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,”.
And there I was. Simply standing in the middle of my half packed apartment opening, with a slight bit of anxiety, the blackboard app on my phone to find out my final grade on the only class I was still waiting on. As I opened the app and scrolled to the bottom I was happy to see a C grade on the final. After turning in 20+ hours of work and close to 50 pages for this final, I just wanted to know I did enough to pass. Then I checked what my total grade was and its like I couldn’t believe it! I began to laugh and cry simultaneously. It meant I got a good grade. It meant I passed! It meant I am graduating. Dispite all odds and all my doubts, I will be graduating. I can try to explain this feeling that still fills me up when I say that I am going to be graduating from college with a degree in Mechanical Engineering! That G-d carried me and has carried me from the beginning! There was music playing in the background and I couldn’t help but be amazed in the moment.
I feel this joy that is bringing me to such a beautiful laughter and tears which I had not yet experienced before. I can’t believe it. Its unexpected the way I am reacting as I just wanted to graduate. Its been a dream of mine since as long as I can remember. Maybe its the “dropping out of school” I had to do my first semester. Or the fact that I was in an accident and lost all my math. It could be all the days sitting in my apartment where I felt like a failure. I was lost and felt there was no way out. As if I would not pass the test or class. And time and time again, G-d carried me, lifted me up and helped me to do my best. And it has been good enough. More than good enough!
I am elated and grateful! Everything I have worked for the past 5 years and here I am. I am going to graduate college! Dreams can and do come true! Especially with G-d on my side. Or rather I am on His! This is an experience I feel I am embracing and hope to not long forget. Its a good, true and beautiful feeling that is real. It is the sum of an a college roller coaster. The closing of a chapter and the beginning of a new one. It is letting go and allowing myself to move forward. I am thankful!
This afternoon as the strange cloud coverage lowered itself into the sky, I finally said to myself, “its good enough” and turned in my last final. After I had just turned in my hardest final, ever, a 20+ hour take home exam (it was crazy hard). As I submitted my exam I put away my study sheets and casually walked out the testing center. Outside the air had cooled down a bit. I felt free. I felt like a weight had been lifted off my shoulders. Of course there is still the uncertainty as to whether or not I actually passed, G-d willing I did/do though. I calmly walked to a building on main campus and picked up my cap and gown! Getting to see these academic faculty who have cheered me on along the way throughout my journey was rather special and joyful. Much laughter and gratitude towards G-d and all He has blessed me with.
Then I ran a few errands, as I finally had time to. As I took my time back to my apartment I ran into a friend who quickly waved hello expecting me to run off and have something else in need of getting done. However, I did not and was able to actually stop and have a nice conversation with this friend that I really have no made time to talk to this semester which is a shame. He had even mentioned the fact that I usually am so busy that I am running off to do something. It was a bit bittersweet. Not because of what he said. Rather, I have been told this by many friends who just understand how I am while in school. Its sad though. Its a shame because I feel as though the people that have been exposed to that side of me do not get to see the fact that I care about them and that I do appreciate even there small “hellos” amidst my hectic schedule. The reality is that my schedule always has time for those who are really important and maybe at a time these friends were or maybe they were just study buddies. As I write my thoughts away, I feel reminded to not worry about what others think and I have been working strongly towards this. I just hope that all who cross my path understand they have impacted me even in the slightest way. The conversation wrapped up and we headed on our separate paths. It was especially nice to stop. To smell the roses, in a sense. To be able to make time and care for people the way they deserve to be treated. To make new fun and beautiful memories.
Afterwards I went for a run. As my emotions felt jumbled I realized there were no words to describe the feeling. However, I will try! I couldn’t help but smile and yet periodically thoughts would cross my mind that made me almost in happy, amazed, inspired tears. It blows my mind. There have been numerous times the past 5 years that I wanted so badly to quit. I wanted to give up. I desired to rip up tests or assignments which I didn’t understand. So many instances I wished I could change majors or just stop going to school. Here’s a fun fact about me. I hate school. Ok maybe that is a really strong word. However, I DO NOT like school. I really do LOVE learning. I just feel like I learn more from experiences like traveling and working in industry. For whatever reason, maybe it was just me being stubborn but I would never get to the point of actually leaving the idea of pursuing a Mechanical Engineering degree. Even after the accident, amist forgetting ALL of my math. Instead I hopped on the struggle bus and took the path less known. I had to put more hours in and its almost as if I gained strength through the intensity of the challenge of engineering. And here we are today. Done. (hopefully). It seems very real and yet beyond incredible. Basically my run just kept getting better as I couldn’t help but think of how G-d has literally carried me and guided me along the way. He has blessed me with enough wisdom, discernment and understanding to get to today. It blows my mind!! Literally. So as I finished my quick loop outside, I went straight to the gym and continued my run on the treadmill. Where I finished with a sprint that I was holding at 6:53 pace!!! Say what? Thank G-d!!!!
