The Way I Am

 

Sometimes you find insight to yourself in the strangest places.

 

You forget the ways in which you touch the lives of others around you, and maybe that’s a good thing? Maybe that’s how we stay grounded. We don’t see in the moment the difference we make, but then there are these times many years later that we are given the chance to reflect with those people, and not only do we know they are better, but so are we.

 

I don’t know at what level I’ve been a help to others, I don’t know that I ever really try to be to be honest. I’m always here, for any and every person who ever needs me that I care about. That’s just my nature and it always has been. If I care for you I’ll drop what I can at a moments notice to be there. I always hope for that same support in return.

 

In some ways it’s bittersweet that I’ve always ended up being the step up in the lives of those I care for. It has really felt a sort of, always the bridesmaid never the bride kind of thing? Though I’m not sure that’s the right analogy since I’m getting divorced, but it seemed somewhat apropos.

 

I really hope I have found my stop in life, that said I had a moment today to feel good about the bad in my past. While there has been heartache and difficulty in walking away, it’s left me and the opposing parties better off, and it seems I’m not the only one who knows it. I’m glad for that. I also know that once you know someone very closely for a long time, there is always part of them that you’ll recognize in a way that I think no one else will. That’s just the way it is.

 

I am always me, but in the last few years I have blossomed and become a much more open version of myself. Lately the parts of myself that I’ve closed and felt I had to hide are opening back up and meeting parts of my personality that are new. It’s been wonderful and freeing. The amount of stress I have on my shoulders is lower than I remember it being in a very long time. I also can’t remember being this happy. If I ever have been, it’d be tough to find the time and match it up.

 

Everything is peaceful. It’s quite in the noise, and center in the chaos. I am filled with happiness.

 

This both reminds me of my past, and my present.

 

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Don’t look back, There’s only pillars of salt.

I know I,

Have lost my way,

And I know I,

Have seen better days,

The past will fade away,

If I just pray

Lot’s wife is told not to look back at Sodom, for if she does she will turn to a pillar of salt. She was so swept up in the longing for her former way of living that she is tempted into looking, and immediately becomes the pillar.

What a sad thing one would think, such dwelling on what would be considered a tempted and evil life, one doomed to death, why look back? It raises many thoughts to be sure.

While I can say I have probably lived in what you could call evil, I can’t say I’ve longed for it. I have, however, dwelled in it. I have carried it around like an albatross around my neck. I am guilty of letting my past draw me into looking back more times than Lot’s wife ever did or could have. The past few weeks have made me reflect on that. Yom Kippur was a turning point for me. It was the first time I allowed myself to let go of some things. Things I have been holding onto since adolescence. I stood in the sanctuary and I felt pain leave me that I’d never felt able to let go of. Exasperation I had felt, and shame toward myself, feelings that I had finally realized were so utterly misplaced. I finally placed it all where it belonged, for the first time. Also for the first time, I truly atoned. I apologized, for every curse, every ill word, and every bit of blame I ever put on God. In my weakness, there was always strength, it was simply not my own. The proof positive in that is my life. Against all odds, somehow I live on, thought many times my life has been in such close danger of ending.

So Baruch HaShem. I shall no longer look back, for I have no desire to be a pillar of salt.  I desire to be here, now, looking ahead and around. I want to embrace all that I have and am today, NOW. It is time to put the past behind me, and let it fade away. Being hurt and angry, and pained over things that cannot be changed, does nobody any benefit, least of all myself. Finally fully accepting that there are things in this world that were inflicted upon me, that I had no control over, and did not deserve, has made all the difference.

I leave you today with a beautiful song by The Tin Man called “I Know I”, my post title and opening lines come from this song. I heard it early this spring, not knowing what it would mean to me now.

Spiritual awakening, the start of my conversion to Judaism.

I would rather think of life of as a good book. The further you get into it, the more it begins to come together and make sense. 

This quote is credited to Rabbi Harold Kushner, I feel like it could not be more relevant to my life, in general, or right now.

When I think over my life there has been a large amount of pain, turmoil, and hurt, but there has been joy, and love, as well as extreme happiness. I searched from a very young age for more. From Catholicism, to Evangelism, Judaism, to even Buddhism. I have learned a great many things about what those around me had believed.

