Rosh Hashanah has just passed and we have entered a new year as Jewish people. The new year brings promises of hopes and dreams and a reflection of the past year. It also brings me the hee-bee-gee-bees. Rosh Hashanah is the time when the Book of Life is opened and names are transcribed for who will live and will die, who will be healthy and who will be sick. We are to make amends between now and Yom Kippur when the book is sealed.
At 27, I was given five years (max) to live. When you think you will barely see 30, you rejoice in being 41. To pray to be inscribed in the Book of Life is a whirlwind of emotions when on a sunny summer day you were told your days were numbered.
The practice of medicine is just that, a practice and with all the overbearing love our Jewish community could provide, my life was blessed by an amazing team of doctors and nurses who made it their life mission to save my life and countless others. Their practice of medicine and my (our) faith in G-d is why at 41 I am still here with the hee-bee-gee-bees during Rosh Hashanah.
It is not that I don't trust G-d, I do. I believe and have faith that my time here is not up. I believe I have much more to accomplish as a mother, friend, family member. I have more to give this world and I will continue to fight to be here. As I reflect on this last year, I am blessed to continue to learn to accept myself for exactly who I am and know that I am a perfect version of myself.
I am a lover and a fighter.
But can you be both?
The saying says "I am a lover, not a fighter."
Yes, you can be both.
I am truly a lover. I wear my emotions on my sleeve and have a hard time containing them. I will laugh louder than anyone in the room, I will smile bigger than those around me, I will cry harder than the saddest scene you see in a movie. My emotions are big. I share them. I am loyal to them. I respect them. If my heart is not fulfilled by those around me, I choose not to be around them. It does not make the others bad people, it makes me honest in whom I share my life with. I choose to be positive, proactive, look on the bright side. I choose to be this way because it suits me, it suits my heart, my life. We are all blessed with life and to be bogged down in the nitty gritty is not something that makes me happy.
Do I get annoyed with little things? Of course. Traffic, my snoring husband, my whiny kids, too much laundry, the forgotten homework, the flat tire, the mosquitoes, etc all make me want to scream in frustration and sometimes I do and sometimes I remember to breathe and think there are people in this world who would kill for whiny kids and pray they find a partner in life, even a snoring one who never remembers to take out the trash.
Finding the positive and staying happy is no easy task. Happy people are not fake either. They are lovers. They choose to love and smile and make the best of situations that are typically out of their control.
As a lover and a fighter, I will love you and protect you and I will fight for you as I do myself. I am a fighter. With my loving, outspoken, often too loud, personality I will fight. I will fight for my children, my husband, my family, my friends. I will fight when an injustice has occurred. Whether the issue is small or large, I will fight. I am an honest fighter. My mom told me as a child, honesty is the best policy. What she forgot to tell me is people rarely like honesty.
Am I going around telling people their haircut sucks or their outfit makes their ass look big, no. That is just mean. But am I telling you to advocate for your kid? To stand up for what you believe in? To take pride in your spouse and the life you have created? Yes. Yes. Yes. Fight for what's right. Fight for honesty. Fight for justice. My daughters know I will fight for them. My husband knows I will fight for him. My friends and family know too. On days you are not strong enough to fight for yourself, I will fight for you. I will fight with my whole heart and my whole being. I will sacrifice outside perceptions to do what I know needs to be done. I am a fighter. Each day I fight my own securities, my own self doubt, my own self worth and remind myself I am worthy of love and patience and my life is worth fighting for.
Being a lover and a fighter can come at a cost. I am often misunderstood and seen as overbearing and loud. After 41 years of this, I can promise you I am okay with this. I cannot change myself. I am proud of who I have become and those that take the time to get to know me, know my love and my fight are worth having in your life. Loving and fighting out loud can be judged, it can be off putting, but I know as each year passes and I am blessed to live another year. Other's judgement comes from a place of being uncomfortable with such a vivacious personality. With the judgments, with the misconception, I am given a chance to change, but I won't.
I will continue to wear my emotions on my sleeve and I will continue to fight the good fights. I will apologize when I am wrong, but I will not apologize for who I am. We are all gifts from G-d. I tell my children this daily and since I speak the truth to them, I know I am speaking it to myself. I am here now. I choose to make the most of the life I was given and I will continue to be true to my heart and live my life the best way I know how.
When the Book of Life is sealed on Yom Kippur, I will pray my name has been inscribed. I will pray my family and friends have been inscribed too. I will pray that G-d knows I have more love to give and more fights to fight. I will pray that I continue on the path of doing what's right for me, my family, my friends. I will pray for the future and all I have to offer it.
Happy new year, readers.
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