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,”.
And there I was. Simply standing in the middle of my half packed apartment opening, with a slight bit of anxiety, the blackboard app on my phone to find out my final grade on the only class I was still waiting on. As I opened the app and scrolled to the bottom I was happy to see a C grade on the final. After turning in 20+ hours of work and close to 50 pages for this final, I just wanted to know I did enough to pass. Then I checked what my total grade was and its like I couldn’t believe it! I began to laugh and cry simultaneously. It meant I got a good grade. It meant I passed! It meant I am graduating. Dispite all odds and all my doubts, I will be graduating. I can try to explain this feeling that still fills me up when I say that I am going to be graduating from college with a degree in Mechanical Engineering! That G-d carried me and has carried me from the beginning! There was music playing in the background and I couldn’t help but be amazed in the moment.
I feel this joy that is bringing me to such a beautiful laughter and tears which I had not yet experienced before. I can’t believe it. Its unexpected the way I am reacting as I just wanted to graduate. Its been a dream of mine since as long as I can remember. Maybe its the “dropping out of school” I had to do my first semester. Or the fact that I was in an accident and lost all my math. It could be all the days sitting in my apartment where I felt like a failure. I was lost and felt there was no way out. As if I would not pass the test or class. And time and time again, G-d carried me, lifted me up and helped me to do my best. And it has been good enough. More than good enough!
I am elated and grateful! Everything I have worked for the past 5 years and here I am. I am going to graduate college! Dreams can and do come true! Especially with G-d on my side. Or rather I am on His! This is an experience I feel I am embracing and hope to not long forget. Its a good, true and beautiful feeling that is real. It is the sum of an a college roller coaster. The closing of a chapter and the beginning of a new one. It is letting go and allowing myself to move forward. I am thankful!
This afternoon as the strange cloud coverage lowered itself into the sky, I finally said to myself, “its good enough” and turned in my last final. After I had just turned in my hardest final, ever, a 20+ hour take home exam (it was crazy hard). As I submitted my exam I put away my study sheets and casually walked out the testing center. Outside the air had cooled down a bit. I felt free. I felt like a weight had been lifted off my shoulders. Of course there is still the uncertainty as to whether or not I actually passed, G-d willing I did/do though. I calmly walked to a building on main campus and picked up my cap and gown! Getting to see these academic faculty who have cheered me on along the way throughout my journey was rather special and joyful. Much laughter and gratitude towards G-d and all He has blessed me with.
Then I ran a few errands, as I finally had time to. As I took my time back to my apartment I ran into a friend who quickly waved hello expecting me to run off and have something else in need of getting done. However, I did not and was able to actually stop and have a nice conversation with this friend that I really have no made time to talk to this semester which is a shame. He had even mentioned the fact that I usually am so busy that I am running off to do something. It was a bit bittersweet. Not because of what he said. Rather, I have been told this by many friends who just understand how I am while in school. Its sad though. Its a shame because I feel as though the people that have been exposed to that side of me do not get to see the fact that I care about them and that I do appreciate even there small “hellos” amidst my hectic schedule. The reality is that my schedule always has time for those who are really important and maybe at a time these friends were or maybe they were just study buddies. As I write my thoughts away, I feel reminded to not worry about what others think and I have been working strongly towards this. I just hope that all who cross my path understand they have impacted me even in the slightest way. The conversation wrapped up and we headed on our separate paths. It was especially nice to stop. To smell the roses, in a sense. To be able to make time and care for people the way they deserve to be treated. To make new fun and beautiful memories.
