Friday, August 21, 2009

An aliyah engagement

(note: This is a serious entry. Many of the entries that I write are lighter, and even if they're about more serious things they're still kind of with a light tone. This one isn't.)

Someone said that (the subject) to me today-- I'm engaged to making aliyah. It kind of is an engagement in the sense that it's a commitment-- a big commitment, and it's a decision that I've made that I'm dedicated to and have been making other decisions around. And that decision can make for making some decisions that I don't really like or want to have to make.

I never really thought about it like that-- aliyah was...moving to Israel. But the reasons behind it and that decision is ultimately a commitment-- when I thought about making aliyah, it was a thought. And then I thought some more about it and it became a choice: Do I make aliyah or do I not make aliyah? And then I decided to make aliyah, that was a decision that I made and then started seeing things through that lens:
-When am I going to make aliyah? When do I want to, when will be a realistic timeframe?
-What job am I going to take? What kind of experience will this be? Will I be able to transfer the skills to Israel? Do I want to take a 12-month position-- what about a school? Then I'll be able to go back to Israel in the summer until I make aliyah.
-Do I need __fill-in-the-blank-thing__? Am I going to take it to Israel? Can I chuck this?
-Who should I date-- should I date here? Should I only date someone who is set on making aliyah? What if he says "maybe I'll make aliyah, but I don't really know." Or, "When I retire I'll make aliyah"?
-What stuff should I send to Israel? What can I send that I won't need here for the next year? What's worth it to send? To buy here vs. buy there?

And then something happened that made me stop. There was someone that I was interested in a while back and nothing happened. And then we sort together kind of. Sounds cheesy, but "it just happened." Neither of us had planned it-- I was definitely not looking to start anything so close to when I leave, unless it was with someone who was planning on making aliyah as well, and he knew that I was leaving which was why he hadn't started anything as well. But then it just sort of happened. We started by talking about Israel and agreed to see what happened between then and when I left for Israel. And then we talked about it again. And again. And again. And then we came to the realization that...I wasn't going to stay here and he wasn't going to move there. And we decided that we're going to stop it now before it gets any farther because we're just going to be hurt. It really, really sucks because we both want this relationship. Could we continue it until I go? Yeah, but there's no real reason to. We're both dating seriously, dating with the end goal in mind being mariage and this would be a relationship that would not be going there because we're going to be living 6000 miles away from each other, and that doesn't work for a marriage. Could we continue it, I make aliyah and be there for ulpan and then come back for the summer and we pick up where we left off? Sure, but then I'd be going back to Israel after the summer and that leaves us where exactly? Yeah, where we were before-- with me in Israel and him in America. Not so conducive to a relationship with the goal being marriage. So we decided to not continue.

I know that if I don't make aliyah I'm going to regret it, and I know that three years ago I wanted to go out with him, and I definitely wouldn't mind going out with him now-- I'd like to. But I know that if I go out with him I'm putting aliyah on indefinite hold, potentially forever if we were to get married. And I would resent not moving to Israel and while I know that it would have been my choice to enter the relationship knowing that he didn't want to move to Israel, I would still hope for it and would be upset that I didn't. So I realized that that relationship, as much as we both want it, is not going to be a good one ultimately and so we ended it before it got any further-- farther?-- nevermind, before it went anywhere else.

If we had been in a relationship when I went to Israel last year, would I have ended up feeling so comfortable-- or would I have gone in knowing that this was a vacation and it was temporary? I really never planned on making aliyah, but I guess I hadn't started my life here yet so I was open to the life there more-- I wasn't committed to staying in NYC. What if I had taken the Board of Ed scholarship and had a commitment here for 3 years? I would have gone knowing I couldn't stay. The only commitment I had when I left school was my loans, which technically could be paid off from anywhere as long as they got paid. So...nothing really holding me in NY. But if I did, I wonder how my approach and experiences in Israel would have been different.

Next up: Thinking about relationships in Israel


  1. LAUREN! Seriously?!!?! WTF... Stay with this guy if you like him!!