Today as I write, I find myself being distracted away from my in-comprehensive homework. I strongly dislike school. Its funny, because I used to love school. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy being with friends nearby and the freedom that comes with being a university student. However I don’t like school. I love learning. I hate tests, homework and labs are not always the most exciting thing in the world. I like projects and presentations. Everything else gets in the way for me. I have found the some of the times I learned the most was when I was away from school. Like at my first internship and then my internship this last summer and when I went to the UK, Germany, Czech Republic and Israel. Or when I drove with my dad across the united states. And when I went to a political conference and met senators, governors and congress representatives from various states. I learn when I am in uncomfortable situations where I have to step outside my boundaries and reach out to build connections and friendships with those I am around. I have learned by serving the homeless. I’ve learned by reading and writing and painting. I’ve learned in sickness and in health. I’ve learned and continue to learn more about what I believe and stand for and what is important for me. I’ve learned when I am able to run and when I am walking. I learn by doing, thinking and saying. I learn with movement yet I have also learned by being able to stand still. I learn through pain, strength and joy. I am continuing to learn who I am. I am a learner and I hope for my life to be filled with life long learning.
I am grateful to be able to grow, learn and change.
I remember way back when I was in middle school and my first few years of high school, on thanksgiving day my dad, my brother and some family friends would all wake before dawn and go fishing and this man made lake. We would just set up some chairs pull out the hot cocoa and begin casting out. I’ve never been good at casting out when we went fishing and it used to frustrate me. Sometimes I still try, others I just let someone else and I’ll hold on to it. One of our family friends is like a second dad to me and I remember this one year when none of us kids were catching fish but just then MM got a tug. Just when he started to realize he caught something he called me over and walked me through how to reel in the fish. It was incredible and terribly gross. I was excited to have caught a fish but was taken a back while seeing it as squirming fish. It did make me feel bad that soon we would be cutting it up and it would be tomorrow dinner. Somehow I got past that and didn’t become a vegan.
Later that morning it came time to gut the fish. MM was trying to get me to gut the fish first since I was the only girl and the rest were boy scouts around my brothers age. Naturally none of the boys wanted to dive in first. So I took the plunge and MM walked me through how to gut the fish. I remember blood, guts and slime. I then proceeded to play with the head and act as if the fish was talking. Weird, silly and goofy memories from my childhood came rushing back this morning. When once again my dad, brother and MM woke early and headed to a different lake, this time with a boat. We didn’t catch anything but being awake to watch the sunrise over the glassy water was worth it. The silly stories and valuable advice I gained out on the water today, attempting to fish reminds of the beauty in traditions even if it changes over the years. Today I’m grateful for fishing and all the fun and relaxed memories that go along with it.
Today I’m grateful for trees. I’ve always had a fascination with the beauty, strength, uniqueness and wisdom hidden within the trees. I think they are such a special part of creation. Over summer while I was in the Midwest and east coast I was in amazement and awe at just how many trees there are. I specifically remember when my dad and I drove through Oklahoma and both sides of the highway were entrapped with thick brush of these large trees that I’d only seen pictures of in magazines and online. It was amazing! I felt so blessed to be surrounded by such beautiful trees. I think trees are cool cause they can be such a vivid part of history. Old trees might not secrets of the past that I may never understand. Trees can have such intriguing shapes and reach out in odd ways. Trees even go with the flow and change with the seasons in such a beautiful way. The best thing about trees is just how grounded they are and when you can see their roots peaking out. Trees are balanced (well at least they should be). Trees have such a foundation and health that they can reach out and grow. I think this is essential to apply in my life and it’s a work in progress. To become so grounded in faith, balanced in life, be able to be apart of outreach again, and to go with the flow and work with the seasons to see and be a part of the beautiful blossoms of spring. I am growing. Changing. Trying to follow the example of the trees around me!
Today is Thanksgiving! This whole month and my “thanksgiving challenge” has been in honor of today. Despite everyone’s seemingly materialistic love for Black Friday, I like Thanksgiving Thursday 🙂
I’m grateful for the forefathers of America, of these United States. They were brave and innovative enough to not only move to a land unknown but also to create a government that was unheard of. They established freedoms which had not been known before. Freedom to pursue life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. That we have unalienable rights given by the Divine. The United States is a place like no other with government that is constantly changing. However I think it’s important that today as citizens we must require our government to live by the freedoms and doctrines which were established when this country was setting out. I’m grateful for the freedom to be me and to be Jewish and to practice my Judaism and to attend university and to choose the friends I want and to go places I hope to see. This is freedom and it’s something that I think can easily be forgotten and taken for granted. Well I’m thankful for it! I’m thankful to live in the Land of the Free and Home of the Brave.
Happy Thanksgiving! G-d bless America!
