Do you ever just feel blah? Like completely and utterly Blah? That’s how I’ve been feeling lately. And trust me when I say Blah is a feeling. It’s the feeling you get hen you’re stuck home not feeling well for too long. It’s the feeling you get when that 15 day vacation you took feels too long by day 10. It’s that feeling you get when Monday is approaching and you realized you’ve watched most of a show and haven’t seen daylight in 48 hours. You’re at that point where the couch isn’t comfy anymore and you’re tossing and turning in bed because you’ve basically been ‘taking it easy’ and laying down all day.
I’m feeling blah. That’s been me for almost two weeks. I haven’t been able to go about my normal routine or be myself. I’ve been under the weather and it’s been eating me alive. It feels like it’s eating me alive. I know it’s not but the feeling like you’re going to jump out of your skin? That’s what I’m feeling most of the day for the last 5 days. I’m trying to tell myself it’s okay to feel blah. It’s just a feeling. Blah isn’t permanent, it’s just the feeling and mood for right now.
However I’m so sick of feeling blah. Ya feel? I kind of just want to feel anything different. I want to be able to do anything different than what I‘be been doing. I just can’t right now. So in the midst of Blah I will sit. I will breathe through the Blah. I will work through the Blah. But again, just so you know blah is a very real feeling. It’s neither here nor there... it’s just simply blah.
College was quite the experience for me. Truthfully, I strongly disliked almost every minute of it. I love learning and writing… I just hate being graded and tested on my work. The pressure of passing or failing made the experience stressful and under stress I don’t learn well. I’m not the type of girl who went to the Hillel on campus, joined clubs, attended frat parties, or even Shabbatons/holiday parties. I wanted to get in and get out of school as quickly as I could. Ironically, what should have taken me four years to complete took me five and here’s the story of how and why.
I’m very stubborn. My stubbornness and strong desire of not wanting to be in school showed. I left readings to last minute if I did them at all. I would barely set time aside to study for tests and when Professors said attendance didn’t hinder my grade I didn’t show up unless I had to. I had a 7:45am math class my first semester of College. I’m not one who likes waking up that early to be sitting in a classroom learning math of all subjects. Most mornings I showed up I was fighting myself from nodding off. Most of the time it didn’t work and my head would dramatically drop to one side scaring the life out of me, which would cause me to gasp and wake up. After that semester I never took a class that early again. I would take my tests, hope for the best, get okayish grades due to my lack of effort and it never occurred to me until three semesters in to check my GPA.
When I checked my GPA I was shocked. It was so low I felt like if a squirrel was in my class, it would be doing better than I was. I didn’t know what to do. My father is a beyond intelligent individual and take schooling very seriously. Having a good education and being well educated is one of the many keys to success. All my Father ever wanted was to set us up for success and pass on as much knowledge as he could so we can thrive. Well, my paternal grandmother passed on unshakable stubbornness and I mostly chose to emulate her and go my own way. I was in a state of panic. I was put on academic probation for two semesters. I had a total to 30 weeks to get myself together and figure out this whole good grades and college thing. Mind you, High school was a joke for me. I never learned study habits that worked because most of my teachers spoon fed us information. Over the course of 30 weeks I had to change my whole approach to studying and I was drowning from the stress and pressure.
Aside from that, I was getting engaged during this time. That wasn’t exactly a breeze either. Each of our parents had their reservations about the other. I taught Pole dancing and expressed my opinions loudly. Mo completed 60 credits in College and decided it was not for him. I’m sure there were way more reservations but I can tell you its exhausting trying to get people to love the person you love as much as you do. It was endless fight and during my last 15 weeks to prove I can do this College thing, with family objecting loudly, Mo flew me to Disney and proposed. It was magical and wonderful however, paired with the stress of being engaged, convincing our parents to be on board, and planning a wedding those 15 weeks flew by and I didn’t get my GPA to where it needed to be. I was shaking in my pants and when I refreshed my student profile it said Hold: “academically dismissed.” My heart almost stopped in that moment. I called up my College advising office and asked if there is anyway this can be reversed. Can I have a second, second chance. I needed that second, second chance.
