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,”.
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”.
Today I can’t help but think about fire. It is a beautiful and powerful resource when maintained and manageable, yet, it can also become something uncontrollable and dangerous. Fire is my favorite element. I like how all it takes is one simple spark and that can turn into a flame and that flame can burn for as long as you allow it. Someone once told me that based on my ideas and beliefs about fire that is how I feel about G-d. When looking at fire in relation to G-d is makes sense. If you allow G-d in your life, you’ve initiated the spark and then praying and living your life in a way that brings glory to G-d is letting the flame burn infinitely.
Today I also cannot help but think about israel and us jewish people and how fire relates to us. With the terror events which have struck Israel and left all of us Jews in a state of shock and sadness. Or at least that’s how I feel. Ever since arriving in Israel during my birthright trip last year, anytime something goes awry in Israel it’s like a piece of me gets inflicted. My love for Israel is something that most of my friends and family don’t understand. I can’t explain it however I will try. It’s like when our plane to Tel Aviv touched down, we clapped. When we got to Cesearia and saw the most beautiful sunset, it felt natural. With the palm trees all around and even running into acquaintances from my home town in the middle of Ben Yehuda street. There is something unique and different about Israel. It felt like home and yet I had never been there before. It felt natural. I didn’t have to prove who I was or what I believed. I was just me. I was Jewish and so were most of the other people. It was so beautiful! It was not perfect and I was even sick half of the time I was on my trip, but the reflective time I had on the bus rides, the adrenaline I got from the extreme hike down Mt. Arbol and even when I went ziplining across two mountains, and the connected, power and fire I felt burning inside me when we reached Jerusalem and specially when I went to the Kotel on Shabbat for the first time in my life. There were tears in my eyes when the plane left. How could I be leaving the Holy Land? I was going back into Exile. Why? I don’t know. I guess I’ve been searching for that answer for quite sometime. Regardless even when I got back to America, as I exited the plane I talked to this young Israeli man who had just finished his service in the army. We periodically still keep in touch. To me this is Israel. This if the Jewish nation, culture and religion.
My birthright trip to Israel was everything and more than what I expected. It also seems like Israel to me is the answer to a question I never asked because I never even knew I had. I am so grateful for Israel, to be Jewish and for the fire burning within me.
There’s a burning fire in each of us. Some strike the match for good, others for evil. Your life. You choose.
I actually went back through and felt like I had to add this song as I started to recall the lyrics as I said my prayer before falling asleep. “Aish talmid eternity, fire burns continuously…wondering where you been won’t you come on home to me”
This early morning I find myself having trouble getting some shut eye but it’s ok. I was up till 2 working on a big project for one of my engineering classes and I probably put more time and effort into it than I needed. And the thing is, in a few hours I’ll be at it again finalizing everything for the presentation I have on Monday.
The weird thing is that this person who lied to me, and caused me to become more skeptical and questioning of a good situation in my life decided to text me multiple messages after 3am. I say it’s weird because I’m over being friends with someone who causes pain and yet wants to be liked. She hurt me. I had trusted her, I didn’t expect her to do such things, and yet, then her true colors bled through. It’s really sad actually. It’s sad that it caused me to question whether a truthful guy I liked was telling me the truth…regarding a phone number that could be fake for all I know, that she gave me. Sad how things went down. Sad especially because it was over a phone number. Sad because the guy is not in my life anymore.
However I’m reminded of other experiences mainly with other girls in the past who I thought were friends and yet when I began to have success in a particular area they began to crave it and it got in the way. I still remember an instance freshmen year where I happened to be one of three students to do well on an exam. This friend was upset as she failed. Then the next test came around and I failed and she did well and there was some comment of how we were “even” now. That made me mad. Why couldn’t both of us do well? Why couldn’t we both succeed? It wasn’t like there was an additional gold star if you got the highest grade. Especially for women in engineering, we should not be seeing one another as competition, instead we should be using each other as a support system for all the random and ridiculous challenges we face.
Flashback a bit further and I recall opening the rejection letter senior year of high school to my dream “reach” university. I remember being sad about the situation. However, it obviously wasn’t the right school for me or where I was supposed to go. Months later I had acceptance letters from all the other universities I applied to.
