Before coming here I thought it will be cool to pick up from where I left this blog, in Japan, and continue writing from my “homecoming” trip. However, a bit more than a month here in Israel and I’m still floating in a shock mode. And so for a while, I really wasn’t sure how to approach this blog again.
I am back at the one and only spot on the map. The one many of my great grandparents only dreamed of, the land I spent most of my life at. The latter is significantly more meaningful to me I must admit.
I didn’t plan on coming here so early. After graduation, I spent a month doing nothing. not knowing what now. but all I had in mind was Israel.
It was time.
Which surprised me because I never thought I would feel so desperate to come here. Actually, I was desperate ever since Japan, where I realized, maybe for the first time in my life, that I will always be more “Israeli” than American or any other thing. Only in Japan, I realized that I grew up in a certain place, under a certain culture. I am who i am.
And so, it was a very short call, a week before my flight I’ve decided that I’m going. Now. Without a major plan as for what to do or where to stay. i had to go back.
Back to where the most of me was formed, back to where I tried to detach myself from.
My childhood friend came to pick me up from the airport. She hasn’t changed much. She is still exactly how i remembered her. But I’ve missed a large step of the road, and she has experienced things which i wasn’t part of.
I still don’t know how much I’ve missed. I will never know.
She drove us to the yishuv we both grew up at. My heart was racing fanatically all the way. I couldn’t believe my body’s reaction. Why would this influence me so much? I never felt like this before.
Leaving this place at 17 years of age I thought I could move on, change myself, adapt, feel comfortable enough in a different language, even forget where I’m from and just be a human with no previous connections. I wanted to start over and just be open to whatever comes.
It sounds bad I know, but I was angry with Israel. I was an angry rebel minded teenager. I’m still angry but it is also clear to me that i was wrong with my approach. I was a foolish girl.
It took me years of trying to fit in with my constantly changing environments, almost half a year in Japan, and another year of soul searching to realize that this place will always be an inseparable part of me.
That I was brought up in a certain way, that my native language in no less than beautiful, that there is no need to go extreme. No need to hit myself, I can hold opinions and rage over things and still miss home.
I must appreciate the certain life I was given here, and being here helps, it helps me come to terms with who I am.
Back to the Yishuv, my house was standing there but not mine anymore. My parents recently sold it. The strangers weren’t home, so my friend and I opened the gate and sneaked in.
I circled the house and kissed every corner of it with my eyes. Then I sat on the grass and cried. I wanted to cry much less but I needed to cry much more. It scared me a bit.
One of the things I missed the most is the beach. The smell, the breeze, the salt, the musky feeling of the skin while walking along the shore. All of these were away from me for too long. I truly love the upstate new york’s forests, the small waterfalls, the fresh air. but the Mediterranean wins over them all, really.
And maybe I’m just nostalgic.
My parents took me to the beach a lot when we lived here. My mom loved it especially. We used to come late afternoon when the sun is almost down, and stay for hours, until dark. There was nothing more exciting to me than staring deep into the sea at night. I love this powerful, even dangerous body of water. I love Knowing that the waves are coming all the way from far away places, where I cannot see, and getting the most pleasurable shivers from the thought of how big the world is. How small of a part of it I am.
Visiting the city on my own, not following the footsteps of anyone, I’m asking myself why do I love Tel Aviv.
Besides being a cool place, I have so many pieces of old memories attached to it. The first four years of my life were here. In a small apartment. With two smart young parents who each had their favorite coffee place.
Before my sister was born before my mom decided to move to the “countryside”, before Yitzhak Rabin was assassinated.
And maybe I need to let go a little bit.
My uncle and aunts, from both sides, have been really nice to me, invited me for dinners, conversations, a heart to heart advice. Even if at times I feel like I don’t deserve this, I have received an expensive gift.
Those Shabbat dinners are something I’ve missed way more than I imagined. I wish my parents were here to enjoy them too.
I’m constantly moving places: Tel Aviv, Ramat Hasharon, soon Yahood , Jaffa and then Jerusalem.
I’m a big girl now, so I really should just move on. “move on” sounds a bit unfitting. There is something extremely trippy about visiting my childhood and maturing at the same time. I’m still not sure how to take this. How should I behave?
And though free to use my native language: What should I say and How should I speak.
Hopefully, with time I’ll figure things out.