I’m a few weeks late on this post, but mazal tov to me! I just celebrated my 3rd aliyaversary! It’s gone by so fast and I feel as though I just got off my flight yet simultaneously feel that I’ve been here, in my home, for decades. After living in this tiny, miraculous country for so long (almost 4 years in total), I have gone through so much and I don’t even have words to express the gratitude that I have for every single one of these experiences.
I could list a thousand things that I love about this country and still have thousands more to add. I have grown in a way that never seemed possible to me – ways that wouldn’t have been possible if I hadn’t gotten on that flight 3 years ago. Sure there have been tough times, and I had a lot of bumps in the road. But looking back on it all I see is a golden pathway that lead me to where I am today.
4 years is a long time. My relationship with Israel is my longest standing relationship… and this country has turned out to be the love of my life.
So, in a total turn of events I am at a crossroads where this relationship is coming to an end. And as I sit on my balcony writing this I am in fact bawling my eyes out. Because I have come to understand that love for a place isn’t enough.
So with a heavy heart I have decided that I am returning to the U.S. in July to study for my Master’s degree. And though I’m too desperately sad to see anything beyond my tears right now, I know that the time has come for me to invest in myself, in my future and in my happiness.
It’s a horrible realization to see that love just isn’t enough, as much as you’d expect and hope for love to be enough. And honestly, it just makes me feel like giving up and crawling into bed only to wake up to a time where it is enough.
I will miss more things that I can even bear to think about at this moment, and I can’t even put into words how desperately sad I will be to say “להתראות” to my friends. They have become my family, my support system, my cheerleaders, my brunch buddies and so so much more.
I’m sure that my new adventure will be just as magical as this one has been, in an entirely different way. But I doubt that my next home will be a love of my life the way that Tel Aviv has been. So as יום העצמאות approaches, I will celebrate the birthday of my love on this very same balcony on which now I sit crying at the thought of bidding it goodbye. And I will enjoy every last second of it. I will follow this golden pathway till I come across my next pathway. And I can only hope that I’ll be able to find my way back to the golden pathway should that pathway be any less golden.