I have always felt there was more in this place than random design. Weather it be anger, sorrow or stubbornness, I have chided away from this in the past. I have gone to churches, tried to feel welcomed and fit. How could I ever find a home in a place where others were hated? Where a good and loving God would cast aside those who were different, and it was my duty, nay, calling to judge them and cast them away from me, or even worse the love of the creator of us all? There was no part of me that felt at home in those places, though my faith and connection spiritually never disappeared. I suppose you could call it a spark inside of me. A light that shone, even if it was dim at times.

This, is about how I came to find a start in my life, a path that I must walk to see where it leads, and where I believe it will lead. I say this, because for some reason I can’t help but feel that my feet already know the steps. I just need the hand to reach out and help guide me. I felt lost, yet not scared, I feel adrift, needing knowledge, yet I know that it will come, when it is time. For the first time in my life, ever, I feel like I have found solid footing in a world that has always felt so uncertain in my mind. Everything around me feels firm and planted.

I feel just as sure about the choices I am making now as I did choosing Zane, falling in love with Zane, and marrying him. There is nothing but clarity inside me. I feel as steady inside as I did in the NICU with Alexandr, knowing that I was his mother, and somehow, we would make it through. So many nights I sat in my glider or on my knees, holding the number to the NICU unit in my hand in the dead of night, crying, and praying, waiting to call and hoping for the safety of my child. I know he was kept safe. I’ve never lost faith, I’ve just never known where to place it, I’ve never known a home to hold that faith.

Next month I will begin a year long spiritually educational journey. A pilgrimage of my own as it were. I will immerse myself and our family fully to the practice and observance of Judaism. Every day I work to enhance my spiritual relationship with God. I will work very diligently to learn all I can and to live as Jewishly as possible, and raise my family this way. This includes following as many practices as we are able, including my fumbling attempts to convert our household to being Kosher (which has been mildly amusing).

I know I’m going to get this question from some, yes, my husband is Jewish. This however is not my reason for conversion. We have been married for some time now. Two years on Valentine’s day as a matter of fact. That said he has been non practicing for as long as I have known him. We are embarking on this journey of spirituality together, and feel it is a wonderful thing for us all, and is the way we want to conduct our home. The idea to convert was actually my own, it has been something I have considered for years. Starting in my teenage years. Sometimes you are just called from within. I believe Judaism called to me and always has.

If I haven’t told you personally about my conversion know that I told my family only directly and felt that announcing it this way was the best way to go about telling others. If you have any questions you’d like to ask me about it, any curiosities feel free to ask me privately, or comment. I am looking forward to this journey, and hope to share in some of it with you. I would love to hear from any of you who have gone through the conversion process, or talk to any of you who may be considering it.

I feel very much like my spiritual heart has found it’s home.

Shari

(The pictures at the top are my Magen David, to commemorate the start of my journey we decided a modest pendant to keep me in touch with my path, and remind me to pray was in order.)

Goodnight, Goodnight, Construction Site!

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I know I haven’t full out blogged in awhile, but that is because I started a vlog! I’ll be posting the videos here and I’ll start writing again as well. For now enjoy the newest video and you can go directly to my youtube channel to watch previous installments, which will also pop up at the end of this video. Please comment, like, subscribe. I’d love to hear from you guys! I have also started keeping up on Twitter and would love to interact with you guys during the day so feel free to follow along with me as I get into my random shenanigans.

 

https://twitter.com/TheKupoOne

 

Revival – Rejuvination – Rebirth

Xanga sent me a message recently telling me I needed to do something with my blog XML files. As a result I downloaded them onto this new blog. Starting today I’m going to be using this blog for myself. For no one but me. I will be posting just like I did in my younger years. I’ll talk about whatever I like and however I am feeling. Whatever it might be.

I look upon the road in front of me

the fork staring me in the face

paths to choose and hearts to make or break

my own heart heavy full of so much weight

my feet faulter and slip as I trekk the paths ahead

where are they? why has my resolve forsaken me

wounds open and full of pain too much to mend or abide in my mind

so much wanders so much winds trailing around too fast to grab on

my head spins my heart bleeds

someone save me?

bring me back from the brink

that precipice that I feel so close to falling

one slip and I’m down the rabbit hole

tumbling, tumbling, tumbling.

