The time has come for me to go back. To go back to the “real world”.
I am very grateful to the time I was able to spend in the US this summer. I have to say that it is really nice to be in a place where I am not worried about many things, people are supportive, and people to take care of me. I think (maybe for the first time in a long time) that I actually enjoyed being around my parents. Yes, at times I felt like a little girl and not like and adult, but it was nice to feel that way for a bit. I wouldn’t want to feel that way all the time, but there is something sweet to having someone care about you, and cook and do my laundry. It has been a while since that happened.
Working at the shul was great. I still want to do it, although the idea of being available 24/7 frightens me a bit. I still enjoy the different aspects of the work.
Camp was wonderful. It really makes me think about what community I belong in, or maybe it is just that I belong in many communities at once, and that is ok too. I taught some great classes. Hopefully made some kids love Torah. Spoke to people and hopefully helped them. And I learned a lot.
Seeing friends here reminds me of what I am missing out on by living 6000 miles away. Not that I don’t have friends there, but it is different. My friends here I only get to see once a year (and that is because I am lucky to have found a way to get back). There is something freeing that my friends here have. They just go about their day and go out at night. I am not sure what it is exactly, but I think there is less pressure and stress, and the hours they work are less. Or at least they have Sunday. Having a Sunday is really a great thing- having just one day where you can lay around, be lazy, see friends, hang out in parks- is just a wonderful thing. I didn’t think that I missed it, because I haven’t had one in quite some time, but it really is great and really is something missing. I would love to go out with my friends, and for it not only to be on Shabbat.
And now is time to go back. I was hoping that all this craziness that has been happening in Israel this summer would be done by the time I have to go back, but unfortunately it is not. And that scares me. I have no idea what I am getting myself back into. How am I going to speak to people about my fear, when they have had to deal with it all summer? What do i do at work if the siren goes off? Where do I go at home? What if from my ride from the airport to the house a siren goes off? Am I going to go back to not breathing, and just waiting? I am worried about my friends and family who are fighting, living down South, living in Tel Aviv. I worry for myself, of am I strong enough to live through something like this. I worry for my friends who are afraid, but don’t know how or to who to ask for help. I am worried for my friends who feel scared, but don’t have any where to turn, but the idea of leaving is like a slap in the face to those who have no where to go.
I am also worried about what this school year is going to bring me. Am I going to have to fight to not be treated like a high school student? Am I going to be challenged in a positive way? Am I going to have the strength to fight when I need to and be quiet when that is the only option?
In my mind, I can feel the heat of August in Jerusalem, and the walk up the stairs to my apartment. I can see my bedroom, and I know where all of my stuff is. There is something comforting to know where I am returning to. That familiarity. But there is something equally comforting to sleeping in my parent’s house, in my childhood bedroom. There I feel like it is my world, but I feel a bit alone. Here it is my parent’s world, but I feel protected.
I know that I live in two places at the same time. In some ways I always have. I guess a good way to think about it is that I have a home in two sides of the world and I am lucky.