grass and white sand under golden hour

Every year, I write an essay commemorating my observation of Yom Kippur. Yom Kippur is the holiest day on the Jewish Calendar – a deep, sad, and honest reminder of the present. Yom Kippur is an unusually important day for me; I have been fasting (no food or water) each and every year since I turned 13. 

To me, it is a day of atonement – a day to take a deep breath and step back from the speed of life. I, like many, get caught up in motion. Modern society convinces us as to what is important. I sometimes lean into this noise, and get anxious with a lot on my plate. While the days are long, I know that the decades are short. I know that life is not about motion, it is about progress. It is about fulfillment and accomplishment, not nonsensical anxiety. The only way to see clearly is for me to understand context and relativity, and to do that, I must often take a step back and reflect. 

Yom Kippur is also a day of forgiveness. It is a day for apologies, honesty, and truth

I’ll be flat out – I am really sorry. I am really fucking sorry honestly to all the people I wronged over the past year.

To my enemies, friends, family, coworkers, anyone I talked to. I could have done more. 

I made so many mistakes. I messed up. 

I interrupted you. I was rude to you. I said a mean comment to you. I was not a nice person all the time. I thought for myself instead of you. I did not call enough. I did not text enough. I did not think of you enough. I did not care for you enough. I gave up on you. I judged you and misunderstood you. I jumped to conclusions about you.

I could have done more.

I can do better. And I will. That is a promise from me. And I would love if you could give me another chance. 

Last year was awesome. But it was also terrible. I won a lot. I also lost a lot. 

But I am optimistic that things will get a lot better. 

To the new year, I am excited. 

I do not want to die with regrets. I do not want to die with shortcomings and bad relationships and grudges.

I am not afraid to die, perhaps I am just afraid to die tomorrow.

Also published on Medium.