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"What makes you happy?"

As promised, this week was back to normal…even better than normal. I finished my first real project at work (with great feedback from my boss!), spent time with friends and crossed off even more list items! Since moving to Israel, I have become more and more in tune with the idea that your attitude affects everything in a MASSIVE way. Israel gives back exactly what you put out, and this week, it was positive vibes everywhere. I made a seriously conscious effort to do what makes me happy this week…and it worked wonders.

I’ve kept my sunrise runs, and not only on the weekends…and not alone! My runs have now gained other runners as well! My friend from Ulpan is coming for a 5:30am run on Monday and my friend from work is coming on Tuesday. I love that other people feel inspired to get up and go and that my daily routine is gaining traction with others. On that note, if you have never tried an early morning run…I 100% recommend it. It’s the best way to start a day, clear your mind and prepare for the day ahead. And doing it with friends is even better (:

I’m also a firm believer that most negative things we feel, we have the power to fix. Last week, I wrote about feeling lonely in Israel, so I went out and did something about it. I first spent an entire day with my best friend from Ulpan. We talked for hours and hours and it was just what I needed to lift my spirits. I also made a conscious effort to reach out and make new friends. I now have a group of friends from work, most of whom are in similar situations to me and have all the expat wisdom (which FYI for non-expats…is literal GOLD). This week, I have gone to Happy Hour with 12 work friends, and brunch with another. I genuinely look forward to going to the office, not just because my job is interesting and enjoyable, but now I’m surrounded by friends for 8 hours every day. I also made friends from my new Ulpan, so even after work, I have more love and support. And now, I feel happier than ever. I feel myself settling in here in Israel. I’ve written before about feeling not quite myself here, not yet stable…and I slowly but surely feel that fading away.

I’ve also learned how incredibly easy it is to stay in touch with friends and family back home. Even with a seven hour time difference, they always make the time for me, they always listen and they always lend advice. I felt lonely without them physically present last week, but they are just as in tune with my life as ever. Yes, I cannot literally be with them, but with friends and family, that doesnt even matter…I just needed a reminder of that.

So the lesson I’ve learned from having an off week in Israel is to go out and fix it. Don’t let a bad situation stay bad. Go out and do what makes you happy. And I did just that. I made all kinds of new friends, started a new workout regimen, taught myself a new (super cool) software at work, learned more Hebrew (and practiced said Hebrew), redecorated my room (hello, duvet covered in cartoon sloths!), and just enjoyed all the moments. I let the small moments mean something again. I remembered the magic that is the land of Israel and let it remember me. Israel will surely continue to have it’s ups and downs but I’ve successfully weathered my first storm (although minor), and know how to handle whatever may come next.

I’m off to Haifa next weekend so stay tuned for more adventures and lessons learned!

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