I’m generally an optimistic person. I need to be – I throw myself into new situations all the time. Without optimism I’d quickly give up, because adaptation can be mind-blowingly difficult. New challenges pop up each day, from homesickness, to cancelled bus routes, to bureaucracy mind-melts, to the ever-persistent language barriers.
And yet, I still keep jumping into the deep end.
What gets me through is believing that if I persist, if I work hard, things will improve. And in the end, I do have rewarding experiences. However, after a year here in Israel my optimism is waning.
Fact: I am not happy here on the kibbutz, working as a waitress 12 hours a day, wash-rinse-repeat.
Here are the negatives:
- I am so not a part of the kibbutz.
- People are constantly criticizing my Hebrew.
- I feel like I’m accomplishing nothing struggling along in minimum-wage jobs.
- I feel like I’ve wasted a year here.
Here are the realities:
- The kibbutz is a goddamn exclusive shitty place to live as a non-kibbutznik. They’re snobs and they don’t want your friendship.
- To everyone who criticizes my Hebrew: זין גדול לכולם. I’ve only been here for a year. Of course I make mistakes.
- This is temporary. Working is improving my Hebrew and getting me in touch with Israeli culture.
- There’s no such thing as wasting time when I’m learning.
From where I’m standing, stuck in a loop of kibbutz-work-kibbutz, I don’t see an out of the endless drivel. This wall I’ve been trying to break, won’t. I need to try approaching it from a different perspective.
Which is why I’m flying back to Oregon for a couple months (!) to figure out what I’m working toward. Do I want to continue studying, and if so what? What career ideas can I glean from mentors and friends?
It’ll be refreshing to reclaim my autonomy.