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,”.
I have been gaining so much wisdom the past couple weeks from G-d through the people that I have been having conversations with. I feel like there is so much coming in that I don’t fully know how to sort through all of these thoughts but I am going to try.
A few weeks back I was grabbing a late lunch from one of the places on campus and I happened to run into some friends. I ended up sitting down and joining into their conversation. One of my friends, T went into a philosophical tangent that makes so much more sense now, its incredible!! T said, “do you ever think about the way you actually look?” And I thought -what in the world? where are you going with this? T continued to explain how people all see differently and how people’s perceptions can be so vast. Then he stated how even when we look in the mirror, we see opposite of what people see. Like this whole conversation was very true not just scientifically but also philosophically. Of course this conversation went into the discussion of perception.
It seems like people perceive what they allow themselves to. That’s one reason why people who are more faith based see the world and people and experiences one way and more secular/material/worldly people see the world from a very different worldview. I am pretty sure all of this discussion was spat out to me in words back in my freshmen year of college but I think I understood and grasped it very little. Today I understand WAYYYYY more of worldview and perception. Like WAY more.
Flashback to summer. A boy that I had liked asked me on a date. I was excited however he just broke up with his girlfriend and NO WAY was I about to be rebound girl. I told him to give it some time. Well he didn’t have that kind of time to wait around for me and so instead I watched him ignore me as he walked in with a new girl, one time when our big group of friends was hanging out. It hurt. Then since we were all interns I would see these people all hanging out. I felt like I was watching a teen drama movie the way life seemed to be playing out. Well I stopped hanging out with those particular interns and I invested time in people who were more worthwhile and genuinely cared about me. As I got really sick around this time, there were two girls that were there for me every step of the way. I still consider both great friends and talk to them almost daily because they are so awesome! Anyway, back to the story. As the rest of us interns were finishing up our internship I was able to talk to another friend, Z, who was friends with the boy. I discovered then how perception works even further. Z stopped hanging out with this boy because of his actions and dumb decisions that he started to make. I not only gained further respect for Z but I realized that we only see what we allow ourselves to see. I had no clue Z felt the way he did about life, school, his girlfriend or even about this boy until after the boy was out of the picture. Funny how that happens. Well funny is not the way to put it but I guess that is the importance of discernment and seeing the good character traits in people.
Now to today. Today is now October 31. I guess I should be saying Good Morning. This past month has been filled with so much that I never would have imagined or expected. Both good and bad. Frustrating and Enjoyable. All learning experiences and opportunities.
i struggle to trust and I doubt good situations can happen because of my past bad experiences. Then when I allow people to dictate the way I should feel about a situation, often causing me to second guess myself, that is the problem. I seem to take input from external sources (people, the world, etc..) and when the data comes into my brain I sometimes struggle to filter through the data to output the right line of action or code (words). It is something that at least now that I know it, I can work on it. I may come across innocent and naive still believing that people are truly good. Maybe that’s why it frustrates me when people lie, cheat, steal or just don’t do the right thing, right in front of me. It is such a letdown because I expected too much (apparently). I expect people to do the right thing, because they should. (It seems my expectations are too high).
I know people are not perfect, trust me I am far from perfection. I am not even trying to be perfect, not anymore, because it just ends in disappointment. However, I can do my best to do the right thing, regardless of the situation. I am telling you all of this because all these thoughts have been swirling in and out of my mind for some time now. My perception of some people is skewed because I don’t know them. I don’t see them everyday or even every week, or even every month. I maybe see them on their best behavior at a party or gathering and so of course, I have no clue who they really are. Its unfortunate that I have let people that I don’t know try to bring me down. Some have even been successful. I don’t understand any of it.
Why can’t more people be honest? Do the right thing? Help a friend instead of bash the competition? Why are we even in competition? What’s the prize? Because, to me, I’ve realized there are bigger battles to fight and some stuff is pointless. I wish I realized that before. However, for whatever reason I needed to be reminded. I needed to be reminded that events and interactions with people often have very little to do with me. I am reminded of what I found the other day, “90% of your purpose has to do with other people, 10% is only you”.
