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)
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!
I am coming back to you with some more insights on what I have seen this past week and how it relates to the subject of LOVE.
1. Sometimes the people we love the most, who are so close, can also drive us away. Think about teenagers being rebellious against their parents wishes. Our parents love us to much that even when we don’t like them, they still love us. *I know this is not the case in all families, I am just bringing our one perspective which I see and have experienced. Maybe its that you are no longer a teennager, you have packed those rebellion colors away and now are in the transition into adulthood. Once again our parents love us so much that they hate to see us leave, yet, this is the very moment that they have been training and raising us for. Interesting how it is all out of love, yet, our young mind take this as control and we fight it (well some of us do, sometimes haha). Therefore even friends that are close, can also drive us away out of love because they want the best for us, and we sometimes, refuse to allow ourselves the best. Just remember it is all out of love.
2. Random acts of kindness may very well be the greatest acts of love. Yesterday I was at this event with my mom at which a speaker shared her encounters with people who have had near death experiences and she explained the common themes and encounters which he/she went through. It was interesting and the most essential quality I gained more inspiration and insight on, was that which regards kindness, whether random or planned. However, it is easily noticed that when situations of kindness are random it often takes more courage, effort and action. Whereas when you methodically plan out your next move of kindness, it may come across differently. The point is, it has light an inspiration flame burning deep within me to try to go the extra mile, to say the extra hello, to smile at strangers and to go a little out of my way sometimes, if its the right time and help is needed. Maybe the reason people love super heroes so much is because these men/women of strength and valor go out of their way for those in need. Sometimes its planned, other times its not. For example, I am thinking of a scene in the movie Spider-man, at which Peter Parker is in his spidey suit and off to save the world from the bad guys. Yet, out of nowhere sees an elderly woman trying to coax her kitten out of the tree. It is in this moment, that people stops from chasing the enemy and instead performs an ARK (Act of Random Kindness) to save the kitten and places him right back into the womans arms. Then before she knows it, Spider-man is back in the good vs. evil battle and the scene continues on. It is in that scene where members in the audience connect super heroes with acts of kindness. There are numerous other movies, scenes and instances where superheroes go beyond the call of duty. Then to brighten up the world a bit, we periodically see these everyday average people going beyond their limits and help a fellow out. This is beauty and brings inspiration to all.
My encouragement for the week is this: whether someone sees or not, always do what is right. If you can, go beyond.
Here I am in the middle of November thinking about the ocean. Thinking about how much I love the beach. Just a few weeks ago, a group of friends and I went down to the beach for some volleyball, bonfire, heads up (like charades) and just taking it easy. Although this summer I spent most of the four months in the middle of the midwest, I found myself at the beach something like 8 times before I left the west coast. That may not seem like a lot, but to me it was. And it was wonderful! I love the beach, there is something special and unique for me to go to ocean and to just breathe in the salty air. I have always felt this wonder when I find myself at the beach. I feel small. I feel like the world is enormous and I also feel like all the troubles of the world could be solved in one day if everyone understood just how big the universe can seem.
Anyway, I think a bigger and better reason why I love and how I feel like I can connect to the ocean. Its that I am like the ocean. I have fears, and when I face my fears its as if I have been carried off the shore and can no longer feel the sand between my toes. Its when my ability to float and tread water come in handy. There I am in the middle of the ocean unsure if I should keep swimming out or if I should just head back to shore. Its an interesting concept that once I get my toes wet and find myself wading deeper in, the further I am willing to go. Why go back to shore? That’d be easy. Plus, its fun and cool out here. I can see the world from a new angle and look at the horizon. My point through this story is not to go physically swimming out to the middle of the ocean, but rather the ocean is the place we are capable of going, its like our potential. The shore we leave is our fears. The shore we arrive at is our faith. The ocean is the opportunity to overcome and let go of our fears and allow ourselves to find faith in G-d and in ourselves. In our abilities, talents, strengths and even in learning of our weakness.
The ocean is an opportunity. The ocean is fear and faith. I can allow it to be fear if I only stay at the shore. Which tends to be my habit. Next time I go to the beach while its warm, I am going to have to push past those fears and allow myself to find and embrace faith. For that reason and for many more, I am grateful for the ocean.
ps. the video is weird but the lyrics are great!
Here’s to today. Here’s to laughing like no one is watching and not caring even if they do. Here’s to laughing so hard about rediculousness that it doesn’t fully matter what initiated it. Laughter brings much joy to me even in the hardest of times. Laughter lights up the very darkest of nights. I loving laughing and love when people make me laugh. I also love when I remember something that was funny and when I try to retell the story I find myself struggling for words because all I can do is laugh. When I am able to laugh at myself its when I am most confident that I just don’t care what others think. Laughter is a blessing and brings joy and for that I am grateful!