I was informed I can submit and appeal to this decision and if the appeal was accepted I would have to appear in front of a 10 person panel to be listened to, then judged by then. If they decided my circumstances to cause me to fall behind were legitimate, I would get back into school. Keep in mind I could NOT let my parents find out. I couldn’t tell anyone aside from Mo, My sister and best friends. So I sat down to write them all the reasons, events in my life, and stresses that would cause one to flunk out of school. That essay was 16 pages long, and that was me cutting it short. I had to get that essay notarized and submitted within 48 hours of when I saw I had been Academically dismissed. Probably one of the most stressful times of my life. Getting the appeal requirements in on time an then waiting to hear if they accepted my appeal. I had to wait 8 weeks, apparently this happened to hundreds of students a semester. I had to have a better story than 80 students because they do not allow everyone back in. I finally got a call that I had to appear in front of a panel. The began questioning me about things they highlighted in my essay. Each one made a comment along the lines of “Wow, that’s rough.” Or “That’s enough stress for a lifetime.” Then I was asked how I would make sure that I wouldn’t let my grades slip through the cracks again. I said truthfully, I really don’t know. Whatever it is though, when I figure out what method works for me I’m giving it 150% of my effort. I didn’t care if all I was doing was eating, sleeping, attending school and that’s it. I needed to figure this out and get my degree. After 30 minutes of talking amongst themselves a majority vote came in deciding that I should be allowed back in and they made sure to tell me this was my very last chance.
I got married and studying and taking night classes was very difficult. People would invite us to hangout on week nights, Shabbos, and Sundays. I was almost always saying no, and with my husband being a huge social butterfly it was a struggle for us. I ended up giving in because I was scared he would resent me, and he never chose to student life so trying to understand the work I needed t put in didn’t come easy. On Shabbos when I should have been reading at least 5 chapters from two textbooks at a time was spent socializing and secretly I was being eaten up by anxiety. I was so anxious and afraid that I would fail again, but I was a wife now and I had to figure out how to balance and chase my own dreams while I fancied my Husband’s dreams too. Family kept saying they never see us, friends were telling me I don’t exist and my Husband was starting to feel isolated. I was being eaten alive by the pressure of balancing both and then my health began to spiral out of control. My IBS (irritable bowel syndrome) got so much worse. Most of my classes I couldn’t attend because I was half the day doubled over in pain. Stress, along with triggering foods, caused me to spend way too many sleepless nights in the ER and all I could think is “WHY ME.” “What have I done so wrong, that something always has to go wrong.” Aside from my IBS being an issue I started having partial seizures. I was paralyzed from anxiety. I was so scared that while driving to class I would have a seizure and my doctor expressed the same concerns. My Neurologist wrote me a letter to excuse me from classes that semester on medical leave. However, I was already set back from being academically dismissed. I wasn’t ready to slow things down even more. I explained to my Professor’s that I could do assignments from home, I can prepare myself for exams and participate in group projects all from home, and when I could I would try my very best to make it in for the exams to take in person.
Compassion again was what I was given. My professors were so accommodating to me. I mean, when you get a note from a Neurologist saying a student is having unpredictable partial seizures… it usually freaks people out to some extent. I also believed that none of those professor’s wanted me dropping out of my chair in class, convulsing, like I was trying to act out an exorcist movie. That visual can cause trauma to any bystanders. Its frightening, and very ugly. So I was granted the ability to do assignments from home. Some Professors made it easy and gave me different assignments than the class that would count as majority of my grade for each little percentage that made up my final grade. Three semesters went by like this and I finally found my method that worked. Add a doctor’s note from a neurologist, subtract the stress of driving to school, subtract the social anxiety I got sitting in a classroom setting, add teaching material to myself, add being able to work because less time was spent in school and Viola I was getting all A’s and B’s.
