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,”.
This morning I had to get my blood drawn, a little after the break of dawn. It was early, I was tired and I got lost trying to find the lab. Thankfully, I found it, just in time. Then came the fun part (just kidding) when they had to take my blood. Now, normally I get them to use a butterfly needle, however, this time, the woman told me that they would not be able to do that, or it would mess up the test. WHAT? (was definitely my first thought). However when she stuck the needle in me, I barely felt it. It was like a little pinch and I could feel it in my vein yet it didn’t seem like a big deal. I have had a lot of blood tests since the accident, especially while I was still in the hospital. AND you know what I remember, just how excruciating that pain was and how thick the needle was. Once out of the hospital, the first year I felt like I was getting blood tests every two weeks or every month to keep an eye on things. I hated getting my blood drawn. I think I was also scared of getting my blood drawn and of the pain of the sharp needle.
You know what I learned today? I learned that I am not scared of needles or of getting blood drawn. It felt fine, although slightly uncomfortable, and I would have rather not have been there. I was and it was quick and easy. It is no longer a big deal, just a simple step on my road of recovery.
In addition, when I walked outside after my blood test, the clouds were separating and I could see the light blue sky. The trees were still dripping, from being soaked in rain and the sound of tires rubbing against the water drenched streets. It was a beautiful and peaceful moment. Even if just for a bit. I felt whole. I felt like I was no scared of blood tests anymore. That felt like a big step for me. It felt good and nice to not be reacting to my circumstances. Even if it was just for a second or two. To me that felt like closure from a fear. Or rather, overcoming a fear. To me that feels like healing and trust, that it’ll be ok to get my blood drawn when I have to. Trust in G-d, that the results will help guide my doctors and myself to learn what is going on with my health. Trust in the practitioner, enough to let her/him poke me with a needle. To me, this feels like a step forward, even after yesterdays exhaustion rant and feeling like I was five steps backwards. I guess everything in its own time.
Here’s thanks to G-d, for the beauty in overcoming a fear of mine and in the simplicity when the clouds part and the sky shines through. To me, it helped me to start my last day of classes prior to finals, in just such a beautiful way!
Despite what some may think, I am not a fan of flying. In fact, it scares me to fly. The only way I step on a plane is that I buffer up enough courage and faith that G-d wants me to get where I am headed. Today scared me though. The flight started off fine, however there was warning of weather upon arrival. When we got closer, the flight attendant confirmed that weather was up ahead and so to hold on. Then our plane shook and dropped down. Then again and I think one more time. There was a lot of common and my body was tense. I got scared. Really scared and looking out the window wasn’t exactly comforting when all I could see was white from the thick clouds surrounding we were going through. The plane was a bit bumpy and I was very uneasy not sure if and when the next drop would be. My brother is awesome though and happened to be sitting next to me, he let me squeeze his hand as much as I needed to feel even the slightest bit more comfortable. Then amidst the craziness I was feeling the way my thoughts were swirling around, there was a rainbow right outside gleaming against the white fluffy clouds. It was shining through and appeared to be random. My mom also happened to be sitting nearby and when I said that I saw a rainbow, she reminded me of the meaning of rainbows. I didn’t want to respond as my body and my mind were still freaking out a bit internally. She said, “remember rainbows mean G-d’s promises”…she then went in how to think of this like Disneyland and how I’ve been on much crazier rides. All I know is my body went into flight or fight mode and there was nothing to do but hold on and keep faith that everything would be ok. Both wavered and shook me. The lack of control and inability to do anything to help myself was frustrating, however, it reminded me I’m not in charge and I cannot plan what G-d has in store. Even though He may take us through turbulence, it is in order for us to grow in faith, trust and reliance upon Him. For me, the rainbow was what I needed to see at a time I needed it most. It was a divine sighting and I’m grateful that G-d was with me and helped carry us through to our destination. Today I’m especially grateful for rainbows.
ps. this song has always been one of my favs
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!
Today I am grateful for hard decisions. I like to believe that some decisions are hard in order to make the results worth that much more. I am reminded of the book Do Hard Things by Alex and Brett Harris which I had to read my freshmen year of college. This book along with an answer to my prayer seemed to encourage me to step out of my comfort zone and take the higher math class when I was presented with the opportunity (despite all my past math struggles). Or about my decision to go on birthright last year and then to make the decision to extend and stay longer. These are just two examples of decisions I had to make and that I felt pulled to make. I battled with what to do for a good chunk of time until I was remembered that I would much rather try and fail thousands of times than sit back watch and always wonder if I could have succeeded. All that being said, hard decisions are frustrating and difficult or different than what I am used to. But for me, the hard decisions often have simple answers at the right time and are driven by faith and the compass of my heart and soul. Hard decisions have led to some of the biggest opportunities that I’ve been blessed to experienced. Let’s go out and do hard things (and answer our hard decisions).
I really struggle with tests. I especially dislike tests for subjects which I struggle to understand the concepts or the formulas. Today I had a big midterm and yesterday I did as well. Now that these tests are done, I feel like I can think a bit more clearly. Also, I had a conversation with a friend today that also reminded me of the beauty of tests. In my opinion there are two types of tests. One is a literal test maybe checking your math or english skills. The other is more figurative in terms of life, these are often known as “trials” or various situations or scenarios that I might struggle with. Lets break these two up a bit more.
1. Literal Tests. I am grateful that the past two tests I was able to study and prepare for and hopefully it helps me to do my best. However, I am thankful that one of the tests which seemed the harder of the two, also has test corrections where I can gain more points despite not necessarily doing everything right the first time. I think this is special because it proves that you are able to recognize why you did something wrong and then to correct and fix it. Despite all the red ink, it allows me to turn in a test that I feel more confident with, the second time around. Also if I did do well initially, it is nice to know that my thought processes were on the right track. Anyway, with literal tests it seems that you work hard all semester to prove you know what is being taught in class or on your own. You are trying to prove your worth of knowledge to the professor. Interestingly I think this connects us perfectly to figurative tests.
2. Figurative tests. Trials. I know there are various situations I struggle with some include my thought processes through different scenarios. However today I was reminded of how no matter how hard a trial seems, the joy that will come as result will be that much greater. It seems to be that sometimes I must take a step back in order to move two steps forward. It is always helpful to know that G-d will not give us trials or challenges we cannot handle. AND even if He does, He will help carry us through. So beautiful when you think about how its almost like He is challenging us to prove our worth not to Him (as He already knows it) but to ourselves. It is also I think a challenge to prove our worth to Him as well and to remember to have faith despite the uncertainty. There may not be “formulas” for these types of trials however I think words like these are rather encouraging, “Wait on the LORD: be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart: wait, I say, on the LORD.” – Psalm 27:14
One quick story about tests. I still recall one day when I was in the hospital my high school coach came to visit me. CP came with suitcase filled to the brim with gifts but more importantly he came filled with hope, inspiration and encouragement for me. I remember our conversation despite my health’s instability at the time. CP told me that this challange I was going through, was my new mountain to climb however he reminded me just how amazing the view will be once I reach the top. To me that was enough. It still is. Its hope.
All in all tests sometimes (most of the time) really stink. However if you do your best to prepare, keep your faith, and trust G-d; beauty, joy, and happiness often seem to be the result. Today I am grateful for tests and more so for the joy that comes after!
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!!