Today is my 28th birthday. As I get older, I feel more securely the weight of communal responsibilities on my shoulders. The left shoulder holds the weight of Israel: my love for her, my struggles with her, and the discomforts and comfort I feel in being a part of her story. The right shoulder holds the weight of my America: my desire to let go and my need to hold on. That shoulder started to feel a little bit heavier last week.
For me, today is an opportunity to review the last year and to ask myself what I want for the upcoming year. Never have I had a year in which I felt so unsure about the future of my communities, and yet, my commitments to both places have never felt stronger.
I promise to keep my head up and to seek out the good,
to be critical and to question what I see,
to speak up in my own name,
to amplify the voices of others,
to take care of you and also myself,
to seek out nuance,
to love fully- myself included,
to stay angry, but also to understand,
to fight for rights not yet granted to everyone,
to ensure that rights already given won’t again be taken away,
and I promise to never give up on you. I promise to move forward.
(And, finally, I promise to eat a lot of chocolate.)