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 went to Israel. Again. And now I’m back. I’m grateful for the incredible experience and all the wonderful memories.
Its funny because the other day I was out with friends and I was talking about my summer abroad in Germany and my friend joked, that was a Dr. C moment. Dr. C was our manufacturing and materials professor last semester. This professor literally seems to have lived anywhere and everywhere.and has experienced so much in his seemingly young life. People like this inspire me. I want to grow up and be like them. How sad it would be to just stay in and not get to see and or experience the world and the people everywhere.
Tonight brought back these memories of traveling to Israel and a bit with Germany but mainly the Holy Land. See I hung out with one of my new friends from Israel who just so happens to go to my school. After dinner and such we were sitting in my apartment and talking about the differences and similarities and even just the uniqueness in being in Israel. Especially to be Jewish at a christian university is a different experience. For me it has been one of much challenge. Interestingly one of the things my friend pointed out was how each of the class are taught with christian worldview and how it applies and affect the christian life. I am sooooo used to this now, that I don’t even notice it. How sad.
Anyway talking about all the good and beauty that Israel has to offer was amazing. It brought up laughter and taught me how to properly say things. It was nice and fun. However I couldn’t help but notice how sad my friend looked talking about Israel. I can’t even imagine how much my friend must miss it. I have never spent more than 2 weeks there and yet here I am writing and tearing up. Because in Israel you can be you. You don’t feel weird or out of place. Even midst struggle-some thoughts, you are among family. A family around for 2000+ years. I still remember my first few hours in Israel the first time. It looked nearly identical to California that I was convinced we flew in circles around the US for 10+ hours. We arrived at Quesaria and our tour guide picked up a handful of sand. He looked at each and everyone of us. As he let the sand sift through his fingers he spoke. He said, “it’s been 2000 years, welcome home”.
This week has been filled with so many ups and downs – it has been quite a roller coaster to say the least.
However it has been wonderful! I am so grateful to have friends, to have jewish friends, to not feel alone and to go on fun adventures (sometimes, late into the night). I have just been happy and joyful in what I have and what I have been able to do. I am thankful for the laughter and rediculousness of these friend gatherings. Whether for PURIM the other day and giggling like little girls with two friends I hadn’t seen in a long time! To feel inspired the following day by having insightful and challenging discussions with two friends who I have been growing with, even if we are all on different pages going in the same direction. Its beautiful and wonderful and my soul feels such joy in this! Then the ridiculousness of going to support a friend in a show at Disneyland. Forgetting the tickets, traffic and all! haha Then late night breakfast shananigans and being too tired to care. To have friends who pay for our adventures and do it out of pure kindness (at least from what I can see). I just feel beyond blessed by these experiences. To let go of the stress and concerns related to school, even if you can’t do that all the time. To go on adventures and have fun and connect with others, is beautiful and wonderful and oh how I have missed it!!!
Here’s to more joy, celebration and good things G-d willing 🙂
I am coming back to you with some more insights on what I have seen this past week and how it relates to the subject of LOVE.
1. Sometimes the people we love the most, who are so close, can also drive us away. Think about teenagers being rebellious against their parents wishes. Our parents love us to much that even when we don’t like them, they still love us. *I know this is not the case in all families, I am just bringing our one perspective which I see and have experienced. Maybe its that you are no longer a teennager, you have packed those rebellion colors away and now are in the transition into adulthood. Once again our parents love us so much that they hate to see us leave, yet, this is the very moment that they have been training and raising us for. Interesting how it is all out of love, yet, our young mind take this as control and we fight it (well some of us do, sometimes haha). Therefore even friends that are close, can also drive us away out of love because they want the best for us, and we sometimes, refuse to allow ourselves the best. Just remember it is all out of love.
