It is hard to believe that in less than a week I will be going back on a plane to New York. I am slowly preparing myself to have to say goodbye to everyone, once again.
My week has mainly consisted of going out for meals or coffee and seeing friends. I bounce from one restaurant to another and slowly catch up on the past year. See what people have been up to and what they are doing. And for me it is the same story- or at least basically the same story.
In some ways it is freeing to be among my friends again. I am able to say out loud that I am unhappy. That I find New York really hard and lonely. That I don’t feel like I fit in or have friends or a community or things to do. That I find myself wasting time just waiting for the end of school. That I want to be in a relationship and I can’t even find a date. That I don’t really want to be in New York, but I don’t really see any other options.
One of my friends was saying that she found it concerning that I was just resigning to what is happening, rather than creating change or pushing forward. Another wanted to know why I didn’t reach out earlier because she has so many friends in New York to put me in touch with. Another told me to just give everything up and come back – even though I would not be able to do the job that I have been working so hard towards. Many have told me how much my presence has been missed, how certain things in the community don’t happen because I’m not here to run them, how they pass by my apartment and think of me…
When people ask me where I live, I find it hard to say New York. I really don’t feel like I live there. So my answer is either it’s complicated, or this year I’m living in New York. At least with that there is a potential to move. It is not a defining moment, it is not where I will be stuck.
It is all true. I’m not happy in New York, and I have resigned to the fact that my only option is to be there next year. I need to either give up my dream of the rabbinate or give up my dream of living in Israel or give up my dream of being part of a larger community or give up my dream of finding partnership. Those are too many essential dreams to have to give up. I always knew that I might not be able to live in Israel with this dream of the rabbinate- not only are there fewer options here, but there is such a great need outside. But in this giving up living where I want and with the community I built, I was going to be doing the work my heart has been telling me to do. I was going to be a rabbi, creating meaningful Jewish experiences, talking to people, building community – all the things that I know best.
I went back to the nursing home, and the new manger offered me a job to be in charge of cultural programming in the home. It is not at all the job I want, but if I take it, I would be able to move back and I would be able to make money. But I question is being here, being with friends worth giving up my dream of being a rabbi and all that I have been working towards? Am I going to lose out on an opportunity to really learn chaplaincy and further my career? Am I going to lose out on opportunities to do real work in interesting places that need me? Am I really meant to be roaming around as a nomad, but alone?