Sunday, July 30, 2006

General Update. And Stuff.

I keep coming up with excuses why I'm not blogging more often. This week's excuse: my life is mundane. How can I blog about the small frustrations and miniscule triumphs of my life when my country is at war and people are dying? How can I write about my random thoughts and non-sequiters here in Chicago when my people are under attack here in America. I feel guilty. Stupid as it may seem, I feel guilty writing about the events of my life which, in the grand scheme of things, really don't amount to very much. Rockets are falling deeper in Israel. People were shot in Seattle. And I'm frustrated because I can't find an apartment?!

But, for those who really are interested in my small little life, here's a general update:

*Grad School* I've been accepted and enrolled in the University of Illinois at Chicago Jane Addams College of Social Work. This is the program I wanted, and I'm extremely excited to start. Classes start at the end of August.

*Living Situation* I just found a place to call my own. I should be moving in sometime after August 15th. In the meantime, I'm still living with Big Brother and Big Sister, who have been wonderful and generous and patient. We just moved yesterday to their shiny, pretty new condo.

*Work and Play* My meaningless summer office job ends in 2 weeks. I have 2 PT jobs lined up for the school year, which shold begin within the next month. I kind of have a social life. It ebbs and flows. Right now it's kind of ebbing, but I choose to blame a combination of the Three Weeks and my recent frantic search for an apartment. This means that I should start being more social again after this week. Keep your fingers crossed.

There you have it, folks. The current Life of Me in a very small nutshell. I really will try to post more often. I just don't want anyone to think for a moment that any irreverant, random postings mean that I'm not glued to CNN or Israeli newspapers online, and that my heart isn't still with my people and my country.

Monday, July 24, 2006

Watching the Green(er) Grass Grow

We all knew this statement was going to come. In fact, I knew when I left Israel that I was most likely going to say this. Ready for it? Here goes...

I should have made aliyah.

My friends in Israel, assuming they still read this, are now nodding their heads and saying, "Told you so!" while my friends and family in America are shaking their heads and thinking that I'm crazy. The latter won't like this post. They want me safe and healthy and happy in Chicago.

Safe, certainly. Healthy, well...that's not in my hands. Happy...I haven't been truly happy since I was in Israel. That's the part that I know they won't want to hear. But it's true. I miss who I was in Israel. I miss my lifestyle in J'lem. I made more sense there. Life made more sense there. Even with rockets falling, sirens wailing, people dying, etc., I would rather be in Israel.

Some of my friends here say that I need to give Chicago more of a chance. Wait until I've found my own apartment, started grad school, met new people. Wait and see, they say. And in the meantime, I go to bed every night and wake up every morning with the same thought. I should have made aliyah.

I feel locked in. Like I made my choice, and now I have to live with it for two years. I'm enrolled in grad school. I got a scholarship. I have jobs that I can keep while in school. I'm searching for an apartment. All those little wheels are in motion that stick me further and further into the rut that I feel like I'm in. Those iron bars are sliding shut. Pick cliché and insert here.

On the other hand, had I made aliyah, maybe I would be typing this post from my flat in J'lem, wondering if I had acted too hastily. Wondering if I should have gone to grad school in America. Feeling guilty knowing that my family was losing sleep worrying about my safety. That darn grass is always greener, after all. So I'll just sit here and watch it grow. Feel free to bring a picnic blanket and join me.

Thursday, July 13, 2006

If I Forget Thee...

I keep telling myself to blog more. Not that my life is all that interesting these days, but I'm sure there are those out there who would still read about my apartment hunting trials, or random Cara-type murmurings.

But I can't write it. I have friends facing far more difficult, trying obstacles than finding a new apartment, or trying to figure out how to juggle work and school. All things considered, my life is chugging along fairly smoothly. My world seems to trivial.

The events of the past 48 hours have made me feel my own triviality even more strongly. I should never have left Israel. I know my family and friends here in America sleep more soundly at night knowing that I am in Chicago, but I don't. I toss and turn at night, unable to sleep, wondering and worrying. In waking hours, I constantly check Israeli news sources, obsessing over every new article or lck thereof.

I feel like I abandoned my home. Part of me knows that this is irrational. I left two months ago, before Shalit was kidnapped, before Hezbollah started this on the Lebanese border. I left to go to graduate school, not because of the "situation". And I know, deep down, that my presence in Israel would not be of any help. I'm not a soldier. I can't defend my country. But over here in Chicago, I am completely, 100% helpless to do anything except watch from afar.

Maybe this won't make sense to anyone else. It doesn't have to. I realize how bizarre this must wish I was back in a place where people are taking refuge in bomb shelters, where rockets are hitting cities never before hit, where every hour brings the toll of those wounded or killed even higher. Bizarre, but true.

I've been homesick for Israel every day since I left. Right now, the longing to be there almost makes me nauseous. My heart weeps for those wounded, for their families, the families of those who have been killed, the families of the soliders who have been kidnapped, for my entire country. And my fists curl up in helpless anger at those who have brought about this violence, and at the Powers That Be who have me sitting in an office in Chicago, so very far from where my heart is.