Today I’m grateful for Doctors. I awoke early today not feeling quite right. Last night I also had not been feeling well. Then the intense and sharp shooting pains in my sides kept coming. My parents took me to the local ER just so we could make sure it wasn’t something extreme. So after waiting and getting triaged and waiting and meeting the nurse and doctor and performing a few tests (which were painful) the doctor made his decision. Thankfully the doctor was a nice man and the nurses were nice women. As soon as they got results, the came in to tell me the good news. Thankfully everything was ok (despite me still feeling pain and still have sharp shooting sensations). This is not the first time this has happened and sadly it’s probably not the last. I have a very high pain tolerance meaning that I’m not just going to cry a river just cause I can. I mean I’m in intense pain when I take notice, when medicine is no longer working and when it’s time to go to the doctor. I’m grateful for helpful and knowledgeable doctors who are able to help give me answer. I’m thankful that G-d has blessed and lead me to the right doctors from the beginning.
Some doors are closed for reasons we may never understand. Others open to the unimaginable interior. I like to call this opportunity.
I like the mechanical elements of how doors work. I like there is a requirement to either push or pull. I think it’s fascinating how depending on the design of the mechanism a door can open “forward” or “backwards”. Technically it’s all relative to your reference point. Anyway that’s getting way too involved with the actual physics of the system. I like doors as a metaphor too. As an analogy to providing opportunity. A way to see differently or to change your life in a way that leads you with courage through the next passage way. Actually the way my thoughts are headed right now seem to be reminding me of the time summer of 2013 in Germany. In my international study abroad class about decision making in the EU, there was a girl in my class from the Netherlands. I sat next to her quite a bit. One day she told me about this famous and exotic labyrinth that she went to there in Berlin. Apparently it had also been shown on the Amazing Race. I was pretty much sold on this idea from then on. She told me how there was a bar and club attached to the labyrinth and how it was weird and trashy but very cool. Naturally I did what anyone else who was curious would do. I got a group of fellow classmates and they also happened to be in my program so I new them a bit better, and we took the U-bahn and S-bahn trains to get to the part in Berlin where this labyrinth was. Thankfully we made it there in time. We bought our tickets and then had to wait for an hour and a half. I remember being so nervous and so uncertain especially cause this place just seemed on another level of weird, hipster and creepy. It made me uncomfortable because it was so abstract and different. Finally the time came and we were called in. One by one each of us were taken to this brick wall. After watching this short clip I found myself pushing against the brick only to find that it was an illusion and really a door. Intuitively I took a step forward into a room that appeared to be small and shrinking….if I tried to explain this whole process to you, I might bore you and I’d probably fall asleep. So, long story short it was trip-y. It messed with my mind so much that when we left and were back on the train everything looked different and distorted. I barely slept that night cause every time I closed my eyes I saw all the gears, the room that looked like the interior of a tree, all those silicon/rubber strings we walked through. Just lots of colorful and off the wall images. I guess the point of the story was that I was scared about walking into the unknown yet I came out alive, thank G-d, and it changed my perspective. I felt happy to have faced my fear and challenged myself to do that more. I walked through a door that I didn’t even know was a door at the time and I think this applies to my life in more ways than just this story. It reminds me that everything happens for a reason. Teaches me a lesson and helps me grow and change to be who I am today. For that reason alone, doors are pretty great and I’m thankful for both the physical and spiritual doors opening and closing in my life taking me to my potential, to who I will be tomorrow!
Ps. This song is all about doors closing and leading you to the next opening, bringing you where you are supposed to go.
Today I went shopping for myself, for the first time in three months. Remember I went on shopping “fast”. Well today I broke it and its ok. I needed to get a few new pieces of business attire and new boots as my current ones were old, ripping or just didn’t look professional anymore. Well, today I went shopping with my mom and grandma. I was able to find everything on my list in a fairly quick amount of time and walked out spending alot less than expected due to some awesome deals. I have realized I do like shopping but only when there are things I need. I don’t feel guilty for spending my money and I actually feel grateful for the money that I have saved to be able to buy these new things. I feel grateful for the work I am able to do and for the ability and patience to save my money. I also am much quicker and very specific to buy what I know I need or will wear. I am grateful for the clothes that I am blessed with because I have different options and choices and I have clothes that’ll keep me warm and modest during the year. Especially since serving the homeless, and realizing they don’t always have what they need, it makes thankful for what I do have. It makes me grateful that I do have. When I find something in my closet or drawers that I am not wearing I try to take it to the people out on the streets. It brings a smile to my face when I am able to give a cold woman out on the streets a warm jacket. It makes her smile. It makes me smile. Being able to give away something that I am not using, it makes it seem more purposeful. Yay clothes, service, smile!