You know that feeling you get when you meet someone new and you get butterflies in your stomach? You know that feeling when you wake up and you feel as if everything in your life is crystal clear? You know that feeling when you finally say to yourself, “holy moly, I am just feeling some type of way.” It’s a feeling of love. You’re probably sitting there thinking to yourself, “who, what, where, when, HOW!!!” and all I have to say is, I’ve fallen in love. I’ve fallen in love with Israel (so Zionistic of me, I know). It’s a little hard to articulate this feeling I’m experiencing. Israel has its imperfections, like anywhere else, but for some reason everything seems to be perfect here. It’s one of those things I just can’t really explain, I just know this feeling and I like it.
Israel is home to people known as sabras, prickly on the outside yet sweet on the inside. Israelis tend to come off as aggressive and angry people; however, they have every right to act this way. Their country is under constant turmoil due to several factors. However, the people of this land are the most united, caring, and adventurous people I’ve ever met. Israelis are the type of people who will give you everything they have and will go out of their way to take care of you. They wear their heart on their sleeves, truly.
Of course, there are many ‘imperfections’ but that’s with anything and everything. It’s been seven weeks since my arrival and I’ve learned so much already. Not only the language, Israeli slang and how to properly eat shwarma; but, I’ve also learned that I was taking so many things for granted. For example, the house I lived in back in Florida is an average 1,864 square foot five person home. My parents did well for being immigrants and I still applaud them for how far they’ve come in life. This home, I write about, is a house my sisters and I really took for granted. We always complain about wanting a pool or moving somewhere bigger or having to share a bathroom between the three of us. Little did I know, I was spoiled rotten (still am, kinda). My parents have given us the world. Here, the house I lived in Florida is worth MILLIONS. When I show my cousins my house back home, they see it and say how “lucky” we are. I see having an apartment with only the necessities as lucky. I find more appreciation for the lifestyle here. Point being, life here is simple and not as materialistic as America. I’ve been working really hard to live a minimalist life. It’s not easy, but it’s worth a shot.
Life is sweet here (Ha-Kol D’vash), I’m happy. I’m bonding with my cousins and aunts, I play cards with my grandma almost every day and walk to the park with my grandpa a couple times a week. This is the most time I’ve ever had to spend time with my family here and I’m SO happy I have this chance to spend this time with them.
Funny enough, I don’t miss the “things” I left behind. I miss my family and friends back home. Family is forever, but I’ve definitely learned which friends are worth keeping. Distance really shows you who’s worth keeping and who’s worth letting go. It hurts, but I think as I get older, I start gaining only quality friends. Shoutout to those who have FT’d and called via phone despite the time difference!
Here’s an update on everything else: I start my internship this week (SUPER stoked), I move into my apartment in three weeks, I start ulpan in a month and I’ve made a couple of really cool friends here (Israeli). It’s a little tough for me to get around since my Hebrew is not up to par, but I’m learning. Each day has a new lesson in store for me. I’m learning my way around, I’m practicing my Hebrew, I’m making a life for myself here. My new friends really take the time to practice the language with me by hanging out or texting me in Hebrew or even calling me a couple times a week simply to chat. Nothing is overnight, but I definitely see improvement in many aspects of my life.
Every morning, I wake up so excited and happy for what’s ahead. Thank G-d for this amazing experience.
Side note: Many of you may have heard of what’s going on in the news here in Israel: There was a stabbing in Jerusalem during the Pride Parade and a 16-year-old girl was announced dead a day later. Proof that terrorism exists in all religions, unfortunately. This behavior is absolutely unacceptable, for ANYONE practicing ANY religion. Keep praying for only peace in our world.
P.S. You can follow my every move by adding me on Snapchat: @Yarstafarian; Twitter: @YariRostamian