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!
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!
Such a restful Shabbat. I slept alot. During lunch, my friends grandparents came over and so that was fun. After Shabbat ended my friends aunts, uncles and little cousins were running around all over the place. Then went with my friend to Bet Shemesh and met some of her friends and we talked a lot. Well they talked alot and I would be updated periodically on what they were talking about that I could follow along just based on their tone of voice, knowing a little of what they were saying and picking up a few key words along with their body language and facial expressions.
While being here, I feel like it’d be easy to marry the man of my dreams. Its worry free being me. (Which is a new feeling to me). I don’t feel so judged for what I do or who I am. I feel there are Jews of all shapes, sizes and colors and yet we are all one. Its easy to feel like Aliyah and marrying someone Jewish and having a big family would be the best life. It feels safe and normal and like home.
I’m now starting to fear what it’ll be like to go to the states and forget the comfort, joy and love I feel here in Israel. I feel semi-worry free, no stress and able to enjoy life to its fullest. But, then again, I am on vacation…. Just the thoughts of going back to the states makes me feel stuck. Keeping shabbat, wearing skirts and being everything I want to be, is easy here.
I realize that in the states, I get so caught up with my next career move but here my eyes have been opened to what I really want and its something Israel seems to offer.
I realize G-d will guide my next steps and I have to be accepting of whatever is part of His will. Being here in Israel has made me realize how every step of my life has lead me to right here, right now. I feel discouraged as I write this but I trust G-d. Its not the right time yet, but, its coming and I can feel it.
Already missing everyone but so grateful to still be with my Israel leader.
Reminiscing upon my trip to Israel, this song sticks out for various reasons. The first reason, its one of the songs my group listened to everyday on the bus. Second, there was one night where we in the middle of desert and we each spread apart. Found our own spots. Turned off the flashlights and just sat there. For me, I was overcome. The stars were so bright and there were so many. The moon was out and quite bright. To stop in the midst of such a fast paced trip and be able to really pull all my thoughts together, I started to cry. Here is was sitting in the middle of the middle east. In the desert where my ancestors wondered for 40 years, only to finally find Israel. It was unbelievable that just a month ago I had been wondering if and when I would finally go to the Holy Land. I was scared when I did have the opportunity presented. I was overwhelmed with all the news and so much hatred over such a small piece of land. Sitting there in the middle of the night was one of the best parts of the trip. To be able to talk to G-d, and feel like He was right there was indescribable. So here’s the first Monday of 2014. Here’s to a song that reminds me of that wondrous night in Israel.
The past 24 hours have been a whirlwind. The next 24 hours will also be a whirlwind. Why, you might ask? Well I was just offered an experience of a lifetime, but I am caught in the middle of irrational fears, lack of control and much uncertainty. Yesterday I had a convincing reason to believe the door of opportunity was closed and it really frustrated me. However, this morning, when I woke up and eventually checked my phone, I noticed the email of chance. The email that I had been waiting for, for months, maybe even years. The opportunity presented itself. Yet now that the door is open, I am questioning whether to walk through it or to wait for another one, one that may never come and one that may leave me regretting I didn’t take this one. Its all a part of life, uncertainty. I struggle so much with it, despite the fact that I know nothing is ever certain, regardless of how certain it may seem. This is a door of opportunity that I have focused my thoughts so much on and yet when it opened itself to me, I step and act like maybe it isn’t something I want. I allow the negativity of others to throw me off track and I need to get back on. I need to decide. Thats right, me. I need to decide. This is my life. I can either choose to accept opportunities presented to me that I believe, G-d blessed me with or I can reject it. However, I am feeling like its something I should take and embrace head on. I should not let irrational and even rational fear encroach on my life. I should not let the adversary prevent me from doing what I am supposed to. I should have faith in G-d and trust that whats meant to be will be and that G-d willing, I choose in a way that brings glory to Him. G-d has granted us free will and He blesses us with opportunities. Its all in how we react to the scenarios thrown our way. Its the trouble with the curve that can sometimes keep us on the ground instead of dreaming in the air. I feel like the difficulty in making a decisions proves how important this decision is. It convinces me that it is breaking my limitations, my comfort zone. I wrote a few weeks back on how happiness can break walls. I feel like doing things that are challenging and difficult also break barriers. Stepping onto the ledge of the cliff just to see the gorgeous view is what the whole hike up 10000 feet was for, Don’t get to the site and stop. Keep going. Keep climbing. Chase dreams. Don’t regret. Live in a way to bring glory to Him. and most importantly live with a faith that challenges you out of your comfort zone.
Making hard decisions is never easy. Thats why they are worth it.