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).
Today I am about to say things that 17 year old me would have laughed at. Back then I wasn’t a fan of writing and I hated reading. I disliked reading since I was little. It was a struggle for my parents as they would constantly try to push me to read for class and to read for pleasure. I refused. It may have had to do with the fact that when I was younger my eyes jumped around alot and so it made it difficult for me to read. As for writing, I just didn’t like it. I actually became rather quick at it and semi-decent. Then senior year things started to change within me. All of a sudden I found myself wanting and choosing to read. It was mainly Nicholas Sparks books but still, I was at least reading. *Spoiler alert: I began to actually like reading. As for writing I still wasn’t a huge fan.
Then the accident happened which sparked significant change in my lifestyle and my abilities. While going through cognitive therapy and trying to prepare for college courses, my speech and cognitive therapist challenged me to start reading, pretty much anything and she would give me silly little situations that I had to write about (according to the prompt). The first book I read I think was Beauty & the Beast (the kids editions). Then Junie B. Jones. Before I knew it I was laying around all day reading Tuesdays with Morri, Percy Jackson, Divergent and well the list goes on… As for the writing I found myself enjoying the creative aspect and the ability to imagine what I would do if the situation applied in my life. And lets just say some of these topics were rediculous: write about an experience going to the grocery store. Stuff like that. Yet, here I am writing for myself and to those who stumble upon this blog.
I am grateful for the fact that I love reading and writing now. Reading has allowed me the opportunity to learn, imagine and explore new ideas or opportunities a bit further. Writing has provided an opportunity for me to express myself, to think (outloud) and to reflect on my current or past situations and to aspire for a brighter and healthier future. Both reading and writing have and continue to help me discover the balance I have within me and to use that to better myself. Today I have much gratitude for reading and writing.
Today I wake up grateful for my eyes. I am thankful to be able to see, to have good vision and despite having to wear glasses when my eyes are tired or while I am reading or on the computer. I am grateful my eyes are supported naturally by my orbitals even though at one point I had an implant in to assist in keeping everything in place. I am just so thankful to be able to see. I have always thought about how hard it must be to be blind. The beauty of G-d’s creation, I am able to see with my eyes and for that I am thankful. However, I bet if I were blind, I would see who people really are regardless of how they look. Maybe thats the thing, you can see something or someone and not fully see it. Then experiences happen that show you what it is or who they are. It may still remain hard to “see” because of previously not knowing.
I also am so grateful to only have to go to the eye doctor, once a year now. There was a point after the accident that I felt like I was going almost every six months to check on my eyes and see how they were doing. There were concerns of scratches or glass or almost anything, especially because my eyelids had been slit and needed to be sewed back together, post accident. I remember before the accident always saying how much I disliked going to the eye doctors and did not want to ever have to go through getting my eyes touched by the machine that measures the pressure in your eyes. Yup, and then the accident happened and guess what? I had no choice but to allow my eye doctor to perform the test. I wouldn’t even allow the nurses. I literally fought with a nurse one time because I did not want her to touch my eyes. Isn’t it funny how there are things that I never would have wanted or thought I needed yet G-d, saw it necessary. Just blows my mind.
Dispite all the struggles with eye doctors, eye therapy (yes I went through this too) and my eyes, I am more than grateful to be able to open my eyes each morning and see. I am grateful for those moments of true sight whether it be taking in the view atop 11,000ft mountains, the sight of love when two marry, and seeing who people really are. That is vision.
Today has been a great day. It doesn’t matter than I nearly ran from one class/meeting to the next and didn’t matter that I had a test and that I should probably be studying for my next test. The reason why it doesn’t matter is because I had this conversation today that reminded me just how blessed I am. I have a brain.
Not only do I have a brain, I have a traumatic brain injured brain yet, thank G-d, no scar tissue. I do still get headaches and have head pain when its cold. BUT I have a brain that can think. That can interpret. That can learn, understand and problem solve! I have a brain that now understands MATH!! This is so exciting to me, especially because I hated math and did not understand it before the accident. I have a brain that allows me the freedom to make decisions that are not impulse. Of course, I have my slip ups now and then but still!
I have a brain that allows my body to function. Allows me to move. To think. To generate. To radiate. There is just so much that I would not be able to do if my brain was not the way it is. I may struggle to solve engineering problems or take longer on tests. In fact, I might even forgot words still. I might have “brain blanks” where I literally cannot remember what I was just thinking. But the fact that I was even thinking is so beautiful!!
