On and off I have been considering the option of moving back to Israel. I find the process of thinking about this to be fascinating. I find myself trying to think of every aspect of this decision. I’m going to try to share these thoughts with you. I’m calling this piece “part 1” because I am quite sure there are more to come.
Thinking about moving back to Israel is an extremely emotional experience. When I thought about leaving Israel for a while, of course there were hopes and expectations that accompanied that decision, but worst came to worse, if it didn’t work out for me in my city of choice, Vancouver, I could always just go back home, say, “Experiment – failed” and move on. It wouldn’t be easy – I imagined myself feeling pretty stupid at even having tried – but it was doable.
On the other hand, moving back to Israel feels like a much more loaded decision. It’s like testing out what should theoretically be the permanent solution for my life, the last stop. It’s like if you have a crush on a certain guy for a long time and in your mind he could very well be “the one” but then when you actually have the opportunity to go out with him, it’s terrifying because if it doesn’t work out, it’s a terrible let-down. It’s like you lost your backup plan. And then you can feel totally lost.
Same here. If I were to move back and find that it’s not good for me there, that I’m unhappy there, from my current perspective that seems like it would be the most devastating realization! Israel is supposedly my “real” home! Israel is where I need to be if I want to be near my family! And where the hell would I go if it didn’t work out for me there?
OK, lots of fears. So I step back and try to examine the thoughts leading to the fears. I mean, of course I’m scared because it’s a scary thing, putting so much power into a decision. But honestly, it is probably way more power than it deserves.
I think that when we make really big decisions, like moving across the world or changing religious practices (like the big changes I decided to make three years ago), it feels so final. Not only that, I always picture certain outcomes. And it’s hard for me to imagine that other outcomes that I’m unaware of are also options. Besides the fact that the outcome will be way more complex than any I’m imagining.
But whatever the outcome, the fact is that we simply cannot know it. Though I had a general idea of what I wanted and needed from my time away from Israel, I obviously could not picture exactly how it would work out for me here. It would be interesting to compare my pre-arrival imagination of what might happen to me while I’m here, with what actually did happen to me while here. Too bad those images are long gone. Now it is the reality that is in my consciousness.
Anyway, I guess that with these issues, the main thing I need to tell myself is that I need to decide if I feel like it’s time for me to try living in Israel again. I cannot worry about exactly how it will work out because only once I’m there will I be able to deal with anything that happens.
It still feels like a humongously big decision. :)