I’m in the airport.
I have 45 minutes until I board the plane that will take me again to the place I tried to put to rest in my heart: my beloved Tel Aviv. I am writing as I sit in my terminal and sip red wine. I am happy. This feels right.
A few hours ago I was in a different frame of mind. I was frantically sending text messages to my friends as I wiped tears from my eyes. This trip seemed absurd to me. I was supposed to have come to terms with being home. I was supposed to have let Israel go for a while. But I’ve learned again and again that I will never be able to anticipate my feelings. As much as I tried to convince myself that I would be okay staying in Massachusetts, the more my heart rebelled. So it goes.
So, I’ve been home for two and a half months and I have not yet forgotten that sweet Israeli city and the boy I’ve come to adore. I don’t know how these things are supposed to work. But I can truthfully say that there hasn’t yet been a day that’s passed that I have not found myself longing to go back. I have felt for months that I should be in Tel Aviv. Even still, earlier today I became caught in the idea that going back was crazy and inevitably destructive. As it turns out, all hearts are fickle.
It was never truly an option in my mind not to go, if course. Everything was in order: I had worked relentlessly for two months and covered three weeks’ worth of shifts; I had a ride to the airport in just a few hours; I spent the previous night out with my closest friends. Once my plane landed some 6000 miles from home, a boy planned to pick me up at the airport and bring me back to his house. I had felt secure in all this and jittery with anticipation. I woke up this morning and sent a text to the boy I’m so fond of, expressing my excitement. Even so, an hour later fear had overtaken me and I was crying to my best friend.
This trip, I think, requires me to make some choices. Frankly, I’m feeling utterly unequipped. My life is fuller than it used to be. I find myself deeply attached to people and places on opposite sides of the world, and the realisation hurts in a strange way. I am preemptively miserable at the thought of leaving Israel while I simultaneously anticipate discovering homesickness. What did I get myself into?