Posted in Decisions, Life, Lost

Bubbling Over with Tears

There is too much that I am unsure of right now. I feel shaken. I feel vulnerable. I feel cracked. I feel pulled. I feel tired.

I can’t decide what is best me to do next. I feel like I don’t know the direction I am supposed to be following. I am unable to listen to my heart- or I think I know what my heart is telling me, but my head is very much fighting against it.

I can’t decide what I should do this summer. But I guess what I do over the summer is based on what I do next year.

It feels like every decision is THE descision. I know that is not true. I know that things can change and move and I should go with the flow. But I feel like everything is going off course. I feel like the decision will change everything and I really just don’t know what is the best thing for me. I can’t figure out what country I should be in. What career path I should choose. What does it mean for me to no longer be a student? What does it mean when my indenties are all in a mix. For so long my identity has been American/Israeli/student/theatre/old people/nomad….but that is all up in the air. I don’t know where I belong or what I should be doing…

Today I broke down in process group. I felt bad that we ended a half hour late. I felt bad to just burst out with everything. I felt weird to be the center of attention and to be a blubbering mess. It felt weird to be so vulnerable and open and to share all of this. I both want people to care, but at the same time I don’t want pity. I don’t want people to treat me differently. I don’t want people to worry about me.

In some ways I think it was a good thing. The tears that have been bubbling over are not any more. I don’t have as intense of an urge to burst into tears. It was hard to say outloud that I feel lonely and alone. And hwo hard it is to feel like when people have been trying to be so open. I guess it is good that people know what I am going through. That I am not so excited about the next steps. That I am not put together. THat I feel lost and sad and alone.

I was told by many that I need to allow myself to be open to others coming in and coming close to me. That I need to trust that people won’t necessarily hurt me, that there are people who will not fail me, that there are people who have the ability to do what I need them to.

I was asked when I started feeling like I was alone and there is no one that will be able to help me. I was told that this was something that helped me up to this point, that it protected me and it is what made me stronger and able to do what I did, but it is not the only way to be. I don’t have an answer as to when I first started thinking this. But I guess for a long time I have felt that I am not understood. That it is up to me to accompish things. I guess in some ways I have always been the outsider tryign to get in, but not managing, so I would just do me, and made myself be ok being alone and doing alone. But I can think of the times that I have asked for people to be there for me and they were not able – either they did no comfort/help me in the way I needed or wanted, because they didn’t understand or I was unable to verbalize. Or the times (especially over one summer program) that I was told regularly by my staff that they would hear me asking for help and decide not to because they knew that I would be able to figure it out on my own, and they had what to do. Or when I reach out and it’s only because I reach out that someone is there for me.

I have gotten to a point where the feeling of being alone hurts and I don’t feel capable of creating something else to help me not feel that void. Or maybe I have reached a point where the void is too big, so not matter what I do there is no way to make it feel full. I am aware that I need to let people in. I know that it is my nature to pull away, so then my aloneness feels like my choice and not because someone else decided that I am not worth caring for/hanging out with. I know that being vulnerable terrifies me, the feeling that I won’t be held, that I won’t be understood, that nothing with come out of it.

I feel like I need to be the strong one. I need to be the fighter. I need to accompish and be accomplished. I need to do the things that no one else does. I need to be the one that is happy and excited and gets other people involved. I need to be able to do it on my own and not need anyone. The problem is- what if I do need others? What if I don’t feel like I have strength? What if I am sad?

I didn’t get any answers today. It was a mix of people telling me to just go back and I will create and do things the way I know how. And there were people who were telling me I should stay, that there is much to be learned and gained from CPE. That doing something will be good for me.

I think that there is a part of me that wants to just go back to Israel. I will go back to the routine that I know. I won’t be pushed too much. I won’t have to share my feelings with everyone. I will get to once again just create, but maybe I will just be coasting…

My heart is torn as to where I should be living. My friends, the people who have become my support system are all in Israel right now. But my parents, grandparents, and half my siblings are in the US. I have never lived this close to any of them, and yet I still don’t see or speak to them that often. I want to get close, but at the same time that is scary and hard. We are all used to me being somewhere else, doing on my own, knowing they are there but not using them. If I go will I lose that opportunity to be around forever? What if I go back to Israel and then move again, will I be able to do that? If I am already around, and have a reason to be, should I not try and stay, just for the year, just to make them happy or try to be closer? My friends will still be there (yes of course tragedy could occur), but the truth is my parents and grandparents are only getting older, and that only means one thing, isn’t it up to me as their child and grandchild to be around?

