Carried in His Hands

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"Don't tell God how big your storm is; tell your storm how big your God is."

I believe in God.

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Valentine's Day Gifts from Boyfriend

This past Valentine's Day, I had the super exciting experience of opening a gift that was not from my parents for the very first time.  Shepard totally spoils me; he got me what are quite possibly the two most sensitive and loving gifts I have ever received.

First of all, he got me KIPPAH CLIPS! Aren't they beautiful? I have been wearing them as often as I can; the purple pair (far right in this picture) is on my head right now.

Secondly, he got me GLOVES! These are, beyond a shadow of a doubt, the most grown-up, ladylike gloves I have ever owned.  They are made of fleece, with a super-soft faux fur lining.  I love the fancy little buttons, which I haven't dared unbutton yet.

THANK YOU, SHEPARD!

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Another Picture: Boyfriend and Me

Shepard and I meant to take lots of pictures when we went out yesterday, and still more when we came back...yeah, somehow that didn't happen.  We did manage to snap one, which I am posting below; enjoy it.  The pose was my idea.


Friday, February 10, 2017

Me With My BOYFRIEND!

Below is a picture of me with my BOYFRIEND! How I love to say that word.  He came over last night, and we hung out together...and took a picture for the blog, of course.  Anyway, see below.


Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Even More Special

So I have thought, and thought, and thought about exactly what to say in this post and how to word it. I decided it was best to just sit down with my laptop and write whatever spilled out.  I certainly don't want to wait until the news goes stale; that would spoil everything.

I AM OFFICIALLY DATING SOMEONE! His name is Shepard.  I met him at the bisexuals group. And--wait for it--he's Jewish.  Really.

We don't match up religiously, but you know what? That's OK.  I am never going to find a person with whom I match up 100 percent on everything.

I am madly crushing on him, and obsessing over him in between contact moments.  We had last night together at the meeting and dinner after; we were texting last night; we talked this morning for forty minutes.  We have another call scheduled for my birthday (six days away), another after that for the Saturday I am in Massachusetts again (five days later), and he is coming over to my apartment the weekend after that.  I think that's a good amount of contact: it gives us time to do other things in between, such as work (for him) and school (for me).  On my own time, in between contact, I can think about him as much as I want.

I am over the moon.  This is good.

Monday, February 6, 2017

Really, Really Special

My (Hebrew) birthday is coming up in exactly a week, and it is going to be really, really special. First, for dinner the night before (because Jewish days really begin the evening before), I am going to have sushi.  Second, as my birthday gift this year, I am getting a bisexual pride kippah: a celebration of who I am, in all the complexities that God created me.

Third, most importantly, I have reached my current tzedakah donation goal, and I will take the money to the bank  on my birthday! "Tzedakah" is usually translated "charity," but that doesn't quite do justice to the Hebrew, which carries with it a sense of justice and obligation.  I got a tzedakah box (box in which to collect tzedakah) as a super-early Hannukah gift in September 2015.

When I started collecting tzedakah, I knew I couldn't possibly donate to every organization out there. I picked three, between which I would rotate: Lev Lalev, Reece's Rainbow, and Heifer International.  Lev Lalev is a girls' orphanage in Israel; they are Orthodox-run, and I disapprove, but they have a million causes to which one can donate individually and I don't have to support the religious ones.  My first box of money, $43.01, went to their mental health fund, to treat their girls with PTSD; my fourth box of money, the next one I fill, will go to their higher education fund.  I made a donation to Reece's Rainbow recently, meaning I am now up to Heifer International, who give farm animals to needy families around the world.

Heifer International was also the first charitable organization I ever knew existed; I found out about them when I was roughly seven or eight years old.  That means I've wanted to donate to them for 16 or 17 years.  This time around, I decided to give honeybees, one of their cheaper animals, for 30 dollars.

Why am I waiting to go on my birthday, instead of going to the bank today? First, I am in pain and exhausted; tonight is a bisexuals group night, and I want to save my energy.  Second, I'm not sure my birthday gift will come by my birthday, and I want to have something special to do if it doesn't. Third, I only get to make a tzedakah donation two to three times per calendar year; I want to savor the anticipation.

Thursday, February 2, 2017

School Update

I have finally found the words to write this post.  In and of itself, that was a challenge.  I did not want to appear as if I were bragging/boasting about my coping skills.  At the same time, I did not want to appear as if I were complaining/venting about my health.

I started school two days ago, on the Tuesday of this week.  That was a challenge because I am in the middle of a serious RSD wave.  I spent the first school evening--and I had two classes, so I was in school for about five hours--at a seven, maybe an eight, out of ten on a pain scale.  That is hard to do gracefully.

And yet, I think I managed very well.  I talked about my pain when it was necessary to explain something, going with the plan that if I was confident and OK with my situation, other people would be, too.  Obviously, that doesn't work in a professional setting--when doing fieldwork or student teaching I intend to hide this completely--but in the classroom it is different.  Besides, once I can't take notes on my own, or do stairs, this is pretty obvious.

I had an interesting moment when I was talking with the young woman who signed up to be my note taker for my first Tuesday class, Language and Literacy.  (The Office of AccessABILITY--yes, it is really capitalized like that--found me a professional note taker for my other two classes, but we had to go with plan B for that third one.)  We were getting to know each other in the way students do, and she asked if I was a full time student (a fairly typical question).  I answered honestly, that no, I wasn't. She asked what I did with the rest of my time (also a fairly typical question).  I thought about various ways I could answer, but I felt like just being honest again.  So I said "The rest of the time I be disabled; being disabled takes up a lot of time."

Finally, I am so proud of my homework strategy, so I need to put that in here, too.  It is so simple, but for someone in pain, it works.  The strategy is start in the morning as soon as I finish my morning routine (eye exercises, medication, PT, clothes, organize/straighten up room, Judaica, breakfast somewhere in there) and just plow through until the work is done.  However bad I'm feeling physically w hen I get done dictates what I do with the rest of my time until I go to school again. Yesterday, that meant I read for five hours straight, and then had the rest of the day yesterday and most of today free.  It won't always be that easy--I can look ahead at each syllabus and see that even starting next week it will be tougher--but for now I am enjoying the down time.

So I can do this, I really can.  I can handle school, and growing, and learning, no matter how much pain I am in.  I think that's pretty amazing, if I do say so myself. 

Friday, January 27, 2017

Disabled Person Goes to School

It's roughly a quarter to four in the morning, so I don't know whether I can write anything intelligent or even legible, but for some reason I need to try right now.

This semester, which starts in four days, I am starting school disabled.  Due to pain, there is absolutely no way I can take my own notes.  I will have note takers doing it for me.

It's amazing (in a bad way) the sense of control that flies out the window when one has to rely on someone else's notes.  On the other hand, it's amazing (in a good way) the sense of reassurance one gains when people are willing to work with/around one, as I am experiencing now.  I have lovely professors and a wonderful note taker for two of my classes.

Life is OK after all.

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I am a bipolar, Jewish young adult (had my Hebrew birthday, the one I count, and turned 23 this past January) who also suffers from Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy. I love life and I live for my best friends: they are my purpose and my reason for trying so hard. I remain passionately devoted to those I love; I will not let my disorders make me totally self-centered. I like to read, write, and sew. My Rabbinical school plans did not work out, and I am now hoping to go into the field of Early Childhood Education. Please note: I am currently maintaining only Carried in His Hands. Enjoy!