Posted in Daily Prompt, Life

Sunny Days

It’s been a while, since I’ve been happy and had a really great week. Since finishing school about two weeks ago, I’ve been having a mostly enjoyable time, seeing friends and exploring things in New York.

I get to wake up (for the most part) when I want to, which then also lets me stay up late and not worried about getting home at a certain time.

I went to the Cooper Hewitt Museum, which is a really nice design museum. I really want to go back for their Thursday night cocktail parties.

Yesterday I went to MOMA with friend’s of mine from Australia. This was my first time there, and we just had a good time. The security people are surprisingly funny and nice- so if you go, I suggest chatting with some of them. Just ask their favorite exhibits, it’s one way to find cool things in such a large place. We also went to an interactive lecture on one of the exhibits, called “Making Space: Women Artists and Postwar Abstraction” , which was really great. It was really interesting to see and think about the role of women in the “man’s world” of art as well. How there are many women who waiting for their husbands to move so they can have a name for themselves; or women who needed to push just to be noticed; or how even in the art world women need to prove themselves more than any man, even if they are just as good, if not better. It was interesting to see how some even used “women’s” material to create new things, to take control of what society gives them and to change them and make it their own.

I found a festival of accordion playing, called Accordions Around the World at Bryant Park. There were multiple circles throughout the park of accordion players, switching to a new player every 15 minutes. It was actually quite cool.

This week I went dancing THREE times! I went to my usual place on Saturday night, and then went to the first two days of midsummer night swing. I got to dance with some really great people. The first night was swing dancing, which was a lot of fun. But the second night was salsa, which there was even more spirit. There was an “after party” when it shut down, in a tiny park right across the street from Lincoln Center.

I even met someone- not really sure what if anything will come out of it. But on Tuesday night, at swing dance I caught a guy’s eye and asked him to dance. We started talking, and one dance turned into a number that I don’t even know. He even took my number that night. And then last night, in the giant crowd of people I saw him again, and once again we danced together. I don’t know if he will call, but it was kinda nice to meet someone, even for the short term.

And now it’s almost the weekend and July 4th. Next week I’m off to Toronto, mostly to see my former roommate from Israel, but now I will also be teaching a class. At the end of the month I’ll be teaching in Atlanta. And it looks like I will be going to Columbia (the country) at the beginning of August. So even though I am still waiting around to find out which hospital I will be working in, trying to find a new apartment, want to be dating, miss Israel and my friends– things might be starting to work out.

via Daily Prompt: Sunny

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Posted in Daily Prompt

Walking Like a Zombie

This week has been exhausting and will only continue as such. All I dream of is being able to stay in bed late and not having to move…maybe that will happen next Friday.

On Saturday my heart broke to say goodbye to everyone. It was a day full of tears and confusion.

Saturday night not only was I figuring out how to pack, but when I opened my emails after Shabbat I saw that my friend’s daughter had died- at that point I didn’t know any details.

Without sleeping on Saturday, on Sunday I got onto my first flight at 5am and arrived in New York at noon. I then had to go food shopping and readjust to being back.

On Monday I got to school to have process group. To find out that my friend’s daughter took her own life. My friend was in class that morning and only found her in the afternoon. My teachers and friends had gone out for the funeral, and throughout the week people were flying out to pay a shiva call.

In addition to holding other people’s pain, I was broken in my own way. Saying goodbye, trying to figure out what is next, trying to figure out how to find happiness. And so then on Tuesday in process group I spoke, well cried and spoke about my pain and loneliness and inability to figure out what is next. It took a lot out of me, but I spoke, and then it was done, and I was left in my head, only to have to travel to Philadelphia to teach a class.

On Wednesday I woke up in pain and exhaustion. But I decided to go to school because my head was still whirling with thoughts of Tuesday. In some ways there were no more tears, but the pain in my heart was still present. I made it through the day and even had a very interesting and different conversation with a friend…but then I didn’t go to sleep till 1.

On Thursday I was still tired and still alone and in some ways felt it even more. Only to end the day hearing my friend and colleague crying because every avenue that she has tried for next year has almost worked and then failed. Her husband doesn’t have a job in a place he likes, and her daughter needs to go to a special school. I went home will intention of writing a sermon, packing, cleaning and going to sleep, but I was unable to fall asleep till 3.