That is crazy to me. Crazy but true. I have continued to witness just how true this statement is. Its true because we perceive very little of what is happening in the lives of others. We allow ourselves to understand and welcome only what we can see at the time. Its like an onion and we sometimes are privileged with the ability to peel back more and more layers. Sometimes we peel back too fast and see the REAL situation for what is is. Sometimes this gets in the way. However, I like to think that it’s ok. It’s ok to learn from experiences and to be wrong. It’s ok to learn that there are good people and good situations and also that there are bad and mean people out there too. We have to use discernment to perceive and receive the truth about people and experiences. I know for myself, I intend to avoid the bad and embrace the good.
And in the end, I like to believe that the truth is what will prevail. Because it will.
PS. I read this today and finally gained some better understanding of this prayer, part of the Amidah a big prayer. This particular part is a prayer against Heretics cited from the siddur I use:
“And for slanderers let there be no hope; and may all wickedness perish in an instant; and may all Your enemies be cut down speedily. May You speedily uproot, smash, cast down, and humble the wanton sinners – speedily in our days. Blessed are You, Hashem, Who breaks enemies and humbles wanton sinners.”
Someone once told me that going to the gym was vain. I was a bit unsure at first but with the explanation I began to understand. Don’t get me wrong, going to the gym is not a bad thing. To get in shape, to stay in shape and to live a healthy life. However, if you are just going to get more buff that is where the vanity lies. It really changed my perspective on going to the gym and looking around at the other people there. You have the whole spectrum.
This same person also doesn’t have facebook, instagram or any of those social media sites. It’s different and very respectful. In some ways, I would like to be better about that. Maybe thats why I am enjoying my facebook fast. I only go on when I get emails telling me that I have new friend requests and even then it sometimes takes a while. Instagram I feel ok with using. Sometimes. But I have a rule to never post pictures of people. Or at least you can’t see their faces. I think it’s all about finding a social media balance. I do however, think its awesome to not be worried about what other people think or are doing (even though I totally still fail at this). I think it provides opportunity to build friendships, do new things and be awesome. All without the whole world watching or knowing every second of your life. Its freeing. You can take a beautiful picture and share it with those you want to or hold onto it for yourself. Its up to you!
While at a career fair this past weekend I got a ton of free tech stuff. I say stuff because thats what it is. By the end I felt disgusted with how much I had despite my animal side being excited for free cool things. My soul hurt. See, my soul is yearning for good, true and beautiful experiences with people. I want to connect on a new level. All I could think of these things were just how vain they are. Yes I have kept them. Yes I intend to give some to friends and family. But the fact I recognize the vanity is something to me.
I don’t think I’ve told you about my “Fast From Shopping”. Since August 28th, I believe, I have not bought any new clothes or shoes or accessories for myself. It has been awesome. Its great because I am finding new ways to wear my clothes and creative ways to create new outfits. I actually think its awesome! I hope to be able to keep this up until the end of the school year but it’d be even more ideal to make it a year. We will see haha. I have received some awesome hand-me downs and freebies and I just roll with it to make it work. It makes me grateful for what I do have. For I feel like I have so much and I am blessed.
Genesis 12-15 talks about how G-d blessed Abraham to be a blessing. These sections also mention that G-d will provide support and guidance for Abraham since Abraham is willing, accepting and ready.
Tonight I went swing dancing with friends for the first time. It was incredible and I really enjoyed it!!! It took my mind off negative energy and thoughts. It was enjoyable and I spun around like it was something I had been doing my whole life. I am grateful for the friends willing to try a new experience and it was lovely!
I know my thoughts are all over the place tonight but this is my flow of conscious and I hope that it helps me let go and allow more thoughts in.
One of my last notes for the evening is how there are people in our lives that we do not know and yet they are there. I say this because I went on a date with this guy the other day who apparently went to the same Jewish camp that I went to back when we were younger. The only thing is that he is older so he would have probably been in my sisters age group. It still blows my mind that we were in the same place at the same time when we were younger and had no clue who the other was. I guess that once again proves G-d’s handiwork and His orchestrating/choreographing of life. Its like my friend who I studied abroad in Germany with and yet we had lived in the same city, been to the same community events and he boyfriend at the time (they are married now) his sister and my sister were friends! Talk about incredible. It really is a small world. It just is overwhelming how there are people in my life that I do not even “know” and yet we might already know each other. Crazy!!