As this day continued on I prepared for a fun Senior Late Night Breakfast which the University puts on at the end of the semester. Wow. It was a bit emotional and even know is bringing tears a bit to my eyes. These faculty who I have come to know well, each said in a few words how inspired and amazed they are with me. I just turn it all to G-d for it is Him in control of everything! The vice president (who I would be honored to call him a friend) stopped me in the midst of all the excited seniors. Simply, he said something like “you’ve done something harder than anyone else here”. Wow. I can still see it clearly in mind. It felt as though time stopped. I was in the moment and it was comforting. I owe it all to G-d for He is my strength, my rock, my healer and my redeemer!!!
It is nice to hear such encouragement and support during this transitional time. I know engineering is hard. I know having a traumatic brain injury is frustrating. I know I have been working against the odds. I am aware of what people say. However, I believe everyone is given what they can achieve. This doesn’t mean that any different degree is less hard or that people are working less hard. In fact I know had I followed through and switched majors I would have probably struggled more than I did in engineering. This is because I feel as though I am meant to be an engineer! B”H!
One day I hope to be married and having tons of kiddos running around. However for now this is the time I am meant to be an engineer and to G-d willing help make cars safer. To go from a car wreck 2 a car engineer feels like my calling. At least for the time being. It does not mean that I cannot have my other dreams at the same time as my purpose. G-d willing all these desires will one day mesh nicely. However, I am beyond grateful for this life that I have been blessed with. I feel overwhelmed and amazed with G-d and His plans for my life. Maybe, just maybe I am living the life I once dreamed of. And, maybe, just maybe I will change the world. With engineering. With cars. With who G-d has blessed me to become! to Him be the glory!
When G-d says He has a plan for you, it really does not matter if you understand or can see it. It will be filled with hope and a future beyond your wildest dreams. (Based off Bible Verse Jeremiah 29:11)
My oh my, has this month been such a joyous, nerve wrecking and crazy month. And its only March 6 haha.
I just received an email I have been waiting for since 2am haha. Basically I auditioned to be a speaker at this important ceremony. The audition went well despite my nerves and few times I tripped over my words. I felt like I did my best. As I really wanted to know the decision and of course, I have been hoping to have been selected.
Let’s flashback to the end of July 2014. I was sick, heartbroken and struggling. I didn’t want my internship to finish and I didn’t want to go back to school. I didn’t want to move back to CA and I didn’t want to be back to feeling “stuck” like I have always felt while being here. That specific day I drove to a nearby park instead of driving to my apartment. In the heat of the sun, I just sat there and bawled. I cried so hard and was in such pain.
SO, why am I telling you all this…
That evening when I finally calmed down enough to breathe again and to put on a fake smile for the roomate. I ended up having a friend over for dinner and her positive energy helped especially when she cracked some jokes which made me laugh. When I got ready for bed though, I found myself lost in my depressing thoughts again and found myself crying hard, again. This time though I ended up opening up a notetab on my phone and began to write. I wrote all my thoughts based on one of the things I wanted so bad on this particular day, graduation. Right then and there, I wrote a graduation speech.
Now you’re up to speed a bit more. You understand I’ve wanted this for a long time and was really hoping to be selected. Yet the past 24 hours as I knew the selected name would be released, I became curious and longing. I found myself really wanting it yet also feeling like maybe I was trying to convince myself that it was good enough. Yet from the beginning that I knew it would be a stretch for them to select me. Nonetheless I dreamed of it.
Anyways, I found out just a bit ago who they decided on and I feel fine about it. Maybe because I knew that they probably wouldn’t pick me. I am disappointed sure, but not really surprised. However, I know that my speech is great and does express my experience and feelings. I know that I did my best and that my best was good enough to bring glory to G-d. I know that G-d has something else in store instead. I feel grateful to have tried. To have no regrets about it and to just feel grateful to be in this point in my life.
Where do I go from here?
I guess I’ll just have to wait and see what G-d has in store, plan a little less, allow and welcome.
To wrap up, isn’t it funny how something we want so badly at one time might not be what we get. Isn’t it funny that even if we don’t get it, we are ok. Isn’t it funny that maybe we realize there are bigger fish to fry. It’s taken me 5 years to realize this. As I was a senior in high school, I lost and I lost bad in a competition which I had been the leader in since my sophomore year. Talk about disappointment. Yet, G-d had other plans. Turned out that because I didn’t win, that is why I ended up being recruited by the cross country team at the University I chose to attend, the one in which I still attend. Recruited to run for a school I never once crossed the finish line in their jersey. To attend a Baptist University that I have been the only Jew for so long. Yet, I found out last week there are two more!
I am blown away by G-d’s finely detailed plan for everything to work out for the best. AND for that, I am grateful!
Well hello there!
It has been quite a crazy week. Waking up Valentine’s day with a cold so bad all I felt like doing was laying in bed and reading periodically getting up for food. Thank G-d, the cold seems to be gone now. Regardless, it has been such a crazy week. I really have no clue how I took like two more difficult classes than I am taking currently last semester. I have had much running around to do as graduation gets closer and closer and a billion and one things to do in between haha.
I have a test today, which I have tried studiying for and yet still feel unsure if I am or am not prepared. I guess I will just worry about it when I get the test. At least I have been able to find some focus and time to study in the past day and a half. I have a big exam that I must pass in order to graduate and that is coming up just as quickly. Then next week another class is having an exam. Meanwhile, I have a project and assignment for yet, another class that is also due around the same time. Talk about life. Happening!! I am grateful though!