And then I come to today. After four hours of sleep I woke up and knew that I had to get on a plane. I got to the plane and immediately passed out and slept for the entire trip. Upon arrival I hopped into an uber and went to my friend. To see her sitting was painful. It was obvious that she was grateful that myself and others were able to come be with her this week, but still it was a loss. During Mincha, I almost starting crying. Looking up the stairwell and seeing photos of her family and of her late daughter, knowing that there will never be any more of her. Wondering to myself what will they do with her room. What will this time of year look like for the rest of their lives. What will next week be like when they are supposed to go back to “normal”.

It was from there that I hopped another Uber to where I am for Shabbat. I spoke at length with a man who started a community health program in Chicago. He now works around the world and teaches public health. And I got to where I am staying, and they immediately offered me a  beer and some food, and told me to go to the room I’m staying in, “go rest a bit” they said.

So here I am, drinking beer, knackered, trying to unwind from the day, but trying to find energy to teach this weekend, as well as be a good guest. Hopefully I will get some sleep and it will be a Shabbat of peace, to start next week off with something positive.

via Daily Prompt: Knackered

 

Posted in Daily Prompt

Put Everything on Hold

Pause. Put everything on hold.

Say goodbye to where you thought you had meaning. Goodbye to your friends. Goodbye to your job. Goodbye to your support system. Goodbye to parts of your identity.

Just wait. You just have to be and do what we tell you do to. You need to go through the actions to get to the end. The end that you have been waiting for. You just need to accept what is happening around you. Your control is on pause.

If you are smart you would use this time for growth and change. You would stop feeling bad for yourself. You would take this time and learn what you want to learn. You would find ways to push yourself. It is the last time in your life that all your responsibility is to just be. You should find the things that you bring your joy. You should take this time to see where you want to go, what you want to do.

You chose to go into this path. You chose to follow your heart, and you wouldn’t stop even when it was difficult.

You know they saying, “Man plans and God laughs” – well, obviously the plans you had are not going to come. God has other ideas for you. You just need to follow. This is all part of the plan – to teach you that you have no control.

Stop all you were doing and all who you are. Your identity is no longer what you assumed it was. Maybe you’ll find a new one, you better otherwise you will just be sad and angry, and that is not a way to be in the world. Just accept what is happening.

Life is on pause. It is not stopped…just paused for the time being.

via Daily Prompt: Pause

Posted in Daily Prompt

Floating Underwater

I think of what it will be like to immerse in the Mikvah.

To prepare my body for such an experience – and taking notice of my physical form but for a potential spiritual change. Showering, scrubbing, combing…

To be naked and underwater – to feel a body of water all over myself without any barriers. What would it be like to be that way not only in my physical state but also in an emotional and spiritual one? What would it mean to literally and figuratively take off all of my layers and just be? How beautiful the quiet and pressure of the water might feel when it is just me floating about?

To go in one way and to come out different. The mikva is used to mark change – from tameh to tahor; from prohibited to permitted; from outside to inside. To mark that I was one thing and I am now something else. The other part is still there, because I am still me, water is not able to take that away — but I am something new.

On and off I have been thinking about going to the mivkah, maybe one day I will actually do it.

via Daily Prompt: Immerse

Posted in Daily Prompt, Life

Crossing Over the George Washington Bridge

I think back to when I was in Girl Scouts. When we moved from Daisy’s to Brownies we crossed a bridge to represent our growing up. According to the Girl Scout website, the bridge ceremonies are:

Moving On to New Adventures

Bridging is an important transition in a Girl Scout’s life. It’s a defining moment when a girl becomes aware of her achievements and is ready for new adventures and responsibilities. Celebrating this change should be fun, personalized, and memorable for everyone involved. And most of all, it should be designed by the girls in true partnership with adults.

Bridging ceremonies usually take place at the beginning or end of the Girl Scout year and can have three parts:

  • Opening: Guests are welcomed and the tone is set.
  • Main section: The ceremony is explained and the girls celebrate moving from one level to the next.
  • Closing: Girls can participate in friendship circles and thank their guests.

Each of the ceremony’s parts offers plenty of room for the girls’ creativity and individuality. The ceremony should always focus on paying tribute to Girl Scouts as they move forward.

Opening

Tomorrow is the day that I cross the bridge (the George Washington bridge) to my new home. I will be living in my own apartment in New York city. I will be there for at least 6 months, but potentially through August. I am bringing all of my belongings (it’s only 3 suitcases and an Adidas bag). It is making my move to the US real.

Main Section

This is a big move. This is what I knew would happen, and in some ways I was putting it off. It is part of my year of transition. I have realized that in 2016 I lived on three different continents. It is also the beginning of the end of me being a student. It will be (hopefully) my last very temporary home.

