Shani Weinmann
Shani Weinmann

My Battle with the F Word

I try not use the F word when I can help it. It’s a rude word. It makes you and others feel gross and uncomfortable and honestly, it’s not that helpful in terms of self growth and improvement. The F word is used to shame yourself and others in your environment.

Wait…you must think I’m talking about that F word. No; I mean Failure. The concept of Failure is pretty self explanatory: goals get crushed and all the effort seems a waste because you have not achieved what you set out to accomplish. Lately, I feel this almost daily as I see people around me succeeding and I am stuck. Stuck in a base with amazing people who support me not only being religious, but just being me and a job where I am responsible for the health of other human beings and in which I receive satisfaction. Sounds perfect no? Maybe. However, the other half of the equation is this amazing job: being a medic and with that, having the knowledge to save people’s lives. So when I am trapped in a place where I am constantly fighting a battle with authority figures who assume I’m a stupid immigrant who understands nothing, then you can see where the F word Frustration kicks in followed by an overdose of the F word Failure. Mistakes made, lack of comprehension, struggling to prove myself as a strong and capable young woman all add to the pot of F words I’ve acquired: Failure, Frustration, Falling. Constantly being “screwed over,” for lack of better terminology, leaves me Feeling. Feeling as if I will never present myself as what I know I am and hoping I still have that youthful confidence to continue pushing.

As a person, I would classify, and have been identified by others, in the positive and happy category. Always smiling even when I’m not quite into it because I know it will get better and it lifts up those around me. I chose to be here, therefore I can’t complain can I? Others who don’t know exactly what this army thing is all about see me as some sort of champion and I try to see me like they do, especially on the days where I feel I am the least important person in this world. Don’t misunderstand me; Me and Myself have a strong and unbreakable bond and are deeply in love. However, moments have a way of building themselves to form a concept that takes over one’s brain until they lodge there in the back waiting to be called to the front lines. Once these moments hear their battle cry, they rush forward and all of a sudden, I, the battlefield, am left feeling torn and exhausted. In the aftermath of all of it, I can not obtain the Fight. Ferocity. I’m filled with Fear, one of the worst of the F words.

Time and time again, I’m trapped in these moments and all I want; or really what I assume most people want, is to prove myself that I am capable of anything they give me. I have all the right pieces: friends and family that support me, good scores and experience, and a healthy dose of self confidence. However, there is one thing lacking from this whole equation, and that’s my favorite F word: Faith. It’s not enough to have confidence or to know what you are capable of. Faith is the thing that makes you step back after all of your hard work, hold your breath, and simply hope that after everything, success is in your reach. Faith is what makes people come together, what makes people believe in something, especially themselves. It’s a scary concept, because by having Faith, you are essentially letting go of the prized controller, and letting your creation run unattended.

Some people think Faith is a waste because life, religion, and the world should include assurance, proof, and certainty as if it’s a buy one get one free deal in this life. What’s amazing about Faith, however, is there is no Fault. The hard work, the effort, the Fight that led up to me sitting here, wondering about my abilities, is all I am expected to do and more so. I have completed my task. I have pieced and hammered and soldered every bit of this machine of achievement. I have planted and watered the seeds of my garden of success. I try each day to be as open and available and productive as I can so that my soldiers can have the care they deserve and so I can give of myself to help them be better at what they do. Now, I wait. I pray. I watch as the whole parade comes together and starts marching in time to the music. I hold on to the smiles and laughter and I hope, and more importantly, have Faith, that I am on the right path and that I will see the results of all my efforts prosper.

About the Author
Shani Weinmann was born in Atlanta, Georgia and grew up in the Jewish community of Toco Hills. She attended Torah Day School of Atlanta and Yeshiva Atlanta before coming to Midreshet Harova and then joining the IDF. She now works as a Madricha in the Midrasha and is studying Dance.