Here I write a blog about change and yet I have been seemingly avoiding writing in the most critical time of my numerous changes. Ironic. I know. You see first it started with finals, taking my last exams proving I was worth a college degree. A B.S. in Mechanical Engineering even. That still boggles my mind and my gratitude is immense towards G-d for carrying me through such a challenging major. Then came farewells, see you laters and good byes to my classmates, peers, colleagues, friends and crushes. It is a devastating way to leave and yet there is much grace and beauty to knowing the strength in those strong bonds and the fact that I so often like to say; if we are meant to see that person again, we will. The wonder of technology these days makes this statement more real than ever. So maybe it’ll just be a sweet text or like on facebook but you’ll know they are still there. Doing what they’re doing and as my high school coach always preached they will, “keep on keepin on”. Those first weeks I was still in shock and very much enjoying the break from university stress. I immediately discovered this openness in my heart to love and be loved be those I am surrounded by. I found an ability to see the good. I was no longer blinded by the weight of stress, school and a degree waiting to be achieved. Its like all of a sudden my mind was cleared and I am allowed to see things for how they really are and to truly set and work towards an even healthier lifestyle that I had been wanting. Amazing isn’t it. However those weeks I felt too much. I was beyond elated by the love and light in the world and simultaneously distraught and sad that those relationships had suffered so much. Time had not waited for me to be done with school. Lives marched on. But I am grateful for what I had and what I have. I still feel like the richest woman in the world and my whole life, today, clearly packs into 48 different sized boxes. (I know it sounds like a lot…but it isn’t). The beginning weeks of being a university grad I nearly fell asleep in tears every night because of the overwhelmingness of everything. Of goodbyes and farewells and of “I don’t know when I will see this person again” or worse “or if I will see this person again” (G-d forbid, but I am just being real blunt about the reality I face. Amidst these intense emotions I found myself with tickets abroad heading on a trip that sounded amazing. I didn’t go. For the first time, I had found that for whatever reason their was not a clearly defined purpose to this trip. My friends and family supported me but all I heard was hesitation in their backing. I suppose I was listening for that. As I was not ready for this trip. My heart was not all in, as it should be. I’ve realized that is ok, and I am glad I listened to my heart as a compass. It often leads where I wish to go. Since then I haven’t done anything too crazy or out of the ordinary but being able to spend more time eating lunches with my dad, coffee dates with friends, random tea parties, macaron baking, museum trips and little hikes have been more than enough. Even just sitting in my room and making phone calls trying to set up things for my move have felt like a blessing. Enjoying sabbath dinners and walks with friends or conversations with my mom have felt worthwhile. I have even been battling a throat and nose phenom and yet it feels ok. I feel content and happy. I feel like as my world and my life was packed into boxes today it was “alles ok” or “hacol beseder”. My brother graduated high school and we celebrated as a family and just simply sitting in the living room all together and being all there was and is more than enough. It seems this time and this season is filled with new changes and much uncertainty but I am beginning to realize that it is part of taking a leap of faith and asking for G-d to provide each of the members of my family with the guidance, wisdom, discernment, decisions and preparations for the changes ahead. I am grateful for the 48 boxes of my life but I realize that those crates are simply things and stuff. They are not me nor do they define me. I look in the mirror and see a beautiful woman learning it is more than ok to just be me and do what works for me. To not worry about what others think or care if someone likes my posts or not. I am beginning to feel the comfort of the skin I have been blessed with and am learning that I see my soul in my smile more and more. I am grateful and happy because as Matthew McConaughey said, “Life’s not fair. It never was, isn’t now and won’t ever be. Do not fall into the entitled trap of feeling like you’re a victim. You are not,”.
Today I am reminded of an awesome inspiring speech I heard sometime last year. I still remember it. It impacted me that much. This woman, Christine Caine, spoke about how we as individuals are made in the image of G-d. With that being said she compared individuals growth and development with G-d and life to be analogous to old cameras and how when you wanted to develop your film it had to be processed through a dark room only to come out as the beautiful portrait which you framed through your focus. This concept of dark rooms being the place for processing and developing into a beautiful picture is great!
Now to my story of photography. Ever since I can remember I loved being in photos and getting to take pictures even with those disposable cameras that I used to take to camp. Taking pictures and capturing memories was always special. When I was thirteen and had my Bat Mitzvah, my uncle gave me my first digital camera. I took so many pictures up until the time that it broke at the end of my freshmen year of high school. Then I saved up in order to buy a better digital camera and had done a little research to learn more. I always wanted an even better camera but didn’t have enough money for it.
Then after the accident, I found myself taking lots of pictures especially on my phone. I found myself really wanting a better camera. I think part of it was that, our driver who had died in the accident had loved to take pictures. She was really talented with photography too. I guess I wanted to be able to carry on what she couldn’t. Or something like that. So for my first birthday after the accident, my parents got me a better camera, more sleek, cool features and lots for me to explore and learn how to use. I began to go on photo adventures with friends so that I could learn to use my camera and see the world differently. Then last year I had saved up enough to invest in a DSLR camera, a step up and with many features I am still learning to use. I have gone on even more photo adventures and taken even more pics!
Photography for me is an opportunity to see the world from a different angle, view, perspective and focus. When I apply this understanding and application of photography to other areas of my life, I can approach problems from a new way and solve problems in a unique way. Photography is one of my many hobbies and I am grateful for what I learn and see through the lens. It gives me vision. For this, I am thankful.
I’m a bit stressed and a bit unhappy. Why you might ask? Because I am a planner. AND, I don’t know what’s next? I probably get in G-d’s way all the time because of this and yet its in my nature. I feel uneasy because I don’t know what I want and what I even want to be the next step. Come May, comes cap and gown and a big question mark? So what am I to do until then….I guess pray, search, look and talk to different people. Just how am I to know what is right for me? What is it I am really looking for? How am I to know when I find it? Do I have too high of expectations? Am I lost? Where am I going?