I think there is a part of me that wants CPE so I can be pushed to feel and to share those feelings. I think that there is a part of me that feels like I can’t do it in school because I do feel very much like an outsider, but in CPE we are all going to be starting off together. There is a part of me that is scared of going out into the big world alone, and what it means not to be a student, so I am giving myself one more year. In CPE there is a start and an end; there are clear goals; there are people that I can turn to for support. If I go back to Israel right now, I am on my own. I need to be building and working. I need to turn to people who might care about me, but don’t understand what I am doing. I will be the creator of my goals. I will be the creator of what my position is and what it should look like. The end will only be when I decide that I want to move onto the next thing. And I guess that scares me…

Posted in Decisions, Life, Uncategorized

My Heart is Breaking…

My heart is breaking…

This time next week I will be in the air on the way to the US. This is my last Monday, waking up in my bed, in my apartment. It is my last Monday for I don’t know how long, being here in Israel.

Last night my closest friends took me out for an adventure night. It was clear how much they love and care for me- and I am just going. I tried to be in the moment, but every so often I just sat back and thought to myself that this is the last time that is will happen, and that I am really going to miss them.

The guests were:

  • My brother- the person I worry about and care most about at the table. I know that it is not my responsibility, but I feel bad that I am leaving him on his own. It is because of me, not because of his choosing, that he will be living alone. He will be alone for holidays, alone when making decisions, alone when good and bad things happen…and it is because of me. He all of a sudden has added stress because I am choosing to go…
  • R- Someone I have been friends with since I as 13. She has become part of my family. She is the person that I call on if I have a fever and need something. She is the person I call when things are going bad, good, crazy, ect. And this relationship is mutual. I am going to miss being able to just walk 10 minutes to go to her house, or out for coffee. I am going to miss her meeting the people that are in my life, and miss meeting the people that are in hers. I am going to miss our yearly movie, Yom Ha’azmaut traditions, and just having someone be there.
  • A & H- A and I met in 2003, but have been friends since 2004. It is amazing to me to have college friends here in Israel. Even more amazing that one of the closest people to me is from that time, even though college was all the way in Baltimore. She and her husband have become a couple that have taken me in. They are a place I go to confide in. A place to drink. A place to joke about halacha. A place to just feel love.
  • F- my roommate from the past three years. She is way more than a roommate- she is a family member. I remember when we spoke about living together, that I was nervous because I thought that she was a bit weird and anti-social—and how could I be wrong. She has been the best roommate that I have had since college. We are able to complement each other. Through everything that happened in both of our lives last year, we were able to both be there for each other. She too is part of my tornado of change- she decided to quit her job, and is looking for something new and different to do, potentially in a new city or maybe even a new country. I’m going to miss having a roommate that feel like family.
  • D-what to say about D. D is shuk boy. The boy that has been involved with everything for the past 6 years. The boy that was my chevruta. The boy that was my shopping partner. The boy that started traditions that filled my year. The boy that when things were going badly in my life, took time to drop everything to come and sit with me, and remind me (or at least try) that I am able to fight and I am smart. The boy that I felt so much for, but when talking about it didn’t want any more than just being on the periphery of my life. There were many times that I thought about dating him- that I could see him wanting to be with me, and I saw how well we got along- and then he would date someone else, or clearly tell me he was not interested. He liked having me around, but didn’t/doesn’t think about me in any other way (or at least doesn’t let himself see that/act on it). He is definitely one of the people have been closest to me, and me to him. I do feel bad that I am just leaving him. It is going to be strange and sad not to have him around all the time.
  • A- Oh A… the guy I started dating 6 weeks ago. The choice that I can’t figure out if it was the stupidest thing I have ever done or the most life changing thing I have ever done. This party was the first time that he met my friends, and not just any friends, but those that I am closest to- the ones that are practically my family. It was his choice to come into that, he did not have to come to the party at all, and I would have understood. The more we are together, the closer we become, and the less that I don’t want him in my life. When I think about saying goodbye to him, my heart hurts and it makes me want to cry. It is crazy that in such a short amount of time someone can become so integrated in someone’s life. I like him being in my life. But of course, he needs to be here and I need to be there. We both want the other to join us, but by asking that of the other person we are asking them to give up everything. If I were to stay in Israel, then I would be giving up getting smicha, something that I have been working towards for the past 6 years of my life. I have one year left…And if I ask him to move, he can’t work in the US, and I am asking him to follow me across the world to a city that he doesn’t know people and doesn’t have a job that he has built up, just for me. I wish that this was an easier decision to make.

