Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Life Ramblings

A reflection by iPayTooMuchForMyHair

As another year passes by I am forced (yes, literally....) to ponder 365 days worth of events. One thing I can say for sure is that life certainly doesn't get any easier. The decisions we faced in the past seem to pale in comparison to those of the present. I certainly wish I could go back to Kindergarten with nap time and coloring inside the lines! But the truth is the only way to develop our character is to live and learn. If there is one thing I can take away from the past year it is that friendship (along with family, obviously) is priceless. Friends are the family you choose. They are there every step of the way when your family geographically can't be.

One of the binding factors that keeps me so close to my friends is that we are all going through the same "struggles" together. In the past year we all left our bubble lives and embarked on our journey into the supposed "real world". This bubble personally consisted of very little responsibility. I was 100% supported by my parents right down to every penny of tuition for the undeservedly overpriced Stern College. I will forever be grateful to my father for not leaving me loans in my name. And not only tuition; clothing, food, airplane tickets home, and anything in the realm of going out with my friends was entirely on another person's bank account.

After the ties to financial freedom were sadly cut, I began to understand what it means to pay all the bills (OK well maybe not all. I plan to be on my family plan til the day I die :) ), go to work every day, and still make sure to take care of my own personal needs at the end of the day. it didn't take me long to realize that I am an expensive person. It took some time to learn the difference between 'want' and 'need' and I still struggle with this sometimes after a whole year.

After discussing some of these ideas with a friend the other day, we came to a conclusion. When you look at the big picture, the difference from one year to the next is huge. But that hasn't been difficult for any of us (Thank G-d). It's the day to day events that can really shake a person up. For example, it is more stressful for me to cook shabbos for 15 people at every meal than it is to pay rent on a month to month basis. Why is it easier to step up to the major changes in life than it is to deal with small stuff? I suppose the obvious answer is that there is no drowning option in the game of life. If we don't swim, and swim well, then we will have nothing to show for ourselves.

But we must not lose sight of what the importance of life is all about. I see all too often people that I know who graduate college, live away from home, haven't gotten married, and with each passing year they become more and more disconnected to their affiliation with religious Judaism. Personally knowing people in this situation makes me realize how strongly I never want this to happen to me. Our sole purpose in this world is to figure out our tafkid (designated job/purpose) and serve Hashem to the best of our ability while (hopefully) fulfilling that tafkid.

My friends are the people that I count on to keep me going on the right path. After all, life is a path, not a ladder (I don't know who gets credit for that line or if it even makes sense in this context, but Ezzie mentioned this to me today and I like it). We provide the support for each other to work through the daily obstacles and never judge one another for the decisions we make. Even if I have temporarily fallen, I know that they will be right there by my side to help me get back up.