2. Random acts of kindness may very well be the greatest acts of love. Yesterday I was at this event with my mom at which a speaker shared her encounters with people who have had near death experiences and she explained the common themes and encounters which he/she went through. It was interesting and the most essential quality I gained more inspiration and insight on, was that which regards kindness, whether random or planned. However, it is easily noticed that when situations of kindness are random it often takes more courage, effort and action. Whereas when you methodically plan out your next move of kindness, it may come across differently. The point is, it has light an inspiration flame burning deep within me to try to go the extra mile, to say the extra hello, to smile at strangers and to go a little out of my way sometimes, if its the right time and help is needed. Maybe the reason people love super heroes so much is because these men/women of strength and valor go out of their way for those in need. Sometimes its planned, other times its not. For example, I am thinking of a scene in the movie Spider-man, at which Peter Parker is in his spidey suit and off to save the world from the bad guys. Yet, out of nowhere sees an elderly woman trying to coax her kitten out of the tree. It is in this moment, that people stops from chasing the enemy and instead performs an ARK (Act of Random Kindness) to save the kitten and places him right back into the womans arms. Then before she knows it, Spider-man is back in the good vs. evil battle and the scene continues on. It is in that scene where members in the audience connect super heroes with acts of kindness. There are numerous other movies, scenes and instances where superheroes go beyond the call of duty. Then to brighten up the world a bit, we periodically see these everyday average people going beyond their limits and help a fellow out. This is beauty and brings inspiration to all.
My encouragement for the week is this: whether someone sees or not, always do what is right. If you can, go beyond.
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.
It all started Friday with some friend. Then it continued yesterday with my brother and ended in the evening with my uncle. We were speaking in the finest and most refined way we could think of. It was hilarious! The best part was when my grandmother said something and both my uncle and I turned to each other and just as I was beginning to repeat in this new found funny accent, I looked at my uncle and just cracked up! It was awesome! And it all begin on Friday when my friend said Linolium! So really I’m grateful for laughter and joy and being silly and for the people I’m surrounded by that bring that out in me.
After a restful shabbat (sabbath) and being able to rest, rejuvenate and reboot for the week ahead today has been really helpful. Being able to have time to read, reflect and think has been good for my soul. Then hanging out this evening with one of my good friends and being able to catch up on the past month and on where we hope each of our futures are headed was wonderful. My friend, K, and I have a cool friendship that we happened to talk about tonight. Its funny because she graduate two years ago and at the time we weren’t really friends just acquaintances. She had studied Mechanical Engineering as well, yet for whatever reason we just never really became friends. Then last fall she was the TA and Lab instructor for my physics 2 course. She helped me to gain better understanding and application of the tough conceptual and physical questions. Along the way we realized we had so much in common and found ourselves talking and life outside of engineering and there our friendship was formed. It is an awesome friendship because often one of us is able to say just what the other needs to hear and yet is truthful enough to challenge the other to “do hard things” in order to achieve what we each truly want. She is awesome and such a blessing.
This evening I was talking about my uncertainty of what lies ahead upon graduation. It is something I have been struggling with ever since ending my internship in Ohio. I have been exploring and continue to explore all sorts of options because I just don’t know what is next or what I want to be next. However, K reminded me to look at my strengths and weaknesses and to realize that no matter what I do I will be able to be successful as long as I see the potential in that “investment”. She encouraged me to continue to pursuing these various different options and to learn more about these opportunities and all them to play out a little further. I really needed to be reminded of my drive and my capabilities and for that I am grateful.
Yesterday I also had a conversation with my career adviser, M, who has been helping me along the road for opportunities post-grad. M, encouraged me to start making lists of my top 5 options currently. Within this list to write why I could do it, why I couldn’t. I think I lack confidence in my capabilities and being reminded of my capabilities and drive has been really helpful.
All in all, what I am saying is I don’t know whats next. AND, its ok. It’s ok, because I am learning more about myself, my strengths, weaknesses and being reminded that once I figure out what I want, as long as G-d is also cool with it, then all that’s left is for me and my drive to push further. So unlike my post back in September, I do not feel lost in the maze of life and opportunities. Instead I am in the midst of the maze and searching each door and figuring out which path might lead me in the direction I wish to move. My next move is a question and uncertain, however, isn’t that the beauty in the game, the journey and the road ahead.