So I am grateful that I have people who really love and care about me in the world. But it saddens me that I need to leave them, for a time unknown. It saddens me that my choices, which needed to be made for myself are deeply effecting and changing the lives of people around me. Once again my heart is torn…. I want to be here with those that I love/who love me, but I want to go to where I can finish my learning and do what I feel is my calling.

I pray that I am making the right choices and that I don’t come to regret what I will do.

Posted in Dating, Decisions

This Makes No Sense…What Should I Do?

I met someone. I met someone who is making me feel different than anyone else that I have ever met. There is a level of intimacy and intensity that I have never felt and I am not 100% sure what to do with. It is not a bad feeling; actually there is something nice about it.

There is something nice about feeling comfortable with another person. I find that I am able (and willing) to actually say what I am thinking and feeling. It was comfortable to be seen out with him, and for him to meet me roommate, or to just lay there with him.

But then none of this makes any sense as I am leaving in 5 weeks, and he is gone for a week of that. He is older and interested in dating for marriage (as am I), but what is this? This makes no sense whatsoever.

The rational part of me is telling me to break it off, because it has gotten really intense really quickly, and it will only get more so if we continue to see each other. But the other part of me is telling me to stay with it, that there is something happening. Usually, my rational part tells me and forces me to cut something like this off, but for some reason the idea of doing that makes me sad, and I want to say with it…

And so the two of us have spoken, and both of us feel the same way, and really have no clue what to do. Do I push to stay with him and see what happens (who knows we might hate each other or have to have a serious conversation about a long distance relationship)? Or do I say goodbye now? Or do I do something else that I haven’t thought of yet?

What would you do? What advice do you have for me?

Posted in Decisions, Life

15 Weeks

No, I’m not pregnant (not even close…)

It is 15 weeks till I fly back to the US for my (at least) a year in NY. I realized this when a teacher wrote that it is 8 weeks till Purim and 12 weeks till Pesach– and I’m leaving 3 weeks later.

To be honest I am freaking out a bit- although it is not all about bad things, it is more that everything is happening at once, and way faster than I would have wanted it to.

So I got into both CPE programs. I have chosen to go to the one in the hospital. I think that it will be a good thing for me to try something new, and push myself in very different ways than I would if I was in the nursing home. I know how to work with older adults and even their families. I have not worked in a hospital since I was 18.

I was worried about making money this summer, but this CPE program ends early enough for me to be able to go to camp. And so, I will make more or less the same amount as I would through the stipend.

In addition to sending in my acceptance to the CPE program, I also am 99% sure that I found an apartment in New York. I didn’t even start looking yet, but a friend posted on Facebook that she was looking for a third roommate. I wrote to her, slightly joking that if it is free in the summer, I would take it. The next thing I know, she has a subletter, and I have a place to live comes September.

And 15 weeks does not seem that long. Time is moving very quickly, and everything is starting to change.

So here is 15 weeks till my unknown length study abroad.

Posted in D'var Torah, Decisions

Jumping Back

Over Shabbat the Rabbi at shul spoke about Moshe jumping away from the staff once it turned to a snake. He jumped away from fear- but not fear from the snake. He jumped away from the fear of what he might become, of the responsibility, of that he is not “good” enough to do the job. And then God reminds him that he is, and this is where he is supposed to go.

I feel like people always are saying if only they had a sign from God of what they should be doing, they would just go with it. But here is Moshe, and he is being told by God exactly what his role in the world will be, and he too jumps back afraid.

Today I got my first acceptance to a summer program- meaning that my move to the US is becoming more real. I want to jump back. I want to go back to what I am used to- but at the same time, I know that this summer program is what I need in order to do what I want to in the world. I know that the switch of schools was something for the best. I can see that with the ease of some of these changes and additions that it is the right thing to be doing. I want to believe that it is God helping me figure out where I should be.