I am just incredibly grateful for my brain and for G-d’s hand in continually helping my brain to heal.
Tuesday Nights are my favorite week night. I suppose its because its not Monday and its soon to be Wednesday. However, the deeper reason is because Tuesday Nights are different. At least most of them are. Since October 2013, I have been blessed to be able to go out and serve homeless in my community. A group of us from school go to this local church where we pick up homemade food such as burritos, soup and cookies along with coffee and juice. We load up the cars, divide into groups and then head out into the streets. We go out rain or shine, thankfully its usually just wind we are dealing with and usually the night weather seems to settle down, maybe just for us.
Tuesday nights are incredible because they are an opportunity to go out and give love, food and warmth (if we have jackets or blankets). They are an opportunity to bond as friends and to build friendships with strangers. People who have struggled to feel loved or like they are important. They are important to us and they are important to G-d.
Last night in particular, there was an exceptional feeling in the air. I knew from the beginning the evening would be different than normal. Our particular group was rather small but it was the same group I went out with when I got back from Ohio. It was my brother, me and our pastor friend, T. Its still the funniest of groups being that T is a pastor and my brother and I are Jewish. Its awesome though because we have this opportunity to share about the differences and similarities in beliefs with the idea to gain knowledge about the other. Or at least that’s how it seems to me. Its also nice because T is older than both my brother and I so he is like an older brother to us. From the beginning of the evening, I knew that something was going to happen to T’s car, when he told us we should probably get gasoline, and instead was like “eh, well wing it”. Funny thing is later in the evening, it wasn’t gas that was the problem, his car battery died. We were “stuck” out on the streets with the homeless, with the food and with conversations until two of the other teams came over with a car that enabled us to jump T’s.
Meanwhile, my brother and I acted like Santa’s Elf’s or Ninja’s leaving burritos and sweet/encouraging notes to the people that were on the streets, already asleep. We shared in conversation about life, health, guidance and such with various people. There was even one point where this lady asked if we had any food and we didn’t have any but one of the trucks with the food was down the street. The lady didn’t want to be a hassle and we wanted to get food. So my friend Hannah who had been in the truck, myself and my brother ran. We ran as fast as we could down the street, to the truck. We hoped in the truck bed along with two of our friends already there. We held on and our friend drove. The street doesn’t seem that long however, yesterday it felt infinite. I felt infinite. The moment felt infinite. There’s no better way to describe it, you’ll just have to watch this clip to even try to understand how some Tuesday Nights make me feel.
In engineering there is this concept of Neutral Axis. You can make measurements from this Neutral Axis, this middle ground.
This weekend I have learned much about myself, about G-d and about the world.
1. I push people away from me, people that I so badly want to let in.
2. I deserve love and to be happy.
3. Not everything is as it seems.
4. There is a big grand plan that G-d has and I have no clue what it is.
5. I am blessed to be a blessing (Genesis 12-15)
6. I don’t know my purpose and that’s ok.
I have struggled much this weekend as I hurt someone that I like, very much. I have been in weird zone because I hurt. I realize that I can act like everything is fine, but its not. I want so very much to be able to work through this. To talk about it and to grow from it. I don’t want for us to beat the odds. The odds that seem to be winning. I want to be there for this person. I want this experience to go differently than it seems.
It feels like I am going into surgery. I say this because I am not 100% sure of what is next or what is happening despite the way it seems. Maybe I am holding onto hope that isn’t really there. Maybe I am being optimistic. Maybe I’m in denial. Maybe I am just in the Neutral Axis. I have room to grow and measure my worth. I know that everything will work out however at this time this saying my dad told me today seems to help, “sometimes its hard to see the forest through the trees”.
I hurt because I have allowed myself to be vulnerable. Something I STRUGGLE with so much. Yet, here it is. Here I am. And that is all. The rest is up to G-d and this person I hurt. I just hope that he can forgive me enough to let me back in.
I know when I stumble and fall and feel so low thats when I grow exponentially. I become more faithful and embrace the good moments better. I enjoy the ups even if its just a funny joke or a smile. I know that climbing mountains is such a healing and powerful thing for me. So here’s to a week of climbing mountains because I know when I get to the top, there is going to be one beautiful view!