Hate Crimes

Okay. So now that I have tried sleepy time tea, homeopathic remedies, and yoga- I’ve given up on my quest for sleep and began a new one: 

My quest for equality. 

I recently attended church with my friends because one of them was preaching that day. I am Jewish by blood, agnostic by faith, but a believer in heart. I believe in the strength of human connectivity and I firmly believe that if we all began to accept some messages of this church I attended this world would be a better place. This is their Ethos: 

“Married, divorced or single here,
it’s one family that mingles here.
Conservative or liberal here, 
we’ve all gotta give a little here.
Big or small here, 
there’s room for us all here.
Doubt or believe here,
we all can receive here.
Gay or straight here, 
there’s no hate here
Woman or man here,
everyone can here.
Whatever your race here, 
for all of us grace here.
In imitation of the ridiculous love Almighty God has for each of us and all of us, let us live and love without labels!”
 
By golly it is a beautiful string of words. Most of my life I envisioned the church to be a repressive place but I realize now that I was judging a stereotype of churches. I wasn’t giving them a chance and that just isn’t fair. Now, I’m not saying I suddenly accept Jesus Christ as my savior, I’m saying we should take these messages to heart. God, for whatever you define god as, essentially means LOVE. In this plain and simple definition, I can believe in God. God is the embrace of a child, of a loved one, the sunset, the sunrise, and the acceptance that everyone sins. We are all flawed by nature but that is beautiful. It humbles us, or at least it should.
 
I cannot say that my words are eloquent in anyway and I know that the only reader of this blog is myself when I can’t get some sleep… but if by chance someone does pass by here I hope that this brings about some self reflection in a humbling way. 
 
In the words of my favorite Rabbi, “I am one, you are one, we are all together one.” 
 
 
 
-Sleep tight all. 

Decisions, Decisions

I am someone who does not like to make decisions.

There’s just way too much pressure to make the right one. With that in mind, I put myself in the position to make a ton of important decisions. In the end I always end up alive and well (so far)… but whenever in the moment, I freak myself out thinking if I make the wrong choice- the world will end. Literally.

So here I am, in the aftermath of deciding to go back to Nueva Jersey to study at the prestigious Rutgers University. Whoopee! Not only did I decide to get my butt back into school, but I learned a great lesson too:

We spend our time here in America worrying and fretting over minute details in life. For me it was the pathways to pick. In actuality we are so entirely privileged to even get to make these decisions. Last summer I actually lost sleep over deciding to go on a free trip to Israel or not. I LOST SLEEP OVER IT. Do you know how dumb that is? Israel was a once in a lifetime opportunity that I would never give up and at the time… I was freaking out about it.

Then, I get presented the opportunity to move out to Denver, Colorado to gain life experience, and for godsakes see the famed ROCKY MOUNTAINS. And what do I do? I freak out of course. I thought, “Life is so cruel for presenting me with these difficult choices of going away to a top school in the United States- or live in one of the biggest up and coming cities, *sigh*”  With every decision I had to make I harassed my friends, seeking their opinions on the matter. Opinions, that when it came down to it, I was never going to take; but, to delay actually doing something in my life, I would sit there and listen to their logic anyway.

Eventually I made the decision for one reason or another to buy a one way ticket to Denver and never look back. And heck, I never did. My experiences were great in Denver. I mean, I learned how to cook (still working on that), I learned how to pay bills, I learned how to be my own advocate, and I learned how with hard work a person can change the future of an entire city. All of this life experience is sincerely priceless. I am so grateful for circumstance that brought me here and led me to this beautiful American place.

Fast forward to the present and I my realization. Each decision I made was an opportunity presented. It doesn’t even matter which path I choose, it’s fantastic that I get to choose. There are so many people in this tiny world that can’t even fathom making such great decisions, choosing such great choices. There are people in this world who don’t get the rights to their own life, and I complain about it; as if it was a burden.

From now on I will tackle decisions as a gift because that’s what they are. I will celebrate the day I get to decide on spaghetti or sushi and I will make sure to appreciate my circumstances because up until now I have been blind to how privileged I am.

That is all.

-Jackie Schaefer

February 25th, 2013 (the 100th first blog post I’ve done since I was twelve.)

There were days in Denver when everything felt just perfect. The sun was shining, it was easy to be happy amongst the mountains. However, I am beginning to think that it was never true happiness because when the days wound down to nights I was never able to fall asleep soundly. I would lie in bed attempting to stare out into the alley way from my window and I would just think. Think about my connections to other people, to life, to god. These nights lasted forever and usually overcast any type of content-ness I could feel during the day. My heart would race uncontrollably and although I mastered my anxiety in the past year, I knew that I was just one negative thought away from a panic attack. Every night.

 

What it is that is unsatisfying I have yet to figure out. Maybe it’s not Colorado at all but the fact that I have to go back to New Jersey and commit to another four years of school. Maybe I’ve developed insomnia because I know that I’ve changed a lot this past year and Rutgers will be far from the same as when I left. Whatever my issue is, I just wish I could find it so I could get some sleep. Instead, I just sit around doing unproductive things such as playing solitaire.

So I guess this is the first of my insomnia entries. Try and get some rest, y’all.

-Jackie Schaefer