For those wondering, my Father did find out about my academic dismissal 2 semesters before I finally graduated. I had a car accident driving to school my second semester in. Two and a half years later, the taxi driver who was 100% at fault decided to sue me. I was called by a Geico agent who was representing me in court that I has to show up with him. The first time I had to show up I was called the night before saying the Taxi driver was out of the country. The lawsuit should have but didn’t end there. I had to appear in court again but the time and date chosen was when I had lab. Any college student knows that you do not and cannot miss lab. So I asked my lawyer if he can show up on my behalf and tell the judge I was academically dismissed from college previously so I cannot under any circumstances miss lab or any class because I can risk my last shot at graduating. Mr. Hong, my lovely agent did exactly that. However, my contact information had two numbers. My cell phone number and my parents’ house phone number. Mr. Hong left the following message on my parents answering machine “Hi Rachel, It’s Mr. Hong from Geico calling. The Judge accepted you reasoning for not attending this court date and said the following “Because Miss. Rachel Dublinsky wasn’t able to show up due to being on academic probation for being previously academically dismissed, we’re going to settle on half the requested amount.” My father quickly interrupted the message and picked up. Questioned Mr. Hong and quickly realized my Father had no idea I was academically dismissed. I then get a call to my cell phone from Mr. Hong and when I pick up I hear “I am so sorry! So I said, why did we lose? No, you got a pretty good deal. I’m sorry because I left a very detailed message on your parents Phone that said you were previously academically dismissed and now on probation. I didn’t know your parents didn’t know… I am so sorry! Please don’t hate me.” “Oh God! Mr. Hong. I don’t hate you but just so you understand I am a grown a** married woman. I do not share everything with my parents anymore. I live under my own roof. Thank you for your help with the case, I’ll text you my funeral arrangements if I don’t survive what’s to come.” My father called me in a state of panic, but I wouldn’t be my Father’s daughter if I didn’t almost give him a heart attack every few years. And Dad, if you’re reading this I love you! Breathe because I FINALLY GRADUATED!!!! I am now the proud owner of a piece of paper that says I have a BA in Psychology.
A letter I wrote addressing those who ask "Are you pregnant?" for Nashim Magazine earlier this year:
To the nosey person who asks “how far a long are you” or anything similar,
I wish you knew how invasive this question is. I wish you understood that for many women you ask this question to, you are bringing up a hard and painful topic. I wish you were able to grasp that although society acts like people get married and BAM pregnant the minute they want to, it doesn’t always work out that way. For some people, they get married and simply want to wait to have children. I know. To you, It’s absolutely crazy. Why would they wait? What’s the problem? Well, to list a few reasons they can want to finish their education. They may have just gotten a good job and realize people often don’t like to hire a freshly pregnant woman. They may feel like the foundation of their relationship needs some more work before they begin raising impressionable minds. They may be afraid of motherhood and need some time to mentally and emotionally prepare for this change. Each women who chooses to wait, not for medical reasons, will give you their personal reason. There are countless of them and understand that they are ALL valid reasons.
A woman you approach asking if she’s pregnant could have just miscarried, god forbid, for the first or fifth time. That one question can easily cause a Woman who pulled herself outside during this hard time to experience anxiety, depression, doubting her self-worth etc. The impact this question has on a Woman who is struggling to stay pregnant or get pregnant in the first place is devastating. You may have asked someone who after a long time of trying, got pregnant, but is so afraid to say it out loud just yet because she’s expecting the worst.
I wish you understood that curvy women may look pregnant when they aren’t.
Women who have some medical conditions that cause them to bloat may look pregnant when they aren’t.
Women who have various diseases that impact their fertility may so badly want to be pregnant but can’t get pregnant so easily, or at all.
I wish you understood that if someone were pregnant and they haven’t publicly announced it or made an effort to tell you, its because they feel its not your business. They feel it’s the business of their family members and maybe closest friends. If you don’t text or hangout on a consistent basis, you can safely assume that you aren’t hearing such personal news first. Starting a conversation with “So… when are you guys having kids..” is not a conversation starter or how you open a conversation with someone you haven’t seen since High School.
I wish you understood that Pregnancy, the decision to grow one’s family, isn’t about you or your opinion or the timeline you think everyone should live by. Pregnancy is a personal, very personal, topic that is meant to be kept between a Husband, wife, and the doctor of their choice. If and when they decide to start this HUGE life changing step is up to them and god, not you. If and when they choose to share this news, its their right to bring up, not yours. It’s their right to not feel pressured into having to tell someone they are, or about their struggles if they aren’t. It’s their right to have their reasons for waiting and shouldn’t ever be made to feel they owe you an explanation.
I wish this wasn’t a letter that had to be written. This is a topic of discussion that when you tell someone a story about the time you asked a women if she was pregnant, the audience almost immediately responds with “Oh. My. God. You NEVER ask a women if she’s pregnant.” Yet, I am still here addressing all the people who are still asking.
Please, stop asking. Catch yourself. Think about what someone may be going through. This question is a nonchalant conversation starter like “Hey! How was lunch?” This is a loaded question. An emotionally packed question. A question that way too often invades the privacy of many women and their significant other’s.