Afterwards I went for a run. As my emotions felt jumbled I realized there were no words to describe the feeling. However, I will try! I couldn’t help but smile and yet periodically thoughts would cross my mind that made me almost in happy, amazed, inspired tears. It blows my mind. There have been numerous times the past 5 years that I wanted so badly to quit. I wanted to give up. I desired to rip up tests or assignments which I didn’t understand. So many instances I wished I could change majors or just stop going to school. Here’s a fun fact about me. I hate school. Ok maybe that is a really strong word. However, I DO NOT like school. I really do LOVE learning. I just feel like I learn more from experiences like traveling and working in industry. For whatever reason, maybe it was just me being stubborn but I would never get to the point of actually leaving the idea of pursuing a Mechanical Engineering degree. Even after the accident, amist forgetting ALL of my math. Instead I hopped on the struggle bus and took the path less known. I had to put more hours in and its almost as if I gained strength through the intensity of the challenge of engineering. And here we are today. Done. (hopefully). It seems very real and yet beyond incredible. Basically my run just kept getting better as I couldn’t help but think of how G-d has literally carried me and guided me along the way. He has blessed me with enough wisdom, discernment and understanding to get to today. It blows my mind!! Literally. So as I finished my quick loop outside, I went straight to the gym and continued my run on the treadmill. Where I finished with a sprint that I was holding at 6:53 pace!!! Say what? Thank G-d!!!!
As this day continued on I prepared for a fun Senior Late Night Breakfast which the University puts on at the end of the semester. Wow. It was a bit emotional and even know is bringing tears a bit to my eyes. These faculty who I have come to know well, each said in a few words how inspired and amazed they are with me. I just turn it all to G-d for it is Him in control of everything! The vice president (who I would be honored to call him a friend) stopped me in the midst of all the excited seniors. Simply, he said something like “you’ve done something harder than anyone else here”. Wow. I can still see it clearly in mind. It felt as though time stopped. I was in the moment and it was comforting. I owe it all to G-d for He is my strength, my rock, my healer and my redeemer!!!
It is nice to hear such encouragement and support during this transitional time. I know engineering is hard. I know having a traumatic brain injury is frustrating. I know I have been working against the odds. I am aware of what people say. However, I believe everyone is given what they can achieve. This doesn’t mean that any different degree is less hard or that people are working less hard. In fact I know had I followed through and switched majors I would have probably struggled more than I did in engineering. This is because I feel as though I am meant to be an engineer! B”H!
One day I hope to be married and having tons of kiddos running around. However for now this is the time I am meant to be an engineer and to G-d willing help make cars safer. To go from a car wreck 2 a car engineer feels like my calling. At least for the time being. It does not mean that I cannot have my other dreams at the same time as my purpose. G-d willing all these desires will one day mesh nicely. However, I am beyond grateful for this life that I have been blessed with. I feel overwhelmed and amazed with G-d and His plans for my life. Maybe, just maybe I am living the life I once dreamed of. And, maybe, just maybe I will change the world. With engineering. With cars. With who G-d has blessed me to become! to Him be the glory!
When G-d says He has a plan for you, it really does not matter if you understand or can see it. It will be filled with hope and a future beyond your wildest dreams. (Based off Bible Verse Jeremiah 29:11)
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”.
Tonight I simply feel like crying myself to sleep. Maybe I’m tired, maybe I’m in the moment. It could be the emotions of the evening or the frustration playing soccer today and yet have an amazing team dinner following. Maybe its just there is so much going on in my life, thank G-d! Regardless of why my emotions are strung out here is why I really wanted to write at this late hour of the day.
While serving the homeless the stories swapped brought much from the past. I’m all about moving forward, but, sometimes staying back even if just for a moment is important in the healing process. It started at our third stop, expected to a be long visit. It started out beautiful as we lit these ridiculously giant candles and carried them out of the car and began singing happy birthday to this guy M, our friend. He seems to be sweet and we always try to go out of our way for our Tuesday night friends’ birthdays. Anyway after we fed our friend with warm burritos, homemade cookies and some kool-aid like punch we began hearing more about their weeks, the good and the bad.
