Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Where to Belong

When I first got back here (US) I had a lot of small "culture shock" type things. it's really weird to come back to your own culture and then all of a sudden feel out of place...in the place where you grew up. That's a hard concept to comprehend, I can't wrap my head around what it feels like entirely. When friends talk about specific things that I don't know about/wasn't here for/couldn't care less about (if you know me you know that is mostly everything that is pop culture), when lifestyle choices don't necessarily match up or, I dont know, they don't understand anything that I do in Israel, even when they attentively listen and ask questions...that's hard. At first I was missing Israel a lot and felt out of place here, wanting to go back. That's changed a bit over the weeks and I feel much more "at home" here, which means it will be a bit harder to go back. It's easy to get used to the luxury here...getting in the car and driving wherever to get whatever done, I'm familiar with the places and how things work and I can very easily get to the doctor, eye doctor, dentist, and hairdresser in one afternoon. That would be like my most productive day ever in Israel I think. If I need one grocery or household item I just hop in the car and drive a few minutes to target or the grocery store and have no problem finding whatever I need, in 100 varieties, and 100 different brands, on the same shelf. For some reason it doesn't seem that easy to me in Israel (even though I live a very short 3 minute walk to the center of town...so I guess it is?) There is Whole Foods here, Target, Forever 21, Marylou's, TJ Maxx, all the fun stores I have missed. I have even stopped wanting to throw a rock at the TV when my mom watches "Dance Mom's"...okay, no, I still hate those dumb reality shows. 

I don't want to go back to the army. I know that will change once I get there but I just see how easy life is here (obviously, I'm on a MONTH long vacation!) and just can't muster up the desire to go back to someone telling me what to do and where to be basically 24 hours a day. I will admit though, I still feel proud when I think about putting on my uniform and it has been killing me to read about all the trouble with Egypt lately and to not be there.

Mom's new home feels like home, which is cool and something I didn't expect. I guess what they say is true, then...home is where your mom is.  I feel like I havent spent enough time with friends since I've been here...or I guess I just thought I would have spent more time with friends. Ironically, when you have a month you don't feel as much urgency as a week so it's kind of easier to let the days pass and not get in everything you wanted to do...weirdly enough. I saw most of my friends at least once, if not more, which is good, spent a good amount of time with family, visited Grammy and Bubba a few times, and managed to stock up on the essentials to bring back to Israel. 

Overall, I have to say, I feel like right now I am exactly where I should be in life...living in Israel and visiting the US. Even though it's not easy to feel so torn sometimes (all the time), it's comforting to feel that despite that, I'm in the right place. 

Sunday, August 5, 2012

On Leave

I flew to the states on July 9th for my once a service-year 30-day leave from the army. I didn't get my flight tickets until a few days before the flight so that was a bit nerve-wracking! Mom picked me up from the airport, which is always the best feeling, I came home to her new house, got the tour, took a shower and hopped in the car for a camping/kayaking trip up in Maine at Sacco River with friends. The weekend was a ton of fun! The following weekend was my birthday so I had some celebrations with Mommy and Dani and then my friends from home and BC friends and Boston. My third weekend I went to New Jersey for the annual Wildwood Beach Ultimate Frisbee Tournament with (almost) all of my frisbee friends from all of my years of college. We were something ridiculous like 90 people in almost every room at the motel, with an extra person in each room, and 5 or more teams in the frisbee tournament. Wildwood is always a ton of fun and this year was no different, it was sooo good to see all of my friends from those that graduated when I was a freshman or sophomore to those that were freshmen or sophomores when I graduated! Last Thursday night Mom, Al (who arrived in the States when I was in NJ), Dani and I went to the Red Sox game in Boston and then Friday morning we went to Martha's Vineyard for the weekend. For the past maybe 6 years we've been going to the Vineyard for a week, weekend, or some combination of days over the summer or Columbus Day weekend. Usually we rent a house but this year we stayed with Allie's friend's family in Oak Bluffs, Martha's Vineyard. What a perfect weekend spent at the beach, riding bikes, kayaking, jumping off the bridge, lounging around the house, running a surprise 5k, eating Mexican food at Sharky's and delicious ice cream at Mad Martha's and, of course, riding on the "Flying Horses" carousel, the oldest continuously running carousel in the US (and yes, I stole a ring, for those of you that understand the Dispatch reference). During the weeks I've kept myself busy visiting friends, going into Boston, going to the gym, getting errands done, watching the Olympics, and most importantly, spending time with my family. This is my last week here and I'm started to get a little nervous about leaving, I'll write a post tomorrow about my "emotions" regarding the trip.

P.S. Friday we are meeting Penelope's family in Boston for a few hours before I catch my flight! Penelope is the little girl that I donated bone marrow/stem cells to back in December/January 2010/11. Of course I'll write about that after it happens as well.

More to come tomorrow!