Since December 15th, I have been in the magical place on Earth. No. Not Disney World. I've been in Israel. There is no other place that I feel so at peace and so welcome. I'm truly happy. This Shabbat will be my sixth and final one here, for now anyway. And I cannot believe how fast the time has gone. It feels like I just landed here. Yet at the same time it feels like I've been here my entire life. If home is truly where the heart is...then Israel is my home. And I'm proud to say that. More shocking to me though is how much sense Judaism has been making to me. The more I learn and the more I talk to people, the more my soul yearns for more. I turn 20 in a couple weeks. That's almost more insane than actually being in this country. I lived to see 20. And I'm happy. And I'm not harming myself. And I'm not starving. I'm alive. Truly and completely. I'm not saying that I have everything figured out but wow. Happiness is more incredible than I could have imagined. I want to end this post with some of the most important things I have learned this time around. And even though I learned them in a Jewish context.. They are universal truths. The first being that having self-respect is important. It is okay to value yourself. It is okay not to be perfect. Number two is that anything can be made special again. Just because something means nothing to you now doesn't mean it can't be the precious thing later. I.e. Shomer negiah. And lastly, trust yourself. If you don't think something is going to be good for you, then don't do it.
To everyone I have met in Israel, thank you for making me feel like I belong. And to everyone who helped me become who I am, it's because of you that I'm here. So thank you.
The overall title of this blog is "Winning Balance" which I think ties perfectly in with the ideas of this post. I first want to say that this post was definitely inspired by someone. Like always she will remain nameless. But you know who you are.
Life is like putting on a grand show. Everyday you put on a costume, maybe a mask, and you go out and put on a dance for the world. You show what you hope will garner at least some applause. If you watch my show, most of the players are guys. Shocker. I know. They make me do my dance. They move me. The problem is what happens when they no longer show up? Do I simply stand on the stage alone? Or do I become my own director and choreographer? Most would hope for the latter, but I've learned time and again that it is usually the former. End of metaphor. The point is after so much time of not knowing myself, I don't have respect for what I can do without guys. Self respect is something I so badly want for other people. But I don't have it. Today, I had an opportunity to talk to someone who sees behind the act I put on. One that some of you have seen. I've gotten really good at being stupid. Multiple times during this meeting, she pointed out that she saw right through it. Which was such a relief. It's a hard act to stop but it doesn't change that it feels nice to know that someone knows I'm not an idiot. So that's cool. Granted she also apparently thinks I'm going to end up religious. And living in Israel. The second part is definitely happening. For sure. There's something so incredible about this place and the people I don't see myself ending up anywhere else. Perhaps the best thing that happened though was when I told her why I want to be a teacher and she said she thinks id be good at it. All I want is to show kids that learning can be so fun and that some teachers actually love their subject. I can't ask for anything else but being able to do that. Basically, it's shocking where you can find someone that you would love to have as a mentor. Who knew it'd at seminary.
To quote a friend: "did you ever think about just being yourself?"
Wow...hey. So, I feel like I haven't blogged in forever. Which is so funny because I constantly have moments in my head where I think about things to write on here about. Oh well. Anyway, I'm alive. Actually better than alive. I'm like living. Crazy. Stuff. I wish I could say that this post was just catch up but that'll be next time when I have legitimate Internet. This post is going to be a homework assignment from one of the teachers at the Seminary I am at in Israel. Emme, since I know you're reading this... Yes you can message me later and ask all the questions you want about everything.
Here we go:
Do two ideals never not conflict with each other? In middle school, all I wanted was for boys to want me. Now they do. And wow, it was such a self esteem boost. Like having every guy at my disposal, such a power trip. But now? It sucks. I don't have guys that just want to be my friend. I can't fall asleep in a friend's bed without waking up to his hands in my pants. It's like what I always wanted, I would now give anything to get rid of. That's not to say that I don't gain things through hook ups or boys, because I do. Like it reminds me why I matter. And why I do what I do. It shows me how to act. And sometimes it is just the break from thinking that I need. Every so often, it's even enjoyable. The only problem is that it causes me to sacrifice a lot of things too. Like any respect I have for my body. It doesn't belong to me, it belongs to them. Granted, that's not much different than in gymnastics. My body is simply a thing to be contorted. But I also sacrifice having any sense of who I am without a guy or what I like to do. Guys are who I base my self worth on. Like I'm pretty sure that if a boy wouldn't hook up with me that I would fall apart. Who am I if I'm not pretty enough for them? Plus hook ups can give you social standing. If you go out and no guy even looks at you, then you obviously either suck or you aren't pretty enough. Like to know you're wanted is really nice. Until it drives you nuts because you want space. Basically my gains are also my sacrifices.