In terms of love, for this week I have pondered many different areas of love and which to choose to write about. As of right now I am choosing to write on the subject of self love. See I think you must love yourself first before you can love anyone else. You must know your worth and value and sometimes taking a step and seeing yourself as others see you. If someone has ever told you, you are beautiful, you are smart, you are strong…etc… maybe even though you have yet to discover, maybe by some chance its true! I have been on this journey of self-love for quite some time. Especially after my accident, I struggled to love my new face or my new life. Not that everything is grand, but I have learned to accept and love who I am today, not who I was yesterday and not who I will be tomorrow. But for who I am today!
There is something beautiful in that. It helps you to realize you are a work in progress. Its makes you grateful for who you are and to accept it. I think there is nothing more truly breathtaking and beautiful than to come in contact with someone so vulnerable to be willing to be true to themselves. They are not trying to gain friends, popularity or anything of the sort. Genuinely just being who they are. Its wonderful!
I have been working on this. I have been progressing towards being a more beautiful person on the inside and letting it shine forth on the outside. Maybe I wear silly outfits according to some people’s fashion sense. Maybe I am innocent and kind and compassionate, because that is who I am. Maybe I sometimes fail, and can be critical, harsh, and frustrated. At least I am accepting who I am and not trying to hide it. I am being me because there is no one I would rather be. G-d made me exactly the way I am supposed to be and He continues to help me grow.
Therefore loving and caring for yourself is just as important, if not more important than loving another. You must first be selfish in order to be selfless. AND there is nothing wrong or sinful about it. In addition, be true to you. There’s the phrase “you do you” and I think that it was what we all need to remember sometimes. BE YOU!
I know this area of love, is not one of the first that pops into my mind when I think of love. However as I write this, I am reminded just how essential loving myself is in order to allow myself to have healthy relationships/friendships/encounters with others. So here’s to me and here’s to you!
Then when at GUMBO, we went in a circle and shared stories about GUMBO and what we like about it. It amazed me and still does, how almost everyone there had made a mention of “my route” or how I convinced them to come, or how they met me and what not. By the end of it, I felt like I was glowing, all because of how impacted everyone seemed to be because of me. If I ever feel like I don’t make a difference, tonight proved me wrong. I am not trying to be self-centered or selfish but it was just such a complement and almost testimony to who I am and how I do try to get people involved in goods things and how I try to share my good experiences and find people who are interested in something similar. It was beautiful and awesome and I feel like I am just being me, so if I have any impact on anyone, I say that must be G-d moving through me. I feel honored. Also tonight I reminisced upon so many fun and crazy experiences while serving GUMBO. I specifically shared about how I often am more joyful and grateful after homeless ministries because I have been able to serve others, but also because when I get back “home”. When I get back to my apartment, I realize I have an apartment, I have a bed, a warm shower, warm clothes and warm tea and warm food if I so wish. I feel like the richest girl in the world. It brings me back to reality of how not everyone has such things, which I might take for granted. I recall one time after GUMBO, thinking about how I call my apartment at school, “home”. Yet, at the same time, I call where my parents live and where I grew up, “home”. Or how I go to new places and stay there for a while and how that then becomes “home”. Its like our lives are filled with temporary homes and yet we refer home based on an address/location and building. Yet going out and meeting the homeless its like these people are who they are and their home is wherever they are. They have embraced temporary home to full degree. I took it one step further to say maybe this also has to do with treating your body like a temple, a place that welcomes and brings glory to G-d. Anyways it made me think of Carrie Underwood’s song “temporary home”.
Hey there friends,
I haven’t been feeling too inspired to write. However yesterday I was responding to an email from a woman who had reached out to me a couple months back asking me about my TBI and about how I got/used my accommodations at the university I attend. It still amazes and inspires me the fact that one of my key doctors sent her my way to ask what I did. It feels so purposeful to be able to help people by sharing bits and pieces of my story and my experiences. I was excited to know that this woman will be the next speaker at this Neuro conference, which I had spoken at in 2013. I hope to have more opportunities to share my experiences and story to help educate people on TBI. I know that this blog is part of that, I see it as a start. A door to allow me to share my daily/weekly/monthly experiences and although I don’t often talk of my affects of TBI, as I still have those. However, I try to share my life for what it is and not hide when I do have struggles or issues, which are not just me, but, those with TBI often also agree.
I still remember this one lunch, my freshmen year, with a junior who had also been in an accident and also had some brain injury (maybe a concussion or coma..I don’t recall the specifics). Anyways I remember he was sharing about this one experience while he was in the hospital and I was shocked! I had felt nearly the same way! It was amazing to share those stories with someone else who understood exactly what I meant. I only hope that one day I will be able to share my story and experiences further, to be able to explain to those who haven’t been in an accident or been through something traumatic. To better realize the importance of our brain, proper care, advocacy and being surrounded by loved ones.
I feel like this is part of my purpose and I look forward to seeing how G-d uses me as part of His plan!