I said goodbye to my friends, my house, and my job. I am slowly coming to terms with the fact that it might be a longer goodbye than I intended, as I am started to apply to jobs in the US.

When I moved to the US in May, I thought that I would be moving in August. I had my time with CPE which I really enjoyed. I lived with my parent’s again, which I haven’t done since I was 17, which at times was great and at times was awful. There was something wonderful to come home with food in the fridge; someone to take care of me; someone to drive me places; to be part of the family again. But it was very lonely; I once again felt like a child instead of the adult I was growing up to be; I wanted my independence and I needed to be dependent.

While looking for an apartment in July, I came across a job opportunity in Australia- and the next thing I knew I was moving there instead of NYC. Australia was amazing. I don’t think I have been that happy in a while. That is not to say that it was perfect. There were definitely times of loneliness and trying to find friends and figuring out what to do. But for the most part I was happy. I don’t remember a time there that my body hurt from stress.

And then I moved back to the US. This time for real. I moved back and had to start looking for jobs to figure out what is next. I landed at my parents, which once again was wonderful to have but at the same time made things very difficult for me. Again I had people to care for me, take me places, try to love me- and all it made me feel was a failure. That here I am 31, no significant other, no friends, no job, and I live with my parents. Even though I knew that it was only short term, it was really hard. A mix of that reality, trying to figure out what is next, coming to terms of maybe not going back to Israel, and trying to find a place to live – this has been one very stressful month.

And now I am about to move. Yes, in some ways I am used to moving. But this is my first real move, where I will have my own space, in the US. It is the first time that I am moving so close to my parents. It is the first time in a long time (since 2004) that I didn’t have to think about how many liquids I’m packing; or that my mom could tell me to go “shopping” in the pantry to take things; or to pack sheets and towels; or to know that I can leave something, and get it back quickly, as it will only be an hour bus ride away.

Closing

So, tomorrow morning, when I go to school, it will be my last journey over the bridge to school. After school I will be taking the subway to my new apartment.

Tomorrow I will cross over the bridge and really start my time in the US. I will hopefully take this time to learn what I need from New York. I hope that I will find and build a community and friendships. I hope that I will be able to find a partner. I hope that it will become clearer what I want to do next and where I want to do it. I hope that having something grounding me, will help me feel less overwhelmed than I do right now.

via Daily Prompt: Crossing

Posted in Daily Prompt, Life

Some More Questions

1. If you could speak to anyone in heaven, who would it be?

Serach

2. What memory do you replay the most in your mind?

Times that I should have acted/said something differently- usually times that I should have been bolder

3. Do you have any reoccurring dreams or nightmares?

Yes, where I have meetings or am giving a class, and there are people that come into my room. It is not always the same people nor it is always the same class. But many times I will wake up and change my clothing so I am more presentable (ie. not wearing a tank top without a bra)

4. At what age did you learn the most about yourself?

19-22

5. When was the last time you were disappointed in yourself?

Last Thursday

6. Is there someone that you’ll never forgive?

Yes- or at least right now that is how I feel.

7. Which time period do you like the best, aesthetically speaking?

40’s/50’s or 1600’s

8. In what ways have you grown over the course of your life?

I am much less shy; at times I have confidence in myself; I am willing to create what I need/want (in most situations)

9. Do you think your parents are proud of where you are in life?

Yes

10. Is there a teacher that you wish you could call up and thank?

I have thanked those who I have felt the desire to thank – either by email or went to visit.

11. What’s the worst physical pain that you’ve ever suffered through?

When I strained my lower back and couldn’t walk or sit.

12. What couple (that you personally know) do you look up to?

A & H

13. What scent reminds you of your childhood?

Pavlova (perfume)

14. What don’t you regret that you probably should?

Have a 4 month intimate conversation about everything with shuk boy

15. What’s the most intimate thing a couple could do together?

A mix of physical, mental, and vulnerable nakedness

16. Which song lyric has had the biggest impact on you?

“Some day you will be loved…”

17. Do you believe in ghosts, aliens, or any mythical creatures?

Yes

18. When do you feel the most attractive?

When I’m wearing a really pretty dress & heels.

19. What’s the nicest thing you’ve ever done for someone else?

Just been there

20. What unanswerable question bothers you the most?

What will happen in the future

21. What do you think the best part of being married is?

Having someone to share life with

22. Have you ever had a premonition that came true?

Kinda. Times where I had intense dreams that I needed to do something, but also times where hearing news was like deja vu.