Sixteen weeks , still just a growin’. Yeesh.

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Hello everyone!

So it’s sixteen weeks and I’m feeling a bit huge. LOL. The expansion in the last two weeks feels like it’s a lot. I’m feeling much more energetic and robust. Had physical therapy today and got Daniel to run across the street from where it’s at to the DAV, we also hit up a Salvation Army thrift store, I was able to get five shirts and three pairs of pants, one pair of jeans I got were super friggin’ adorable but apparently the company is out of business. :-( The company is called Baby Style, they’re a bit too big bit that’s great. They look like this

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Also everyone meet Jake! He’s one of the children we got before deciding to have actual kids! lol He’s our Jack Russell Terrier, and he’s almost 7 years old. He’s our little goofball! At any rate, I’m super happy and excited and I’m really enjoying the journey so far. I really can’t wait to find out the sex of the baby and I’d really like to start buying things for the baby. I started looking for neat knick knack stuff at the thrift stores today, nothing really struck my fancy. Got myself a very large salad today and some garden cottage cheese. We had oxtail stew yesterday that Daniel spent the entire day slaving over, it was one of the most delicious things I’ve ever tasted. That’s my update for today! I’ll be back again soon!

Shari

Success isn’t how far you got, but the distance you traveled from where you started

Last week we set out with goals in mind. I could never have imagined the things we would accomplish. We’ve done more than I ever thought we could have and I’ve never been more proud. I’ll have to get with Daniel to confirm the “Officially” tracked number of miles we’ve done but it’s somewhere around 25 miles on foot in the last week. This week we’ve done some light walking but unfortunately real life has made it almost impossible to be able to do what we’ve wanted. Last Saturday we went walking to the Plaza, you can see me up there sitting on one of the many really pretty fountains we have. That was an eight mile walk. There’s so much of this city we would never have seen in a car. It’s so rich with history.

I don’t have a running phone case yet, Daniel does and I might get one this week, if so I will take more pictures on our adventures to chronicle the beautiful and unique things we get to see. We saw a retaining wall at the hospital the other day that struck me. It was made out of old railroad ties. The heat was causing the old tar to come out of the boards and it was dripping down them. I’ve driven by that same hospital many times and never noticed that.

Monday we went trying to find me a swim suit as I had lost mine and I’m certain that even if I had found it it would not have fit. Prior to any of this running I was already losing weight from eating better and work, in the last year and a half I’ve gone from a size 12/14 down to a size 4/6. As such, even if I could find the suit, it’s much larger than my current size. I don’t know if many of you ladies have tried going swim suit shopping this time of year but I assumed everything would be on clearance and I’d at least have a semi decent selection. That….was delusional, to say the least. Target…why you have such UGLY swim suits for twenty dollars per piece? Finally ended up at an Old Navy where I was able to get something not crazy or stupid for 10 bucks total, THAT was more like it. On Tuesday we worked in the pool for about an hour and a half, which helped my lungs a lot. Attempting to avoid looking like a wounded manatee was a bit harder LOL. After that we hit the bikes and the elliptical for a bit and decided to go for another walk. This one was another four miles. We stopped for dinner and to look around, found a cycling shop in Waldo we intend to visit, it was closed at the time. We also got to see all the really nice historic homes around here. It was a wonderful journey.

The rest of this week ended up being a little bit of a bust we didn’t get time to go do anything and I’m not sure what we will be able to do this weekend. At the very least I would like us to hit the gym and pool again Sunday but everything is so busy lately I don’t know. Next week has to be a different story, the run is the 28th and it’s coming up fast. Next week we will secure our entry and find out when to pick up our packets. My last day at work before this coming shut down is the 26th, then i’ll be off for another two weeks, this will give us plenty of time to do some more training as we intend on running more of these in the future. I work this coming Saturday so it’s going to be a little tough to squeeze all our time out right so we can do what we need to, but I am more determined than ever.

Official Weight as of Tuesday : 155. On the nose. (Must have gotten a lot of muscle for me to be a four and weight that much lol)

I will start tracking that on here, every time we go to the YMCA i will make sure to weight myself and later tonight I’m going to try to get a scale for the house.

Thank you for reading and I’ll keep updating! 😉

Shari