April 3rd, 2010- today’s the day I’m going to tell them.
Prior to this, day after day, I would awake, toss off my blankets and pop-tart out of bed, ready to make the genuine commitment to myself and to honesty by speaking a few basic words. I would stand up, prepare my speech, cower, cry, and crawl back into bed, slumping more deeply into a depression solely caused by my own inability to share with others what I had been feeling for nearly a year: I was moving to Israel. My extended family would constantly ask, “is she okay?” and my friends wondered (for quite a good reason) if something was “up”. The fact of the matter was, I knew for so long Israel was my destiny, but no one else did.
My family, for a smattering of reasons, were people with the penchant to continuously “go”. For as many summers as I can remember, we traveled to Tel Aviv for a week and a half of beaching, eating, and visiting family. Despite being considered a tourist in Israel until I wasn’t, there was something otherworldly about feeling that a place so far from home, both literally and figuratively, was more your home than the house in which you grew up. So, in June of 2009, my cousin got married on a beautiful grassy-hill overlooking the Mediterranean. A wedding is just a wedding, I thought. But something about the sweltering heat being ignored by other party-goers and something about the general attitudes and passions and dance styles and happinesses of others at the wedding, and in Israel in general, spawned something in me that I had yet to feel ever. I needed this life, this life was me.
The flight home was a nightmare. I’m a pretty great sleeper (even my husband finds my ability to fall asleep so quickly comical). I spent the 12 hour flight sobbing out the window at the prospect that it would be another year until I came back to Israel, to myself, to my home. When we landed back in New York, I immediately called my therapist, and began, what would be, a six-month-long process of working on my confidence and on the courage to share my decision with my parents. Of course, it seemed really easy in theory.
When no one was home, I would play popular Israeli dance music and jump (yes, I said jump) up and down in my bedroom over and over until a sweat began to break. I constantly suggested we eat Israeli food for dinner, and I began speaking to my father in a few Hebrew words. The hints were not vague, but they couldn’t replace the need to actually and actively utter the words, “I’m moving to Israel”.
The week before I told my parents, my therapist came to a very profound conclusion, “Rebecca, you understand that your decision to wait in telling your parents was a smart one- that the more time you took to share your feelings with me, the more at peace you were with your decision, and the more time you had to properly plan for your future in Israel- this transitional phase was incredibly beneficial for you”, she said. My subconscious and conscious decision to hold-off on sharing the breaking news was my own way of transitioning into the next phase; the moment I told them was the moment it was to become REAL.
Transitioning is one of the most beneficial aspects of decision-making, if taken in responsible doses. Leaving behind the speeches and the tears, I burst into my mom’s bedroom early on a Wednesday morning and said, “Mom, the reason I’ve been so down is that I want to move to Israel. Now you know”. Her response, “I had a feeling, but you had to muster up the strength to tell me yourself. I’m proud of you, and I’m happy you found your happiness”.