As much as I don’t want to be the one to jump back in fear, seeing Moshe jump makes me feel like it is ok to jump in fear at times. But to learn from him as well- that you also have to take the leap forward even when it is scary.

Posted in D'var Torah, Decisions

Saying What You Need/Want Even When You are Afraid

In Vayigash Yosef tells his brothers, and eventually his father that he is alive. He is the one they have been speaking to. He is the one that was causing them slight discomfort- but he also forgives them for what they did to him, all those years before.

I am thinking about the things that I would want to say to various people, but am too afraid to say because of what I think the outcome will be (I know, I spend to much time in my head).

  • It is because of you that I left. You are abusive and mean, and should not have the job that you do.
  • Why aren’t we dating? What is wrong with me? Why did you say no all those years ago, but you are still around? I think that I would go out with you if you wanted to. You are one the people that is closest to me, and I will miss you terribly next year.
  • Why are you still calling? What do you see in me that I don’t see? I feel bad that I keep pushing you away, and you are still there- I feel like a bad friend. I also miss you, but I don’t know what to do with those feelings.
  • Am I actually good enough to do what I am dreaming of doing? My confidence was broken, and I know that I have dreams and I know that I am young- but I have a lot of ideas, and in my mind it might work.
  • Am I a failure in your eyes because I’m not married with kids?
  • What is wrong with me? Why can’t I get asked out by “normal” guys? Why is it that I am on different websites/apps and get NOTHING (or really creepy/inappropriate messages)? Why haven’t you tried to set me up with anyone? Why have they said no?
  • I shouldn’t have said no to you. All of the reasons I decided you were wrong, were I am there now. But you are married/engaged. Did I make a mistake? Or was I just right, and you found the right person for you after me?
  • Did I make the right choices in my past and for my future? Did I go to the right school? Did I choose correctly to switch and give up a fight? Will I actually do something with my life?
  • When will I actually feel like an adult?
  • Are you bored with me?
  • Would you still respect me if I change? What about love me?

I don’t think that most of these things I will actually share. Some I wish I did have the guts to say/ask, others it is more for me in my mind to see what my next decisions should be.

What would you say if you did not have to fear the reprecussions or you were ok with those reprecussions? (Feel free to comment below)

Posted in D'var Torah, Decisions

How Do I Pass the Test?

Once again this week’s Parsha test many of the characters. We have Sara being tested by being barren and figuring out how to deal; what to do when she gives over her servant Hagar, who almost immediately becomes pregnant; what to do when Hagar’s son is intimidating (or playing with inappropriately) the child she is bares; being told that she will give birth even in her old age, and actually becoming a mother.

We have Hagar being tested of how to deal with Sara; what will she do with her new power of being the one who gets pregnant; what to do when she is banished from the house, not once by twice; how to care for her son in times of pain.

Yishmael is the first-born, but was probably aware of his family situation. He had to figure out how to live after being cast out of his family’s home, and living in the desert. It seemed that his mother had a lot of hopes and dreams for him, and was quite close (not that it is a bad thing), so he had to figure out how to keep up her spirits as well.

Yitzchak has to hold his own while having the tense family home around him; who knows what his brother Yishmael was doing to him, but he had to potentially stand up to a bully, as well as learn how not to act like him. And as for the most famous story, how to just follow his father, allow himself to be bound to an altar, and potentially sacrificed to God.

Abraham has to figure out how to deal with his wife who is in pain; how to have a relationship with a woman who was given to him, but is also the mother of his first-born; how to love his children even if there are greater problems; running out to greet the “angels” that came to his house; Lot and Sodom, and fighting for the rights of others; and obviously the most well-known test, the akeida.

Looking at life today, the question is what are our tests and how will we live up to them. How are we supposed to act towards people who are out to hurt us? How can we learn to be angry only at the ones who are acting instead of anyone that might be part of the community? What can I do to make my community/country/the world a better place? When should I fight? How do I deal with big changes in life, that mean moving to another country? How do we show love and care to people when then need it? Can I ever notice if an angel comes to visit me?  What do I do with any pain/suffering/hurt/frustration that might come my way? How do I know that I am following in the right path/doing what I am meant to be doing?