be on nonkosher farms. As a chicken owner, making sure animals have a painless death is very important to me. When I can afford it, I buy my kosher meat from organic, free-range suppliers who make sure their animals have a better life as well.

There are several Jewish fast days throughout the year that commemorate tragic events in Jewish history or help us become more spiritually focused. I absolutely despise fasting, but it teaches me that I have self-control. AsI despise fasting, but it teaches me that I have self-control someone who has had lifelong issues with food and binging, it shows me that my brain has the power to keep me away from it for a day.

Although I miss sleeping in on Saturdays, at least I get to socialize at the synagogue with people in my community and enjoy some delicious cholent. If I’m bored during prayer services, I read the Torah commentary, which is always fascinating to me. Even if I relate better to some commentaries than others, there are great lessons to learn from them.

Usually, when I realize what good has come from my life because of Judaism, I feel better about it and get back to the place where I want to be. It’s the place that makes me feel spiritually connected, the place where I want to take on even more observance.

Despite the inconveniences and the expenses, I know I’ve chosen the right path. Because Judaism has given me what nothing else could—inner peace.