Back to today. Today I think of a couple different conversations that I have had the past few days. One was with my friend KA who said something like: healthy people are rare and hard to find…why aren’t more people honest like you. To which my response was in agreement. People that are in healthy states of being are hard to find, rare and even then may have different struggles to which they battle. The honesty factor I don’t understand either. I am honest and have learned it’s always easier to tell the truth, you don’t have to remember as much because it’s in your heart and it’s the right thing. Sadly the rest of the world does not seem so transparent.
The second conversation was with my career advisor, M. Although this particular conversation was months ago when I first had a mock interview with him. At the end he asked me a few questions regarding schooling, plans for post graduation and offered support and encouragement. One of the key takeaways I gained from the conversation is when he said, “don’t settle”. I am working more and striving further to live this out in all areas not just in choosing a job/company. It seems that if you do not allow yourself to settle, or sell yourself short, that you just might wind up with just what your deserve and maybe even better! You know your worth, your value and you don’t let silliness get the best of you. I think this concept can be applied not just in work, but especially in friendships/relationships and all that you do.
All in all, what I am saying is that I am grateful for experiences and people who have rejected or caused pain to me. Not because of the pain or heartache but rather it reminds me that it was just not meant to be. That it leads me to healthier experiences and healthier people. It leads me to be a healthier person and to detox from such toxic scenarios. I shouldn’t have to fight so hard for something I deserve whether it be a job, a man or a friend. When it’s right, it’ll work and both parties involved will work towards success even when outsiders attempt to intrude. To me rejection is horrible and hurts yet it validates who I am today, where I was and now where I am going. That sounds ridiculous however rejections lead to change because hope has diminished. However now there’s a new light, once I get past that rejection I’ll move into a new acceptance and love and warm embrace that I may have never got to experience had things panned out different.
So here’s to:
Support. Love. Encouragement. Truth. Respect. Honor. Candor. Give. Patience. Worth. Health. Rare. Beautiful. Powerful. Change. Being me.
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!!
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!
So I haven’t written in a while. I’ve been busy moving across the country. Being a foreigner in a country I call home only to realize that home is where you are. Where you feel comfortable. Where you feel love and cherished. Where you feel important and often at peace with yourself. Since moving I feel overly blessed. My job is hard and challenging but also so fun and so many cool perks. I work with someone from MIT and feel honored to be a part of a group that acts like family. The manager is like the mother figure and then the girl is like the oldest daughter, then there is the middle child who thinks differently, the younger son who does his own thing but totally gangs up with older sister. And then there’s me. I’m like the young adopted daughter who is still trying to find her place struggling day in and day out. I’m enjoying it every step of the way and I like the challenge. I’m learning so much everyday and periodically there is some sweet gigs where I get to go “play” with really expensive engineering toys. It’s awesome!
The people I work with are so kind and calm compared to my last internship and these people seem very real, not superficial or materialistic(so it seems).
I’ve been spontaneous while being here and don’t really plan to far in advanced and just take it one day, one week at a time. It’s been quite an adventure and reminds me a bit of my Germany and Israel trips. Just very in the moment. So much so that it’s flying by and I’ve almost been working and living here for a month!
I feel so much freedom in being me here and I feel accepted. I feel like sometimes back “home” where I’m from on the other side of the country I try too hard and don’t succeed. I don’t find what I want but I guess it’s what I’ve needed. Here I try a little bit and it seems to go a long way and then there seems to be so much reciprocity and it’s such a beautiful thing! I went to one Jewish event the first full day I was here and have since then gone to numerous others and have thankfully been invited for Shabbat dinners every week thus far! I feel so grateful to have Jewish friends, to have Jewish community, to be able to be myself and not be afraid to stand up for what I believe. I feel so at peace and so in the right place at the right time. I’m so thankful for the plans Gd has in store because I often feel peaceful when I’m at peace with my situation.
With that being said there have been numerous curve balls that have kept me on guard with continuing to learn how the real world is. So it is still very much a struggle and frustration with certain situations but I have felt more trusting and less worried about it. This may also have to do with the fact that not being in university has been amazing and I’m learning so much and hopefully actually retaining it. I’m less stressed and able to enjoy this beautiful life Gd has been blessing me with. I’m so grateful for this adventure and getting to live somewhere outside my comfort zone–because that’s when I find myself, trust Gd, and feel surprisingly most comfortable.