October 10 2013

I am 24 years old and live in New York. I am interested in Medieval Hebrew manuscripts and early printed Hebrew books, which is a bit of an obscure interest. (It's really fascinating stuff though! Check it out.)

I am trying to figure out my next professional move and have thus been meeting with as many people as possible to get various perspectives. One specific conversation I had was particularly refreshing, so I wanted to share that with you. I was speaking to a PhD student, who told me his particular perspective and then concluded with the following: "You have to talk to everyone, and then talk to no one, and think about what you really want, and trust in God that it will all work out."

This sentence struck me for a few reasons. First, I often have trouble making decisions, so it was probably a good thing for me to hear that while other people's advice is important, it ultimately comes down to me. Second, I think it is sometimes important to realize that as much as you plan, some things are beyond your control, and everything will not happen exactly as you had envisioned. That's obviously not to say that you shouldn't try. But still, it's probably a healthy thing to keep in mind. Third, I thought it was cool that he mentioned God. I grew up in a religious environment, so that is certainly not a foreign concept to me. But even so, I have found that few people actually talk about God. There is plenty of talk about religion itself, about community, about values, but somehow God sometimes gets lost in all of that. So I was kind of impressed that he threw that in - we had never met before, and he did not know me or my religious leanings, but he still felt comfortable enough to invite God into the conversation. Made me stop and think for a minute, which is certainly something I don't do often enough.

What has made you stop and think? Something that happened, something that someone said? Definitely doesn't have to be on the topic of religion. Or, on an unrelated and lighter note, anyone have any fun/crazy/creative date ideas?

Tali Arbit
[email protected]
New York, NY

P.S. Two shoutouts to previous Listserve winners - 1. my brother, who actually won like 3 months ago, and 2. Anonymous, from August 5th, whose entire message was "Be kind." That was awesome.
And a final shoutout to Jon, for making me so happy.

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