Rachel Sara Safer
A letter I wrote addressing my Anxiety for Nashim Magazine earlier this year:
Who are you? Why do you keep following me? Why do you continuously reach out when I’m clearly ignoring your existence? You don’t belong here with me. Our personalities clash. I’m happy, go with the flow & you’re constantly worried and tense. They say opposites attract, but why am I attracting you? If I can remember our first encounter, it was quick & curt. Like brushing past a stranger on a busy NYC street. I never pictured us becoming part of each other. Why me? You’re like a bad case of lice that won’t go away. I feel you everywhere but it’s so incredibly hard to see you. I feel like I can only fully see you when I close my eyes, but when they’re closed all I see if a terrifying & empty darkness. Is that what you look like? Or am I being catfished? People tell me I’m too young to have a relationship with you, so how is our relationship happening? People constantly tell me I need to have children, a house, or bigger burdens to feel your presence. They don’t believe that at the age of 22 your presence is all I feel. Did you purposely pick me so I’d look crazy and you’d feel powerful? Make me seem like I’m seeking attention when I’m simply seeking refuge? I’m not going to sugar coat it for you anymore because you clearly aren’t getting the message. I DO NOT WANT YOU IN MY LIFE. I’ve tried so hard to end this toxic relationship, but it seems you’ve rooted yourself in me. It seems like I’ve ignored your presence for too long. I gave you time to plant your seeds & enroot yourself in me. How can we part ways peacefully? How can I stop hearing crippling at the sound of your voice? How can I stop hearing your jealous voice screaming in my ear when I’m trying to enjoy the presence of my Husband, Family & Friends? How can I take back the power you have over my mind, my heartrate, & how fast I breathe?
I’ve danced you out time and time again, but here you are. Sitting across the room, glaring at me. I’ve written. I’ve sang my heart out in the car. I’ve learned breathing techniques. I’ve meditated. I’ve given myself countless of pep talks. With each attempt I gain control of myself for just a few more seconds. Day by day, slow progress, but I’ll take those few more seconds any day. Then like a tidal wave, your presence comes crashing down in an attempt to wash away everything I’ve worked on. You show up at birthday dinners, simcha’s, school, car rides. Who keeps inviting you? Can’t you see you aren’t wanted? I don’t want to be friends. I don’t even want to be acquaintances! Can we go back to being strangers? The time before you were lurking in the dark corners of my mind while I denied you were there? The time before you knew I existed would be great!
I’m sick of feeling alone. I’m sick of you making me seem ‘crazy’ and ‘not normal’. I’m sick of hearing your voice telling me to panic over nothing. I’m sick of you bringing up the past & future. I’m sick of you controlling my present which causes me not to be present! I’m sick of you creeping up behind me, closing your hands tightly around my neck when I almost forget you exist. I’m sick of you making me suddenly feel like I’m dying when I finally smile, really smile! It’s exhausting constantly fighting with you for control over my mind & body. Don’t be fooled, I’ll fight you until my very last day. I’ll exploit your tricks to everyone. You told me to keep this blindfold over my eyes & stay quiet. You said it would protect me. I took it off for less than a second & funny enough realized I wasn’t alone. I was sitting beside so many familiar faces. I was sitting beside people who would obviously be anxious based on their life circumstances. I was sitting beside others whose causes of anxiety were more of a mystery. Still, sitting beside a sea of people suffering because like me you’ve enrooted yourself in them too.
I tried to speak about you to the others but every time I open my mouth your limbs covered it; your voice silenced me. I realized that is where you get your strength from. If I stay quiet, if I succumb to the pressure of societal norms and go with the stigma, you swallow me whole. You will swallow all of us
whole. I don’t feel lonely anymore. I’m stronger because I figured out your weakness. I won’t stay silent & feed your strength a day longer. We’ve learned your techniques & tricks. Now we can see you just manipulate us & lie to us. I’m happy because one day I’ll be able to look back on the memory of you & laugh. We’ll conquer you. We’ll fight you. We’ll end you. Why? Because together, WE CAN overcome anything.
Your newest enemy,
Rachel Sara Safer
In one of my classes of this semester I was given a homework assignment. I was told to write about myself. Who are YOU? I walked through the rest of my day distracted by this question. Who am I? I don't know. Who am I really? I don't know! There was this mental block that I couldn't break through. I wasn't allowing myself to be vulnerable with this assignment. I kept saying well.. I'm Rachel. I'm Jewish. I'm a daughter, sister, wife. I'm a student. I'm 22 years old. I'm a writer. I'm a blogger. I'm a dancer. It stopped there. I couldn't allow myself to think past the surface. I was being stubborn.
I sat. I danced it out. I paced. I scrolled through Instagram. I took a walk on the beach by sunset. The same question kept haunting me, echoing in the back of my head. "Who are YOU?.
I disconnected with myself for a minute, I looked at myself as an outsider. I pushed through that wall just a tiny bit and wrote whatever came to mind. It was informal but it was raw thoughts of who I am on a sheet of paper.
I am a person who has a lot on her mind. I am a person scared to know who she is. I am worrying about many things. I care too much. I'm so sensitive at random times I cry thinking about how proud I am of my friends or how much they are currently hurting. I wonder how old friends are doing. Are they happy? I wonder if my late grandparents saw my wedding & if they're proud. I'm nervous I'm either doing it all wrong. I'm someone who doesn't give myself enough credit. I love having people in my home, but I get overwhelmed with the preparation. I plan 10 steps ahead and always think about the "What if's". I give good advice but rarely take my own. My heart breaks when I see homeless people, animals being abused or abandoned, couples breaking up/ getting divorced, friends and family dealing with illness. I put too much on my plate a lot because I want to be everyone's super hero. I listen to old songs and vividly remember the moments behind why it's special to me. I stare at the sunrise and sunsets in amazement at god & all of god's abilities. My mind never sleeps because i'm always thinking about those random unanswered questions and mysteries. I'm someone who gives tough love, is stubborn, not too sugar coated, & blunt. People often mistake me for being a bitch when truthfully i'm not. I act like I don't care about things when I really care with all my heart. I add a million things to my cart daily and delete them. I wonder if I chose the right career path. I cry hysterically on demand thinking about a life without my husband. I become a dear in headlights if I see people from middle school. I get uncomfortable when people bring up my Instagram account to me. I'm pretty happy that I've messed up in life because I was taught valuable lessons. I can clean up someone else's open wounds or vomit but if I have a cut or feel sick it's the end of the world. I google my symptoms and panic I have a deathly illness for days after the search. I sing really loudly when I'm in the car alone to let all the feels out. I could keep going but it seems like I have opened up an endless abyss of thoughts and feelings. Truth be told, everyday I'm still getting to know myself better. Some days I like who I am, other days I need to try really hard to smile at my reflection. I'm not a bad person, but at times my inner demons & insecurities come up in the ugliest ways. I'm not always brave enough to face them.
Who am I? I am a work in progress stitched together by all of my past experiences and memories. I am stitched together by my mistakes and lessons learned. I am stitched together by my hopes, dreams & goals. I am Rachel Safer.
but I have a question too, Who are YOU?
Most people made their new years resolutions before 2019 started. To be honest, I really had no interest in making any declared resolutions this time around. I'm still not going to, I'm not sure if its because of how cliche they are, but once I declare a resolution I never get it done. I decided I'm going to make a huge lifestyle change that is crucial for my health. I'm not a person who is pro dieting, I strongly believe a healthy balanced diet is much better for people than completely cutting food groups out. There is a pyramid of all the food groups for a reason. We shouldn't only consume an abundance of food from one group, but in moderation with balanced meals these food groups are very healthy. Unless you have an allergy, then stay away!
After spending way too many nights in the ER from the end of 2017 until the end of 2018 I finally realized the pain I feel from my IBS won't stop until I change the way I live. The sharp pains when my IBS would flare up sent me doubled over screaming in pain. Many times this would occur at home, many times this would occur while I was driving to and from college. To me, there is no worse time than having these pains while stuck in traffic during rush hour. To look more normal I would blast music and scream sing the lyrics to get through the pain. This year and every year ahead, unless its for good reasons, I don't want to see a hospital or another hospital bracelet on my wrist.
How am I going to change all of the pain and hospital visits into living a healthy life? Well.. BIPPITY BOPPITY BOOP!! Just joking, I'm not a magical fairy godmother. I am starting a new natural medication called "Whole Biome IBS" which slowly puts all the healthy Synbiotics that live in people's stomachs back inside mine. This will hopefully help me tolerate the food I eat better while lessening the annoyingly painful symptoms of living with IBS. Additionally I started a Low FODMAP diet. FODMAP's are short chained carbohydrates that are poorly absorbed/digested in the smaller intestine. Eating foods that are Low FODMAP is feeding my body foods it doesn't need to start war with in order to digest.