23. At what age did you start to consider yourself an adult?

um…maybe 24…

24. What is the meanest thing your inner voice tells you?

You are a failure at life.

25. Do you consider yourself a spiritual person?

Sometimes

26. What do you think your purpose in life is?

I wish I knew for sure. I do think that it is to do good and to work with people…

27. Were you ever tempted to cheat on a past partner?

No

28. What do you do when you’re feeling lonely?

Depends on when and where. Sometimes curl up into a ball, and other times push myself to find something interesting happening and go to that or just call a friend.

29. What type of animal would you like to be reincarnated as?

A fish in the Great Barrier Reef

30. Do you believe every life has an equal value?

Yes

31. Do you daydream more about the future or your past?

Future

32. What would instantly make you fall out of love with someone?

A feeling of calm.

33. Do you believe you’re going to be a good parent?

I hope so.

34. What scares you the most about growing old?

Getting old and dying alone.

35. Do you like the sound of your name?

Yes

36. Which celebrity do you think you’d be BFFs with?

I have no clue

37. Do you believe in fortune tellers and tarot cards?

Not sure.

38. How long did it take you to learn to love yourself?

I’ve gone back and forth. Two years ago I finally got out of being in a place that made it hard to remember to love myself.

39. What do you think the afterlife consists of?

Being happy- both being with those one loves and doing the thing ones loves without any of the awkwardness and mistakes of this world.

40. Have you ever manipulated someone to get what you wanted?

Yes.

41. Do you believe in love at first sight or do you think it takes time to grow?

A mix. I think that there is something that happens in the first interaction that allows for love to grow.

42. Which celebrity death impacted you the most?

None- I don’t really follow pop culture so much.

43. Do you write in script or print?

Print, although every so often I have a strong desire to write in script.

44. Which wild animal do you wish you could keep as a pet?

An elephant

45. Do you believe in destiny?

Kinda.

46. If you had to get a tattoo to honor someone, who would it be?

Women of the Talmud

47. Do you feel like anything is missing from your life?

Yes

48. What’s the most childish thing you still love to do?

Color

49. What bad habit have you managed to break?

Biting my nails

50. Do you believe success comes in the form of money or happiness?

I want to say happiness- but there is something to having money to function in the world too.

Interior

Posted in Daily Prompt

Feeling Pain in Times of Joy

 

My insides are very not calm. I feel like I am in a constant state of stress. I am feeling lost. I am feeling torn. I am feeling like I just don’t know what to do with myself.

Thank God, my brother and sister-in-law gave birth to a healthy baby boy yesterday. I am very happy to be an auntie. I’m very excited for them. It is going to be exciting and new to have a baby in the family; for my brother to become a father; for my parents to become grandparents. But this news also tore at my heart. I want to have a baby. I want to be married. I should be the one with a kid. Instead of being the one that doesn’t have a job, doesn’t have a house, doesn’t have a significant other – basically has nothing at this point. I worry that I will not ever have this, and so I am pained. I am excited about going to visit them next week,  and I hope that they will never know the pain that this is causing me.

I am thankful to have parents that love and care for me. I meet so many people who don’t have that. But at the same time, having them take care of me over the past few weeks has been one of the most difficult times I have faced. My heart sinks every time I need to go home. I feel like I am back to being in high school, where I need my parents to take me places; where my parents know my friends and what I am doing with myself every single day. I try (or am trying) to have it not bring me down- but staying with them just makes me feel like a failure and a loser. But again, I should be happy. I have a place to stay for free; food to eat; and even a ride to everywhere I need…yet this all fills me with sadness.

I am thankful to have the opportunity right now to choose again where in the world I want to live. The entire world is open at this point. It is quite amazing. But it is also awful. I feel unsettled, and in my unsettled state I am finding it hard to figure out where I should try to go next. Every place has its benefits. I really have no idea where I should be going next. I want to be with my friends, which would mean to go back to Israel- but I don’t think that is possible. So then where to? I applied for CPE residency for next year, and I now have an interview. If I get it and take it, I would  be staying in NY for another year, at least. I want to have a reason to be settled, but at the same time I recognize that settling down means I lose part of my ability to just move and explore this very big world.

I think back to only a month ago, when I was in Australia. My back was not in knots. I was mostly happy (yes, I was lonely at times –  which could be a problem for moving back). I enjoyed what I was doing. I liked the people I was spending most of my time with. There was something calming about the city (very much not like NYC , especially the traffic coming in).

As the New Year is coming (again) I hope that things will settle, and once again I will be able to feel a sense of calm and happiness.

via Daily Prompt: Calm