Thursday, September 25, 2014

L'Shanah Tova!

L'Shanah Tova!  

On this day, September 24, 2014 the night before 1 Tishrei 5775, I attended dinner and services at Hillel.  We have a a very tight-knit community; it was amazing being at "my Jewish home away from home" again now that my Jewish friends are back from abroad.  Tonight, Rabbi Daveen Litwin gave a sermon on fears and hopes explaining that the right balance of the two is essential to ensure that you continue to thrive and are able to push forward with your life.  Included in the top 10 list of fears in the US is flying, intimacy, spiders, death, and being alone.  I was surprised to see fear of flying at the top of the list, but was surprising was that both intimacy and being alone were on the list.  How do you draw the line between intimacy and being alone?  How does one define intimacy and being alone?

In my mind, I think of intimacy as engaging in an intimate or sexual act and being alone as having no one around you (no friends or family) that you can lean on.  I decided to look up the definition of intimacy, as there are many different connotations of the word, and being alone.  

1. the state of being intimate
2. a close, familiar, and usually affectionate or loving personal relationship with another person or group.
3. a close association with or detailed knowledge or deep understanding of a place, subject, period of history, etc.
4. the quality of being comfortable, warm, or familiar

being alone:
1. solitude is a state of seclusion or isolation, i.e., lack of contact with people

While being alone has a pretty clear-cut definition, there are many definitions for intimacy, making the line between intimacy and being alone different from person to person.

If there is no clear-cut line between intimacy and being alone, is there a clear-cut line between fears and hopes?  Is there a connection between fear and hope?  In general, one concentrates more on their fears than their hopes as they are more scared about obtaining their fears than their hopes.  I have decided to write a list containing my fears and hopes.  As you can tell from the list below, my fears and hopes are very much rooted in the now and my "immediate" future.

-That I won't be good enough
-That I won't meet my families expectations
-That I will not obtain my academic standards this semester
-That I will not be accepted into a graduate program
-That I will not do something great with my life
-That I will not find a husband
-That I won't remain healthy, or that my health will get worse

-That I become confident with myself and who I am
-I have a successful career and help advance cardiac care
-That I make an impact on the world
-That I have an amazing family
-That I become more outgoing
-That I can manage my time better and participate in the senior college events

What are your fears and hopes?  I find that my fears and hopes are highly interconnected, and maybe that is what keeps me going?  I work hard so that I will meet both my expectations and my families expectation, which in turn will help advance my career and make me more confident.  I can find the connections between my hopes and fears, but one thing that is interesting is that wealth is not at the top of either of my lists.  Many people are concerned about their wealth, yet as long as I have an amazing family, am happy, healthy, and love my job that is all that matters.

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