There are MANY foods that I love to eat which unfortunately fall under the High FODMAP category. Three foods I'll have a hard time without are onions, garlic and cow's milk. (I don't eat those three all together...yuck!) I'm not yet used to almond milk and really love the taste of onions and garlic in most of the things I cook. They will be missed, but if my stomach pains stop from not eating them, I can live with admiring them from a distance. This is something that has to be done "cold turkey". I can't slowly ween off of these foods because I'll continue to flare up. However, I was told after I do a course of the "Whole Biome IBS" I can slowly reintroduce certain foods into my diet to see how my body handles them. If it doesn't go well, it's goodbye to most dairy products, a lot of fruits & veggies, processed, fried & fatty foods forever.
I'll probably feel much healthier & look better ditching these foods but I have such a weakness for all things processed, fried & fatty. I mean most good Jewish foods that I like are fried and fatty... and I have a weakness for candy. Follow along this journey via Instagram, I'm sure it will be an interesting experience. I may even start to share recipes if I get better at it!
P.s I'll also be exercising more often & drinking more water. Changing my actual eating habits will be the biggest challenge of the three. Once I figure out a workout routine I love, I'll share what I do.
As the new year approaches I always get nostalgic. I reflect back on the past 365 days remembering the good days and bad. Taking a moment to appreciate those who were there for both. Taking the time to see where I could have done better. Taking the time to actually feel the stuff I was too busy to deal with. I spend time figuring out what direction I want to go in for the upcoming year. Each year I compile a list of goals & new years resolutions. As each year comes to an end, I laugh at how different the year actually went. This year I'm going to just let things happen. No plan. No goals. No pressure to be this "New year, New Me."
This year, more than any previous year, has been one insane roller coaster. There were so many high's where I felt on top of the world and so many lows where I felt like my heart and stomach were still in the air as I screamed the whole way down. Life is CRAZY. I got married this year. I never thought it would be this magical Disney movie type of thing. During this year I have learnt so much about myself and my Husband. We know how to push each other's buttons better than ever before. We know how to make each other laugh hysterically over such stupidity. We've learnt what to say to help the other feel okay. We've learnt exactly what we shouldn't say to each other. We've learned to apologize to each other. All of these things may seem so dumb, but they are HUGE accomplishments. Figuring them out had many ups & downs, but I wouldn't change them for anything. People have this idea that you can't fight or your marriage isn't okay. How can you actually love each other and fight with each other. I learned you CAN do both. I love my Husband tremendously, but we're also very different, passionate people who must have the last word. Sometimes things get heated, we each get annoying, but we never stop loving each other. Loving someone shouldn't be based on the condition if you're fighting or not. It's ALWAYS unconditional, if it's not, that's when you should be worried.
This year I had a few complications with my health. I tried SO MANY different diets. I tried SO many workout routines. I figured out that what I need is sleep, a lot of water, and a balanced diet. I learned that not every diet will work for me because it worked for my friend. I learned that the best workout for me is dancing. I learned a lot of what I needed to feel better than I was, were moment of self care. I started taking time to write again, dance again, take bubble baths. If I feel over whelmed, I feel tired, I feel stressed I stop everything & draw a bath, light candles, and listen to music. I've learned it's super important for me to actually put my health first instead of focusing on other peoples issues. I would allow other peoples problems consume me & take up all my time trying to help them, I neglected myself. This year I learned a balance of how I can give a listening ear without giving up too much of myself. I've learned it's okay to tell people "I love you. I want to listen, but right now I have too much going on. I really need to focus on my health & I won't be much of help unless it's just to be a listening ear." I finally understand you can be a good friend, even if you have to put yourself first at times.
This year I've learnt that money comes and goes. I've felt that suffocating burden of losing money. I've felt that enraging lack of understanding after someone screws you over. I've also learnt to turn to G-d from it. I've really understood the saying "Don't shoot the messenger". I understood that there were so many warnings I ignored before this happened. I was able to stand firmly behind the belief that everything is in G-d's control. Money, health, loved ones is all a gift from him & he can take it back whenever He wants. Does it hurt sometimes? YES. Do we always understand why? NO. Is it always for the best even if we can't see why? YES. One of the biggest stresses on a marriage is financial pressure. I've been warned about this by almost everyone. Is losing money scary? YES IT IS. Does financial pressure always end relationship's? Only if you let it. I never got married for Money or materialistic things. Losing money was annoying to deal with but I never lost my the man I married. I never lost the foundation of my marriage. Our love goes deeper than any wallet size or bank account number. In fact, we're even closer after experiencing that big loss. We've learnt how to really communicate & be there for each other the most during that time. We've learnt that money isn't everything. We were pushed to change our focus & priorities which was really great for us. Struggles suck, but they're so much better when you go through it together.
