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"What's it like to change?"

A quick apology to all of my blog readers…I’ve been lax on the writing lately. But, in my defense…I’ve been going through A LOT of changes here in Israel. Since my last blog post I moved apartments, left one job and got another one, experienced my first Purim and my first Pesach in the Holy Land, signed up for and started training for a marathon in Bulgaria, started a new relationship, had my family come to visit and crossed off many more list items, just to name a few. It feels a bit like I just made Aliyah all over again because everything is so new all over again. It’s been absolutely wonderful. I feel like it took me some time to figure out what was right for me here but it’s a process and I’m definitely making strides.

I feel that every decision I have made in the past month has put me in a better situation than I was in before. I have been making the choices and the changes necessary to live a happier and better life…the life I moved halfway across the world for. This much change at one time can feel overwhelming…but this time it felt more cleansing than anything else. Like I was gaining clarity. I’ve gained new friendships this past month, strengthened some existing ones, and also moved on from some friendships that were not serving me well. It’s hard to make those choices, but absolutely the right decision. Many smarter people than I (namely Gary Vaynerchuk, Tim Ferriss and others) have spoken about the importance of good friends and relationships…for the need to cut out negative people in your life, even if it’s difficult (even if it’s family!). I am so genuinely happy with who I am currently surrounded by both here in Israel and back at home. I feel each of my friends brings an immense amount of positivity, motivation and comfort into my life, which radiates into everything I do everyday.

Aside from wonderful friendships, I have also moved into an amazing new apartment!! It’s two bedroom, two bathroom, two minutes walking from the beach. (So American friends, I’m looking at you…time to come visit!!) Having my own space has done me wonders. I have decorated and filled my apartment with sentimental items, making it truly feel like home. I feel settled here in a way that I didn’t before. I even have a balcony with a little thriving garden (see #54 on the list!). I wake up in genuine happiness each and every morning here.

To go with my new apartment, is a new job! Leaving my first job here in Israel was a struggle of a decision for me. Normally, I would never imagine leaving a job before giving my one year. It’s what I grew up hearing, what all my friends stick to…you committed to the job, so you stick with it. People are counting on you. Having this ingrained in me, made me unsure whether moving on after just three months was okay…not even to mention right. But without hitting too many details, things were happening in the company that didn’t sit right with me. I felt uncomfortable in the work I was doing. I felt that staying was compromising not only my career but my morals. So, I made the move. I quit. I left without having another solid offer. Like I said, I would never imagine myself doing anything like this. But the second I did it, a weight lifted. I felt instantly like I had made the right choice. And within days of quitting, I had a new job offer from a company that I am so excited about. A company doing good in the world. And I start on Sunday!

I feel myself slipping into a comfort here in Israel. Things are settling exactly the way they are supposed to. Thanks to Alon, I have officially crossed off four more list items this month (and he assured me we will get through the whole thing…so send more items my way in the comments or through email if there’s something I’m missing!). Now completed are:

#30: “See a camel” Alon took me for a spontaneous road trip through the south of Israel, where I have never been before. We saw camels, sheep, and mountain goats wandering through the Israeli desert. If you’ve never driven through Israel, I highly recommend it. The scenery is strikingly beautiful and changes from one mile to the next, making it seem as if you’ve crossed into new lands at each moment.

Also on this journey, I crossed off #62: “See the Iron Dome”. For those who are unfamiliar, the Iron Dome is an air defense system that Israel has created to protect ourselves from rockets (mostly coming from Hamas/Gaza). It’s a pretty extraordinary piece of equipment, and I’ve officially seen it in person!

#32: “Visit a kibbutz” Alon lives on a Kibbutz in the south of Israel, so I officially got my first taste of Kibbutz life…and I must say, I kind of love it. It reminds me of Maine…a lot. The kibbutz in general is surrounded by farms (I’m still waiting for Mom and Dad to move here and work on a farm near a kibbutz…hint hint parents!). The seclusion gives it a sense of quiet peace that is a bit hard to find in the bustling city of Tel Aviv. We walked around the kibbutz, only seeing a few other people, but seeing plenty of stars (both nearly impossible to achieve in Tel Aviv). The safe neighborhood feel is apparent with peoples doors being left open and unlocked, the communal buildings of the kibbutz being open even though no one is currently working in them…it’s very reminiscent of rural Maine and made me feel right at home.

#45: “Swim in the Mediterranean at night” Upon learning about my list, Alon asked what was on it…and the first thing I thought of was this. So that very same day….we did it. We walked to the beach late at night and ran into the water. Now…this is a slightly disputed list item and should maybe not be fully crossed off….because I didnt go all the way into the water (it was way colder than expected!) but I say it counts. Maybe I’ll also try again in a few weeks when it’s hotter…?

So after all of these changes this past month, I am really finding my balance and my place here in Israel. And if this month has taught me anything its to go after what you want and what you feel is right, even if it’s hard. It will always be worth it. As I’ve said before, if you put good out into the world, it will always come back to you.

Stay tuned for a recap of my family’s visit to Israel (along with a million pictures) and my first day of work coming up!!

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