25 Things I’m grateful for on my 25th Birthday

1)  My parents, who brought me into this world & have inspired me through it.

2)   My sister, who is my best friend and #1 fan.

3)   The rest of my extended family, for being uniquely loving & supportive.

4)   That my absentee ballot arrived just in time for me to claim my right to have a say in this country’s future… 4 more years!

5)  The friends I’ve met around the world, in all phases of life, who’ve shaped me, made me laugh, and shown me love at exactly the times I need it most.

6)  My abilities- writing, adapting, communicating, feeling.

7)  My health: post-Dengue, post-car accident, post-panic disorder… doin’ pretty good knock on wood!!!

8)  Park Slope turning out to be beautiful and charming, the most sweet & comfortable New York neighborhood I could’ve dreamt of.

9)  A safe shelter where I was able to ride out Hurricane Sandy unscathed, unlike so many others.

10) The perspective I’ve gained through my travels over the past 3 years.

11)  Bob, Charlie, & Oliveto Restaurant, for teaching me how to do customer service right by making each person feel cared for and remembered.

12) My professors and peers at Pomona College, for allowing me to spend 4 years of my life surrounded by brilliance and collaboration.

13) The HUB Bay Area & HUB Tel Aviv: for showing me my own creative side, and teaching me that if you want something done in this world, you should do it yourself.

14) That I still have time to figure out “what I wanna be” when I grow up 😉

15)  Ms. Gieleghem, my high school sophomore year English teacher who taught me that with privilege comes responsibility.

16) My chavurah, without whom I’d lack Jewish identity and community, not to mention a sense of Jewish duty to seek social justice & pursue Tikkun Olam.

17) My experiences in Israel, which have given me hope for interfaith partnership & love, in a world otherwise full of misunderstanding & distrust.

18) The incredibly comforting fact that we will never have George W Bush as our president again. And that my country has been free of warfare on our lands since the time of the civil war, setting us apart from a massive percent of the globe that faces the trauma of bombings and foreign military presence on a day to day basis. F*ckin’ Bush.

19) Love.

20) The knowledge of healthy food & the value of wellness I inherited from my mom and grandma.

21) The value of family, positive attitude, & keeping in touch I got from my dad’s.

22) The woman, whose name I unfortunately can’t remember, who saved my life in Vietnam.

23) The San Francisco Giants, for demonstrating all the best things in baseball this year: teamwork, determination, and having fun.

24) IKAR, and every other synagogue out there practicing inclusivity and prayer through song.

25) My commitment to making time this year to doing the things I love & care about. And the ability to forgive when I slip-up and forget to stay on track and do them.

Here’s to a year filled with health and happiness for everyone!



One comment

  1. Sammy, you are an amazing young woman and an inspiration to all of us who love you! Thank you for this gratitude meditation; it means a great deal to me to read it and to come to know you on a deeper level through it. I love you! U Lee

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