I’m ready to share.
More than just the mouthwatering ratatouille I had last week or the feelings I had walking towards the Western Wall with my mom for the first time.
I’m ready to share with the world wide web what Israel has done for me over these past four months.
When my Nannie passed away a couple of years ago I had this weird new feeling of my senses being heightened. Colors seemed brighter and my days felt more vibrant. Losing one of the loves of my life brought the cheesy meaning of our lives right to my core and it made me see the world in a more positive light.
What I realize now is that during that stage of growing up, where you feel loss for the first time, was when I began to see myself for who I am; for what she saw me as, always knew me to be, and why I will always be her lovebug.
She made me feel important and loved and admired everyday, but why couldn’t I feel that way about myself without the words coming out of someone else’s mouth? Somewhere between the ages of 6 and 10 I lost a whole load of confidence and I’ve been missing it for a long time.
What was it going to take for me to like me, love me, accept me, and just be me?
It took Israel, and it’s finally clear why I picked up and left everything in Chicago.
In the time between my last post and now I’ve realized that I am not a functioning person when I’m sick, my mom makes me laugh more than anyone else, I actually like mushrooms, certain foods (not mushrooms) really turn me on, and the reason for me coming here, what I will remember most about my time in Tel Aviv, why I’m going to fly back to Chicago ready to take on the world…
is that I’ve started to really love myself.
And that is terrifying for me to type to all of you.
Forget all the boys who have made me feel vulnerable, admitting that to myself, and now to you, has taken the most guts I’ve ever used for anything.
I’m finally really seeing myself the way my Nannie did, the way my mom and dad, and some of you do; it feels like I’m understanding myself for the first time and it feels better than I can describe with words.
Some other fun facts that I’ve recently learned:
I love Justin Beiber, his music
I like talking about politics and starring at art, for a minute
I can’t cook, I can try, I’ll keep trying, but I’ll always want to buy the ingredients and eat them after you mix them together
I’m so in love with the friendships I have with people back home
My family is my ride or die
PMS is a very real and scary week for me, every month (full of Sam Smith and chocolate cereal)
I know what I want to be when I grow up
I’m seeing Judaism through a humanistic approach instead of a religious one
I like wearing lipstick
I can get a date, or two, without my nails painted, hair straightened, or eyebrows waxed (none of which have been done since before September 7th, don’t worry I have a friend who plucks my brows here)
I can sit at a cafe and talk the whole time or sit in silence and sip my tea and have an equally good time
I have a backbone
People like you, when you like you
Finding Florentin changed my life…
The ultimate goal is for everybody to find their Israel, but it’s one of those things you can’t go out searching for; it’ll hit you like a ton of bricks when you’ve found it, hold on to that feeling, never let it go.