I could talk about a lot right now.
I could talk about how I am building a library for Asylum Seekers who are being detained at the Holot detention center that is pretty questionably legal through international law. I could talk about how I just returned from a three day navigation/army trip meant to prepare the Israelis for their upcoming recruitments. I could talk about how I have been struggling with my body image. I could talk about the latest funny thing my kids in my volunteering have done (one of them thinks she’s coming to Artzot HaBrit (US in Hebrew) with me). I could talk about how much my friends here mean to me. How lost I would be without them. I could talk about everything I have learned about myself and life and what I want to do.
I could talk and talk and talk. (What’s new?)
But I have about a month left. There are now only three Americans left as two of them left early to work before college. Everyone in my program is starting to get nostalgic. We are all going around saying “Hey…remember the time when – ” fill in memory there. It’s like we can’t quite process that we have only been here a year when it feels like a lifetime. That’s how I feel at least.
We are at a point where everyone is fed up and wants to leave and never look back, yet we also never want to close our eyes.
The time has passed in a blink of an eye and everything I want to do and savor and laugh about could truly pass me by.
This year hasn’t been easy. It has been lonely and challenging. I went from loving every small thing about what I was doing and where I am to questioning everything, including my own purpose. Perhaps like a true Jew, or maybe I just became more cynical. I do not know.
But I do know that on the last day of the trip, after a long day of running – 8 km – whilst carrying two of our friends on stretchers, who needed help finishing, and then doing our last navigation in a city, like mini soldiers, quiet and stealthy (OK. Maybe not so quiet and stealthy, but you get the idea!), I was exhausted and energized. From all the mental and physical exhertion and the feeling of being one solidified group. And then, on the train I broke down.
I wrote a post a while ago about my reality. And how my reality is just being split into two and I never know what is real. The one I have on Saratoga Lake and the one I now have in South Tel Aviv.
I think, this year, my reality was everything I could have hoped for. I have direction for college. Real life experience. I pretty much learned a new language in a year. And so much more.
And next year, I am sure that I will discover another reality. I think I have it in my mind that I can only have one reality. That if I have many, they all must mesh perfectly. But I think I am realizing now that this does not have to be the case.
So yeah, I can talk a lot. I can tell you about how I did a business deal with the Hebrew School I go to, Ulpan Bayit, to make the lessons more affordable. I could tell you about how right now I am on a bus heading off to the West Bank to learn about their situation and culture and them as a people in general. I could talk about how excited I am for the Tel Aviv Pride Parade. I could say that I am scared for my friends to go to the army. I could tell you about all the many random acts of kindness I have experienced in this country from people of all backgrounds. I could talk about how messed up the problems are here. I could tell you about how absolutely everything I do is in a language I do not fully understand. I could tell you about how I am so thankful for my eighth grade science teacher’s love of rocks and topography because it helped me with my navigation trip that just finished. I can talk about how I can speak French here way more than I could in Saratoga. Or I could simply talk about how beautiful this place is.
I can talk. And talk. And talk.
But I think I want to save the nostalgia for when I come back home and just live in the few moments I have left.