Now to bring you up to the next story, we got to our next stop and people just kept coming in. It was powerful to see and serve so many people at once in a place where they are normally so split up. Then this woman, C, showed up with a bandage around her head. I knew from then, that I needed to talk to her. She blessed me with such an amazing conversation. She shared with me how this particular traumatic brain injury, TBI, happened. We exchanged stories and frustrations of TBI. It was nice to know I am not alone. It was hard to remember the pains and challenges of TBI, especially at the beginning but even still now. It made me realize that it still frustrates me when people make fun of something I say when it comes out wrong or sounds stupid. Its like sometimes my brain is dyslexic with words or sounds or letters and sentences, statements and questions come out confused or mixed up. Sure it is easy to laugh at these situations, it make the situation seem a little better. HOWEVER, we talked about how it is frustrating how other people might not understand this, even those close to us. Sometimes they are the ones to correct our wording or making fun. Its out of love and its out of not fully understanding our brain. Not that we are much better, but we both were able to express our irritation. It was nice to know that I’m not crazy for being super fearless regarding certain situations and yet being extremely terrified of others (situations). Its painful and being frustrating that TBI cannot be seen, so people struggle to understand! It breaks my heart when I meet others in the pain that I know so well. It hurts me to know I am still broken. To know I will never be “normal”, whatever that is. To know that people don’t understand me sometimes and sometimes, more than not, I don’t understand them. TBI makes certain truths beautiful and wonderful and others hidden. TBI is like playing a game in your head of not always know what the next word is and sometimes you guess wrong. TBI for me is not always knowing the right things to say at the right time or not speaking up and being a good advocate for myself. Maybe thats why sometimes I become friends with people who think they can manipulate me. I thank G-d for often waking me out of these situations and helping me to realize that I can make decisions that are good and that it is unnecessary to have unhealthy relationships. That I am capable of more than I can see. I can achieve and strive towards goals to better myself. I do NOT have to accept mediocrity even with TBI. I thankful for friends who are there for me, especially on bad days. As the tears flow and the words come out, I am just reminded how grateful I am to have shared a TBI conversation with someone out on the streets living a much more challenging life. I had intended to encourage and lift her and instead, I feel she did that for me.
I nearly forgot about the next point I hoped to share with you. When I saw the woman, C, tonight with the bandage on her head and knew that I needed to speak to her it was for the simple reason that maybe, just maybe, I would understand what she is going through because I’ve been there even if some of those memories are fuzzy. Maybe we don’t know why bad things happen or why we are each given specific trials. I like to think though, that maybe, just maybe, we were made for moments like this evening; where we have opportunities to shed light on this dark and difficult times for others because we know what its like. I choose to believe that G-d continues to help me heal and live with a TBI to connect and educate those I come in contact with. And I believe that it is ultimately to bring glory to G-d!
Alphabetical order sets the stage for the rivalry of best friends and their favorite colors.
Orange comes before Teal. But Teal is soothing, Orange is loud! Orange is… Teal is…
And the first ever post-off while sharing the screen to complete the post. My guest writer is secretive, quiet and spontaneous! She is curious, observant and encouraging. She likes to speak her mind even if it takes her months to tell me! Hey that’s how she works though. Haha.
We became buds back in the summer over art, kosher”ness”, religion/beliefs as well as ridiculousness. It also helped that we started our internship on the same day. We journeyed through the craziness of CATIA class, mean boys, and struggling to be engineers as well as weird dreams, Perks of Being a Wallflower and other good books! We also baked some of the best pretzels and she makes some super spectacular pancakes! Since going our separate ways we have kept in touch often, skype, facetime and whatnot… we still encourage each other and she definitely helps me with my homework when I am struggling. Well enough about her…on to the competition!
Orange: let me help u
you could write about how orange is superior to teal
let’s start at the very beginning
a very good place to start!
Orange: orange pump
Teal: blue berries (ok sooo maybe those are darker but still in the blue category!)
Teal: emergency call stations (those are blue too!)
Orange: University of Tennessee, Kansas University, Clemson, Texas
Teal (well really at this point I am just going to find them blue schools haha): UNC (more of sky blue), University of Arizona, Samford University, University of California,University of Mississippi,University of Great Falls, University of Nebraska….basically my blue list could go on and on….
*University of Auburn has the colors of both Orange and Blue, therefore, it is neutral and does not provide advantage to either team.
4. Social Media:
Teal: Facebook, twitter, tumbler, Pandora,Wordpress, must I go on…App store…
5. The Ultimate Challenge….
# of hastags:
So my friend, what do you have left to say about yours truly, ORANGE?
It seems to me that I have a more intimate connection with my color than you do, TEAL.
So it may seem, however, I’ll have you know, during my first internship, I became deemed as “vanilla mint” as my psuedorap name. Any comments on my relationship with Teal, Orange?
I’ll let the instagram #s speak for themselves.
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 🙂