What a great week it has been! After a hard few days last week of being homesick, I have had no complaints this week! Some combination of going to Shorashim and spending Shabbat with my sister and the Morse's (my sister's, and now my, "adopted family" here in Israel), talking to friends and family from home, and changing my way of thinking pulled me through just fine.
The biggest thing I was hung up on was the feeling that I did not have good friends at Ulpan yet. I knew, in my head, that in two weeks I could not expect to have formed best friendships, but the fact still made me feel very lonely. Once I realized two ways that I could improve my situation, things got a lot better. First, I decided that I would push myself to spend more time in friends' rooms and with friends outside of Ulpan. This is pretty easy because we live in what is like apartment style dorms, so my friends are all literally a minute or two away from me, if that. Second, while spending this time with friends I decided that I needed to stop thinking and analyzing so much. I realized that during the times I was with my friends I wasn't truly being myself. I had so many thoughts constantly running through my head (what am I doing here, was this the right thing to do, what are the next few years going to look like, can I see myself being good friends with these people, etc) that it was inhibiting me from being myself. I was more quiet and reserved than "normal" me, I wasn't letting myself open up and actually be present in the interactions I was having. If you know me, then you probably know that analyzing, ruminating, and thinking so much is REALLY not like me, so this was a frustrating realization to have. Ultimately, I needed to stop thinking and just be.
The good news is that this week I have felt the most like myself since I have been here, so I think my two step solution is working :). I genuinely feel more happy and energetic, I am more excited to spend time with friends getting to know them and forming relationships. I actually feel like I am living here now and not just visiting. All I can hope for is to have many more weeks like this week.
I am staying home for the weekend for the first time since I have moved in, I am excited to spend Shabbat with my new friends in Jerusalem. For now I'm off to go give my friend Brandon a hair cut, I can't believe he's trusting me!