365 Years Later and my goal has been met! Thank G-d for the experiences and writing that began a full year ago. Hard to believe its been that long, and yet during certain periods of time it felt so quick! I guess that quote, “A journey of a thousand miles begins with one step.” – Lao Tzu.
Over the past 365 I have been to 2 different countries (Israel & Canada), over 23 states (CA, NV, NM, AZ, TX, OK, MO, Il, IN, OH, PA, NY, MD, DE, NJ, KY, IO, NB, WY, UT, AL, FL, OR). I moved to Ohio for nearly 4 months and made some of the best friends. I went on dates! I went to Jewish events. I grew. I learned more. I lost weight. I completed a mini-triathalon. I learned to wake-board and long-board! I spoke in front of more than 150 different neuro doctors, surgeons, therapists and specialists. I finished reading the Bible in english and have started on it in Hebrew. I competed on a rec-soccer team! I laughed. I changed. Life changed. I lost one of my grandfathers, may he rest in peace. I didn’t get the best of grades but I passed. I got extremely sick and had to change my diet and I still sometimes have bad days. I served in homeless ministries. I cried. I hurt. I experienced depression.
But, then I woke up each morning with hope that each day would be different. And it was. Life moves on. Things come and some go. I built friendships and lost some. I travelled and photographed along the way. I built connections and experiences that help me to not feel awkward when in situations of not knowing anyone. I have become more extroverted yet still need my quiet, me time. I am still searching for balance. I am still trying to learn more. I am still trying to become who I am. Today marks 365 days of change and for that I am grateful. I am grateful for the urge to start writing that I felt prior to all of this. Today I still struggle to embrace change but over this past year, I have discovered that change happens when you let go and allow yourself to. Change happens in small steps not in big leaps and its something that still takes time to adjust. My life is not perfect or perfectly coordinated with everything I want. However, life is filled with bigger blessings than imaginable and will happen when I do not get in the way of myself or in the way of G-d. I am excited and feel challenged to continue to blog for the next 365 days to see what comes along the way. Here’s to another year of Embracing Change!
Last weekend I was blessed with the opportunity to go to my friends lake house and learn to wake board! I will admit that the week beforehand was crazy and I was questioning how I would be able to make it. But once I was there I felt a release of stress. The stillness of the water relaxed me and helped me to enjoy the weekend and not worry too much about homework and work. Then learning to wakeboard was awesome because it’s such an adrenaline rush and because I love trying new things but often in the midst of school forget to make time. I’m grateful to have started the semester off right! So thankful for such a restful and fun weekend!
Welcome to the middle of nowhere, or so I thought for six months leading up to the big day. After road tripping all the way across the country from sunny California, I was nervous, anxious and slightly scared about what I signed up for. However when we drove into the good ole Ohio, I found myself excited and curious about what made up the life and culture of the Midwest and more specifically Columbus. Well after living in Ohio for nearly 4 months I have to say I would not mind moving back. The people seem sweet, caring, genuine and mostly left a mark of being absurdly nice (not a bad trait at all!!). People seem to go out of their way for you and really do want to hear your life story when they ask how you are doing. People slow down to make sure that others know how important you are to them. They value your effort, attitude and time. I hope that as I move back to California, that I can take and implement these wonderful characteristics better.
I had a bucket list of what to do while in Ohio and I barely even scratched the surface as even the last week I was still discovering new hot spots and places to adventure. Here is the list of big places I spent some time at this summer. It may seem like a small list of less than 20 but I would give it to anyone who is going to Columbus for just a few days, maybe even just a few hours. I also included the few restaurants that I checked out and ranked those in order of taste, uniqueness and atmosphere.
To make things easy for those who want to check out these sites, I even included some links and photos. Please enjoy and if you’re in need of inspiration of where to travel to next, Columbus might be one you’ll put at the top of your list!
- Chief Leatherlips Monument, Dublin http://www.roadsideamerica.com/story/9791
- Hocking Hills (great canoeing!!)
- Field of Corn, Dublin http://www.roadsideamerica.com/story/9527
- Easton Town Center
- Columbus Zoo
- Arena District
- Short North
- German village
- Goodale park
- Columbus Metropolitan Airport
- KingMakers http://kingmakerscolumbus.com/
- Homestead park, Hillard
- Indian Falls, Dublin
- Hayden Falls, Dublin
- Columbus Crew Game
- Columbus Clippers Game
- Franklin Park, Botanical Garden & Observatory
- Graeters (the one in Dublin off Bethel Rd has a factory tour) http://www.experiencecolumbus.com/tour-detail?id=118
- Rusty Bucket
- Jeni’s (the one in Short North has cool street art on the side of the building!)
- Portia’s Café, Clintonville
- Katzinger’s Deli, German Village
- North Star
- Brazenheads, Dublin
- Juergen’s Bakery, German Village
- Elevator, Downtown
- White Castle
- Firehouse Subs
Back in December when I went to Israel I found a necklace that says Love written in hebrew inspired by the very same larger scaled statue in Jerusalem. Dispite wearing this piece of jewelry nearly every day since, I had not actually seen the statue. While road tripping from California to Ohio, we stopped overnight in Indianapolis. I knew that there would be a giant LOVE statue in front of the museum of Art. So naturally early the next morning we drove by and stopped long enough for me to finally find LOVE!
Funny story is that in July when I went to Philadelphia I find an even more famous LOVE statue in the middle of a large park. I guess the bottom line is you find love when you least expect it! Happy Monday!