As the murmur of excited voices swept across the room, I wandered in from the stairwell and walked across to sit next to my father-in-law. I laid my head on his shoulder and sighed one of the most peaceful sighs I have ever let out. He smiled, adjusted himself to a relaxed position in his chair, and kissed my head. We both sat back for a while, observing the room in a state of contentment.
It was a Saturday morning, a beautiful day in May. We were at a Bar Mitzvah for a member of my husband’s family, the second one that I had attended. But sitting next to my father-in-law made me think back to the first one, and how much had changed since then.
The first Bar Mitzvah was three years prior, when my husband and I were just dating. He had traveled abroad with his friends for his post-army freedom trip, a right of passage for most Israelis, and I was living in Yafo, new to the country (Israel) and settling in on my own.
My father-in-law had come to pick me up to attend this family event. I was crippled by my nerves, nearly to the point where I didn’t make it out the door. I had never spent time with my husband’s family without him, and my Hebrew was severely lacking. During our car ride to the synagogue my father-in-law asked me a series of, what I then came to realize were, very important questions; questions about marriage, children, religion, and my plans for the future.
As I thought back on that day it brought a grin to my face: I guess I passed the quiz. I sat there reminiscing quietly to myself, until I was interrupted by the beckoning calls of children wanting to play a game and someone offering me bourekas.
Sitting in the warm atmosphere of the synagogue, surrounded by my new family, was one of the happiest that I had been in years. At that moment, as the sunlight trickled in the windows and my heart spilled over with bliss, I thought to myself that I never could have imagined that this is where I would end up.
I was overwhelmed with a feeling of gratitude. Put simply, I was thankful; thankful for the good moments and the bad, and everything in between. For it was all of these moments—every single one of them—that brought me to this one; to this bliss.
From that moment on, I never questioned my journey, or where it took me.
That day was my lesson in how amazing the unknown future can be. Even when things are difficult, or not as I planned, I find that small light flickering inside of me; that gratitude; the knowing of how much wonderful could be on the way.
So even if life doesn’t feel like it’s headed where you wanted, or you’re not where you intended to be in this moment, know that tomorrow has yet to come and that you have no idea what it may bring with it. Your moment of unparalleled bliss could be right around the corner—or maybe it’s already begun.
By: Leilani Rose
Leilani is a writer and editor based out of the New York City area. She has always had a love for travel, which was deepened by spontaneous adventures and culturally immersed years living abroad. When not writing, she enjoys traveling to new places and trying new food with her husband, yoga, and deciding which country to visit next. She believes that “yes” often leads to great adventures. Follow Leilani on her website, blog, Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook.