Blimey, what a year!
The New Year is fast approaching (faster than I expected) especially once one spends entire days learning about the preceding month and then… poof! Suddenly we are only a couple of days away from the Big Day, Rosh Hashana, the Day of Judgment and we pray and hope that the coming year IY”H will be a better one, a more successful one, a healthier one and a happier one.
I cannot wait to see my family and friends. Still, it is also the time that more than ever I am making decisions that G-d willing, when Hashem provides me with opportunities and I will be ready and strong enough to grab them and make things happen.
This year resembled a heaven-to-earth rollercoaster; mostly with high drops, low dives and rarely in the healthy middle, which I am really striving to achieve. I have discovered things about myself that I never thought existed in me. I discovered skills that I didn’t think I possessed. I actually turned out to be a heck of a public speaker; though up until less than a year ago I would be paralysed just thinking about speaking in public. I have always had a stage fright, but at that point I decided that something needed to be done about it. So I began volunteering to give divrei torah, I met with different groups from the program and generally encouraged myself not give in to fear. I thought that drinking a glass of wine before each speech would help, but rather it just made me giggly so I had to face my fears fully aware of every nerve in me that screamed: “get out of here while you still can!”
I also discovered that I do not like being famous. Luckily I am not Bar Rafaeli or Natalie Portman (B”H!) and I seriously doubt I will ever be, simply because I possess no acting skills whatsoever. The only acting experience I have is from a play about Holocaust, where I was one of the inmates, thus I didn’t do a lot of acting apart from fainting on the stage. Still I am not going to say “never in my life” because every time I do and I am adamant about something, the funny thing happens and I end up doing exactly what I was confidently convinced would never happen to me. Nevertheless, being introduced to people as “Esther, the famous blogger” makes my skin crawl. I am however getting what I asked for as a child. In my naivety of a 10 year old, I wanted to be a famous singer. I had an agenda though: I wanted to meet Michael Jackson. Thank G-d I do not have a singing voice. Truthfully, whenever I attempt singing I sound more like an asthmatic frog overdosing on an inhaler who is also battling her smoking habits. The only time I actually enjoy singing is at the shul; mostly because my voice is lost in the beautiful symphony of more or less harmonious sounds.
This year I have been also blessed with new friends. I do not mean it in a Western type of a way. Rather in the good, old-fashioned, Polish way which means that I can safely fall asleep in their company and wake up without having my face being used as a canvas. They are with me along the way. These are the people with the most amazing minds and souls.
I am certainly not who I was 10 years ago; not even who I was 3 years ago. It appears that I am a wanderer. Only recently though I began appreciating the wind that hopefully blows towards the direction that includes my deepest desires. For this Head of the Year I can only say one thing: whatever you desire, but you are afraid of takingthe step – take that step now. Don’t delay. Let the fear motivate, not paralyse you. If you dream of something that you have never had before, you will need to do something that you wouldn’t have previously considered doing. Leave your comfort zone and go on a journey. It’s possible that you will make a full circle within yourself, but with each step you will find a piece of you.
I wish you all Shana Tova. A blessed, sweet, happy year 5776 filled with good news, joy, long-lasting relationships and strength to make your dreams come true.