We finally made it to the Bedouin tents after a very long bus ride. I was expecting to be in tiny tents. However these tents were huge, made of thick blankets and filled with soft foam mattresses and sleeping bags. In addition, there was lighting, space heaters and electricity. For someone like me who is used to simpleton camping, this was incredibly luxurious.
We learned more about Bedouins and heard and sung some songs. The power went out. It came back on. We then went to eat the most delicious food. We sat on the comfy mats and ate pita filled with chicken and rice, hummus, and many good vegetables. No plates, no tables but the spices in the food were unbelievably tasteful.
After dinner we hiked out in the dark to this spot behind the tents. The stars were really out, there were so many! The moon was bright and despite the darkness it seemed like you could see for miles..that there was nothing. Here I was literally in the middle of the dessert!!
We then split into individuals and each found our own spot. We turned off our flashlights and sat in the darkness. I felt at one with the universe. Time seemed to stand still. I felt really in tune and able to focus, despite my lack of sleep. I slowly started to bawl when I was thinking and quickly became overwhelmed with everything. Its been so hard to describe how this trip has really helped me to see who I am and its been awesome.
After counting stars we made it back to the camp site and sat around a campfire singing songs and talking. We gave gifts to our Mystery Moses and shared what have been highlights of our trip. We did our group chant, “How strong are you?”, “too strong” as well as “What kind of power do you have?”, “soul power”. (We chanted that our first night. It was quite a strong and powerful evening and I was exhausted.
We went Jeeping at Emech (Valley) Ahula (the place). I drove. It was really fun and a little bumpy. The wind was cold. We has hot tea which was sweet goodness when took a break. Israel is nothing like I expected but its better. There isn’t war everywhere. Soldiers walk around like no big deal. Because it is culture. It is the norm. There is beautiful countryside. There were even orange-groves today that seriously made feel right back at my home-town.
This week I heard a speaker who really caught my attention. She really got my ears to perk up when she mentioned that sometimes you feel left out of the party. When you feel left out of the party it might lead you to change who you are and what you do so that you can be invited in. I felt as though she was talking to me. For whatever reason, I have always felt different. I have been the one not invited to the party yet I try to invite everyone when I have parties. Its an odd concept.
Along those same lines I have also been working on myself and changing who I believe G-d wants me to be. I try to avoid R rated films, I don’t cuss, I don’t drink and I don’t go around having immoral relations. Its don’t do these things because I don’t believe its what I am supposed to do. I know it is not with my strength alone as I still struggle but G-d pulls me out.
Interestingly the speaker mentioned 1 Samuel 16:7 which really emphasizes not judging a book by its cover and really getting to know someone before you pass judgement, if you pass judgement at all. This verse is one I have definitely been working hard at implementing into my life. Its interesting how it can change your whole perspective.
After serving the homeless in my community this week, my group was debriefing and talking about what we liked, disliked and learned from the people we came in contact with. There was a lot of emphasis on the homeless’ faith and attitude towards life. Rarely do we hear complaints. Often we only hear sincere gratitude, thanking us for the food and prayer. Thats it. Thats all we are able to give and they respond with all they are able to do.
I realize this post may seem a bit disorganized and not seem to flow together. My main point is this choose your destiny based on the path G-d lays out before you. You may have to do work. You may shed some tears. You may not be invited to the party. But it is simply for you to have gratitude when invited in. It is for you to recognize that maybe that party is not one you were supposed to be at. It is for you to realize that G-d is in control. To see as the homeless see, which seems filled with faith and thanksgiving. Destiny does not happen in an instant. It is a constant act leading you into the future. Trust G-d and don’t judge. Love and give. In return you will find love and receive.
Destiny is not going to be the next facebook post or instagram photo. It is the life you are already living. It is coming when you least expect it. You will realize when you are there. So just hold on, dream and trust. G-d’s got this!