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!
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!
Hope your weeks have been as inspired and love-filled as mine. I have been continually finding new meanings and sights of love. Today I want to share such a powerful experience with you that truly touched my heart. I ran a 5k this morning that included “challenged” athletes such as those in wheelchairs, armcycles, amputees, etc…
I am really thankful to first off, be able to share that I won the female category…yes me! TBI, ripped soleius, broken face….all those days and years of pain and here I was able to run, and thank G-d even run fast! Back to the main story here. When the race had started, I quickly caught up to some of the challenged athletes as they start a bit ahead of everyone else, so that no one gets hurt. I tried to cheer everyone I passed along the way.
Then I looked up and saw something amazing! There was a petite but rather strong young woman pushing an older man in his wheelchair. She pushed him the whole race through. When I watched her stride to the finish I felt impressed, amazed and overcome. It was so beautiful. I couldn’t tell if they were related, she was a care giver, therapist or friend. Maybe that made it even more out-of-the ordinary. I recall thinking she must be one strong lady!
Later another woman was finishing and we were cheering her on and my mom commented, “when you can’t run with your legs anymore, you run with your heart”. I am tearing up as I write this. It was just such an emotionally beautiful day. Seems I can’t help but tear up as I cross the finish line and when I watch athletes of all ages, abilities and walks of life “compete” in the “race” or competition, I often find myself emotional. I find myself caught up in the glory of the moment. The fact that time stands still. That racers will high five and cheer complete strangers for the sake of sportsmanship. The running community is unique and a clique of its own. Today, though, I was reminded of the reason I choose to run when I am healthy enough and able. It is for those who can’t. That is literally what that woman was doing today for that gentleman in the wheelchair. I am grateful to have been able to witness such compassion, strength, courage, humility and love! Oh, how powerful it was! It is!
The biggest race we are face is that of life each day and once upon a time, I recall reading the latest Runner’s World magazine which highlighted “the human race”. This is the competition we must wake to and rise to the starting line. Whether that be the start of high school, college, a job, marriage, parenthood, etc…it is the beginning to something bigger than yourself. It is a race that will lead you through twists and turns, hills and vallleys. The journey of this race is what it seems to be about. Compassion, love and the simplest of signs of kindness, will not go unnoticed. And, in my mind, will be what changes the world and makes each individuals race just as important.
Thank you to the young woman in pink today who inspired me and cared for the man she pushed through a full 5k, all while running. Thank you for showing me the power of compassion and love. I hope that I can take that sight and transpose it into my daily actions to be even the slightest bit more kind to those who I interact with.
Hey there friends,
Today I write to you filled with many many many emotions! So many beautiful and wonderful feelings and then the less enjoyable more fearful and anxious vibes. Let me first update you. In the past week I have been blessed with tremendous opportunity to live my dreams and purpose. However with that comes much change. Change of location, friends, lifestyle, food and so much more. All of the choices are up to me. Its overwhelming and definitely a bit scary.
This evening made my world collide (past, present and future). I got to hang out with some friends from this summer as the traveled down south and were enjoying the superbowl as 4 friends just chilling. I am honored that they included me. It was fun. I enjoyed getting to know these guys better and to hear all the crazy shenanigans that they stirred up as children. It was cool to be a part of. Much laughter, shock, surprise and unexpected stories. I’m not too sure what cause them to be so reminiscent but it was cool to watch. As I sat in traffic I came up with a cool blogging idea.
February is the month that especially as you grow up, seems more and more consumed with love or lack thereof. I am currently single (and ready to mingle haha) and for the first time am excited for this month. Not for hopes of what could be or of the guys that are in my life. For the first time I feel excited to try to experience and capture love in all its light, not just in the romantic sight.
Today while with these friends, mostly new to me, shared stories of their childhood I realized two particular semblances of love.
1. The first one I noticed was just how truly beautiful it is to see someone get excited to share or explain situations in their life, or things they like or do or anything that they can be passionate about. Its really a unique sight to be “let in” into the lives of those around you. I personally, love, when people are passionate and embrace who they are.
2. This second one, I took note as I was writing this. Its that friend love can really last a lifetime. These friends had been friends since they were little kids. They went through school until college together and even then 3 of the 4 still live in the same neighborhood and 2 of the 4 are roomates! Like that is incredible! Really think about that!!! Maybe its because I do know people I have known since 2nd grade but none that I am that close with. Maybe its because there really is love in friendship, especially when it has been for that long. Talk about commitment, encouragement and understanding. You can make fun of each other and still no feelings are hurt. You can support and be the backbone during hard times and as a witness today, you can laugh together about all the craziness that no one else would ever believe. Yet, there you are, as a bud, and you know it happened. Its believable. Its magnificent to watch and be a part of. Friendship love may be just as strong as romantic love. Its just different. And that is totally ok!
Happy New Year! Now that on the parties have settled down and school is back in session, I have had much time to myself and much time to think and reflect upon last year. 2014 for me was filled with much growth and changes on top of exploring these United States. I was blessed to live in Ohio for 1/3 of the year, to build friendships, be involved in a community and intern for HONDA! I started to learn and practice more Judaism by wearing skirts the second half of the year, reading Shemonei Esrai and reading books on Judasim. I went on dates and had flings with guys that weren’t right. I learned from each experience. Especially the last date I went on, at the very end of the year which taught me so much about myself. It was a great day, we went bike riding and ate lunch. It was fun. However, I broke my tendencies from the past and realized the situation with my head and not my heart and was able to choose to not go further. I learned to not be codependent. I grew this year by making choices that were right for me even if my family or friends didn’t agree. I spent the first half of the year hiking a ton and being outside any chance I could get. I completed a triathlon. I embraced CBU more. I explored OHIO. Learned how to learn even more. I took 19units in one semester and passed all my classes, thank G-d! I went to 22 or so states throughout the year. I spent my celebration of life weekend in Canada at Niagara Falls, with my best friend! I learned to ride a long-board. I lit Shabbat candles. I tried to start an impactful movement (Operation Instant). I took a ton of photos which led to photo adventures. I got sick and had to start eating gluten free. I had a few health scares while in Ohio and I learned how amazing the community is there and how much they are willing to go out of their way for you. I met amazing people and a handful I still keep in touch with, daily, because they are so awesome. I had a hard few months throughout the year, however looking back I am thankful for the support and encouragement my parents or friends or both gave to me during that time. I struggled with school and friends. However, I feel blessed to say that I have a handful of best friends that are there for me through the good and the bad days, for that I am very grateful. I learned so much more about real life and not school-dictated life. I learned more about G-d and His plan for my life. I learned that sometimes if not always, I need to ask G-d for what I need or want and not just expect him to give it to me. I have continued to learn how amazing G-d is and how much He continues to lead me towards what I don’t expect sometimes and how its exactly what I have been wanting or waiting for. I’m thankful for 365 days of adventures some good and some bad, but I’m grateful for the uniqueness in each one of them. I’m grateful to be moving forward. My last note is this, on August 9, 2014, I was at Niagara Falls taking a picture with a sign that said how I was in a fatal car accident and at the time was interning for Honda to help make cars safer. This stranger (young woman) came up to me and shook my hand. She said that is why she wants to be an engineer. It almost brings tears to my eyes. To feel like I impacted even just one life for the betterment of the world, I am thankful. I am grateful for the purpose which G-d has in store for me, and I have no clue what it is. Although 2014 has concluded and the New Year has rung in, I am happy and content with the many blessings of the past year. I am excited and looking forward to what this year has to offer!
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.