This year for my Instagram page I've had many meaningful conversations with people I've never met before. I've formed close bonds with loyal & interactive followers. I attended my first blogging event with my Blogging Buddy, Rachel Dube. I had the opportunity to collaborate with other bloggers and companies to promote products, giveaways, help beat Instagram's new annoying algorithms and help spread important messages. I had to go out of my comfort zone and show that I will not tolerate people trolling on my page, commenting rude things or showing up in my DM with accusations, assumptions, attacks or inappropriate images. My following grew by 2-3k in the past year. I have discovered so many new awesome bloggers, brave voices, and awesome modest fashion companies. I was locked out of my original blogging platform so started this one (which I like better anyway!) This coming year on January 6th I'll be celebrating 3 years from when I started my Instagram page & blogging platform. This year my first article was published in Nashim Magazine discussing the lack of acceptance withing the Jewish Community. This year Instagram has pushed me further out of my comfort zone, helped me grow as a person, & helped me find the confidence to actually use my voice.
This year I have learned it's okay to let go of old friends, especially if they hurt you. It's okay to walk away from ANYONE if they hurt you in anyway. It doesn't matter if it's a family member or friend. It can be extremely hard but if they are causing you constant stress & pain, cut the strings. It's not worth your peace of mind. I've cut many strings this year & my burden feels so much less. I also understood it's okay if people let me go. I came to terms with the fact that you need certain people in your life to teach you something & that's it. When the lesson is over, you are no longer needed or healthy for their existence & they are no longer needed or healthy for yours. That's okay & normal.
2018 was a roller coaster, 2019 will be a roller coaster too. Ups and downs are something we can't escape. Stress isn't something you can completely get rid of. I guess if I had to make any goal for 2019 it would be to enjoy the ride & push myself to focus on the bigger picture as often as I can. I hope to take the lessons from 2018 with me through 2019! Stay tuned for this coming years adventures. Two things I'm really excited about are Graduating & getting my BA Psychology & for Our honeymoon!!
Happy New years to all my incredible followers & readers!! I hope this coming year is better than you expect it to be :)
One of the hardest things for people to do these days is to sit alone without any distractions listening to the sounds of their own thoughts. It's actually pretty frightening to think about where your mind will travel to when you're left alone. The possibility of all your insecurities and fears creeping up on you from the darkest corners of your mind. The possibility you might even realize you love yourself a little more than you portray. Are you content with where you stand in your life? Have you succeeded or failed? Have you accomplished more or less than you expected to? Who are your true friends? Will anyone notice if you just stopped showing up? Are you as a human being enough with just your personality? What defines you in other peoples eyes? Are people scared to be upfront and real with you? So many possibilities of questions than can swirl through your mind. So many answers you may be unsure of. It's absolutely terrifying. I think we're all just scared to realize how much we don't know ourselves. Maybe it's even we're so used to being looked at a certain way, we may start to see we deserve and are better. When people compliment you, do you believe them? Do you believe you are lovable, worthy, beautiful, unique? Do you think you're good company or a Debbie downer? Something I started doing a little while ago was spending time with myself and my thoughts. Not trying to control my thoughts or redirect where they go. I just sit down, breathe, and let my mind wander. I realized I can never be the best version of myself or attain what I'm supposed to in life unless I'm comfortable being by myself. The most contradictory thing about me is that I'm scared to be alone with myself but I love being independent. I love tackling things on my own and caring for myself. The second it comes down to being alone without any distractions or things to tackles I try to avoid it. Since I started really exploring my mind, I've been able to work on things about myself I didn't fully love. I learned what triggers certain character traits I'm not necessarily proud of which has helped me stop those behaviors in their tracks. Let's be real for a second, I'm not amazing at any of this. Some days I still lose my cool and avoid my own thoughts. Now, I am able to see the importance and benefit of what happens once I allow myself to. Its hard to do, scary, and you will feel extremely vulnerable. One thing I'm sure of, it's worth it.