Rosh Chodesh Elul
It's Rosh Chodesh Elul. I feel it this year. Last year, I had just moved to Passaic and was having a very tough time adjusting, and I remember wondering what had happened to the preparation I was supposed to be doing for the beginning of the year. This year, I feel it. I'm thinking about what I should take on, what I should work on, and what I've learned over the year.
I think this year has been about defining who I am, regardless of my relationship to any other person. I haven't quite found it yet - it's not something simple. And it's always changing, so that probably makes it a little harder. And I have to say - it's hard being yourself sometimes. Sometimes you just don't want to do it, but there is no other way. And in the long run, it's for the best.
It's amazing how much happens in a year. This past year, I've built new friendships and relationships. And I've lost a few. I completed a year of graduate school. I traveled to Israel, and forged a connection there that I was aching for. And now I miss it so much. I went sky-diving, which could be alternately viewed as extremely brave or just dumb. It's probably a little of both. This year, I've clarified and confused. I laughed and smiled and hopped up and down with happiness. And I've cried some tears as well.
I've realized how much I love the people in my life. I think I somewhat took that for granted before. But what I now know is that when I spend time with those I love, I leave with a full feeling, a knowledge in my heart about what love is. And I am so lucky to have so many that I share that feeling with. Though I wish more of them lived closer. But I don't know if I would appreciate them as much.
What will I work on in the coming day, week, month, year? What will I do to make the most of each day, to make sure that next year at this time I will look back and be able to say that I've grown?
First and foremost, I want to work on my relationship with Hashem. I do think it has strengthened this year, but it's not what it once was, and it's definitely not where it could, and should, be. I want to work on it every day, and I'm starting now, with Rosh Chodesh Elul. Through this, I hope to feel more strength in myself, with the knowledge that Hashem has my back, and is watching out and caring for me. I wish it was easier, but then I probably wouldn't appreciate it as much.
Elul is about working on ourselves, and I am here to rise to the challenge. What are you working on?