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 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!
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!
I know this post is a bit late but I have a quick story to share. Yesterday was the 13th anniversary of the tragic September 11, 2001 day that most Americans recall rather clearly. I may have only been in 3rd or 4th grade and not have fully understood the severity, I knew that the world would be different. I knew that America was in danger. I knew that innocent lives were killed. Around 2996 people in fact left this world quicker and sooner than expected. Their stories were left unwritten and with unexpected endings. Last night helping clean up an event my University had put on to pray for the victims, their families and America took place. Each flag that was placed contained a name of a victim. As I helped clean up I began to see the numbers. When you hold a box with even just a couple hundred slips of paper it is hard to recognize that each slip has a name. That name was held by a unique person with a special story. It is infathomable to know that almost 3000 people died but when you see 3000 slips of paper all of a sudden you realize just how much the world loss that day. I take back to my apartment some of the name slips to make something special. Although I was unable to put all the names which I grabbed here is just a fraction of them. I would like to offer pray for each of these individuals as well as all victims of the Sept. 11. 01 terror attacks. I pray that they rest in peace and help G-d up in Heaven. I pray for their families, friends and all who they impacted to continue to heal and coupe and let their legacy live on.
I pray for all of us to spread a little extra compassion and kindness and light not just today but everyday. Let’s change history for the better. Let’s spread goodness and today lets us remember. Tomorrow let us not forget.
Place a flag in your heart.
With my internship finished, my father flew out to pick me up and we were back on the road headed on a favonian trip to California. The first day we drove 14 hours and went through Indiana, Illinois, Iowa and ended the night in Nebraska. Both Iowa and Nebraska were new states for me! As one of my friends commented to me that Iowa is a whole state of corn, I realized that at least from my passenger seat in the car, that is what Iowa was. Well that and super nice restrooms at a random truck stop. It may not have helped that the weather when we first entered Iowa was beautiful but later was quite stormy! Thankfully we wrapped up that days travels in a quiet city of Lincoln, Nebraska. The city was quaint and filled with lots of green plots of land. We were quite famished from so much driving that we walked down the road to a wonderful italian restaurant that had whole wheat pasta I could enjoy without messing up my body! As we walked back and the sun had nearly set I began to realize just how grateful I am for this summer to have really traveled the US and it really opened my eyes to some more real beauty within this large nation I call home. America!
Such a restful Shabbat. I slept alot. During lunch, my friends grandparents came over and so that was fun. After Shabbat ended my friends aunts, uncles and little cousins were running around all over the place. Then went with my friend to Bet Shemesh and met some of her friends and we talked a lot. Well they talked alot and I would be updated periodically on what they were talking about that I could follow along just based on their tone of voice, knowing a little of what they were saying and picking up a few key words along with their body language and facial expressions.
While being here, I feel like it’d be easy to marry the man of my dreams. Its worry free being me. (Which is a new feeling to me). I don’t feel so judged for what I do or who I am. I feel there are Jews of all shapes, sizes and colors and yet we are all one. Its easy to feel like Aliyah and marrying someone Jewish and having a big family would be the best life. It feels safe and normal and like home.
I’m now starting to fear what it’ll be like to go to the states and forget the comfort, joy and love I feel here in Israel. I feel semi-worry free, no stress and able to enjoy life to its fullest. But, then again, I am on vacation…. Just the thoughts of going back to the states makes me feel stuck. Keeping shabbat, wearing skirts and being everything I want to be, is easy here.
I realize that in the states, I get so caught up with my next career move but here my eyes have been opened to what I really want and its something Israel seems to offer.
I realize G-d will guide my next steps and I have to be accepting of whatever is part of His will. Being here in Israel has made me realize how every step of my life has lead me to right here, right now. I feel discouraged as I write this but I trust G-d. Its not the right time yet, but, its coming and I can feel it.
Already missing everyone but so grateful to still be with my Israel leader.
This week I’m spending my time in a small American town. It’s cold and the sun is only out for approximately eight hours. I’m staying in a nice warm winter house that literally looks like something out of Pinterest. The weather calls for extra jackets, blankets, fire and hot chocolate! The town however looks like something out of a Hallmark film. With 2100 residents, one small main drag and many deer as neighbors. Yesterday everyone was out and about putting up their Christmas wreaths and lights. When we were driving back at night, the town was stunning! I felt like people could have broken out in song at any point in time or to see some romantic proposal out of a book. This thanksgiving week is really giving me change to perspective and showing me small town America.