Saturday, November 13, 2010


This post also kind of ties in to the previous two posts about being Israeli and writing. Writing-- well, it's kind of obvious-- writing, journaling...I write in my journal- what happened, what's going through my mind. And poems are a reflection of those two. Being Israeli I'll get to at the end.

In addition to this blog I have a handwritten journal.

I have been writing since at least...second grade, I think? I didn't really keep a consistent journal until college-- I had journals and diaries, but I would write for a few weeks (maybe a month) and then forget about it, finding it a few years later when I was cleaning out some drawer. I actually have a diary-- with a lock on it, locked naturally-- from probably 5th or 6th grade. I don't know where the key is, hence it's still locked and I don't know when it is from (yes, I can pick or smash the lock. But that feels wrong. So it will stay locked until I decide to pick it, or have someone else do it for me).

Once I started college I saw a show called Subway Train and what struck me was that the show had been mostly written in journals, on the way to and from places. It never occurred to me until that point to write while I was traveling. But I had so much time traveling! I took three subways (or a bus and two subways) to school every morning. And I traveled other places by bus and train and there was the waiting in doctor's offices and in the Verizon store and-- all those places that I never thought to just...write. Even sitting in a Starbucks or in the park-- I had always associated writing in a diary with sitting in my room, cross-legged on my bed or propped up against pillows...and all of a sudden I changed the label-- Journal-- and it became a verb to me. An action. I was journaling. And so I simply opened the small notebook that I carried around to jot down to-do lists, or shopping lists, or other things I needed to remember, to the back and started writing. Just writing-- I'm on the train at 42 st. Where is the train?/Waiting for the bus crosstown...there is someone staring at me/Wow. I had a day. And on and on, just writing. And the writing turned into questions and sometimes answers and a lot of the time musing and more questions. Overthinking, re-thinking, dissecting what someone said and what it meant. Journaling became a way of coping and analyzing and sorting out my brain.

I had a blog, too, from high school. But I realized that journaling felt very different than blogging. Yes, my blog was for me but others could see it too. My journal was for me, and it was in my handwriting and it could be touched and flipped through and gone back to any time I wanted. It can.

Looking back and counting, I have 5 of those mixed notebooks and one journal that is filled with journaling and not lists. I actually really like those mixed notebooks because they reflect everything that was going on-- what I had to do, and recipes, and what I had to bring the next day, or assignments...but my journal is my journal.

I've just finished my first journal-only notebook. I have a journal that I started when I came to Israel almost 3 years ago in January 2008. I stopped writing in it because I couldn't find it, and then when I couldn't find the journal I just finished I used that. But now I'm picking up that one to continue in it and write.

Being Israeli. I've noticed that my writing takes whatever language I'm surrounded by about what I'm writing. Confusing? Ok. Most of my journal is in English, with Hebrew words sprinkled in here and there. But if I'm writing about something that's going on then, and the something is in Hebrew, whatever I'm writing will be in Hebrew. For example, someone I went out on a date with- he and I speak in Hebrew and English, but more Hebrew. When I was writing about the date, it was in Hebrew-- my thoughts and feelings were in Hebrew, if that makes sense. When I saw a documentary as part of my work (we had a beginning of the school year meeting and part of it was a documentary about a street kid) and I wrote about it, I wrote in Hebrew. Again, my thoughts and my feelings were in Hebrew. I'm still more comfortable in English, especially when it comes to occupational therapy, and sometimes EMS (ambulance stuff-- my first EMS experiences were in Hebrew (yes, the course was in English but the terminology was in Hebrew and I worked on the Hebrew-speaking ambulances). But I'm a lot more comfortable expressing myself and I've been thinking and feeling in Hebrew more. I'm not sure if that makes me Israeli. But I do know that it's easier now in Hebrew.


  1. Hi Lauren,

    I'm a physical therapist in Boston and have been thinking about making Aliyah, or at least moving to Israel for a short period of time (~2 years). Do you have any good resources for finding a PT job in the Tel Aviv area? I have NO hebrew skills (yet), but am fluent in Russian (I've heard that can help). Would appreciate any insight you've gained from your experience there!


  2. Hi Bella,

    Talk to NBN-- they have a lot of good resources and can connect you with PTs in the Tel Aviv area.
    Russian will help you, but you really, really need to know Hebrew. I can tell you that many places will not hire you if you don't speak and/or read at least basic Hebrew, simply because even talking to patients, other staff, and reading reports-- they're not going to get a translator for you or have things translated.
    I strongly recommend learning Hebrew. There are a lot of words that you encounter that are the same just with a Hebrew accent, but a lot of the work is in conversational Hebrew.