*this is a very personal post...heads up y'all*

A couple of years ago I built a nightstand, painted it a medium sky blue, and I wrote quotes, including the above one, all over it with some picture fitting the quote.

I just finished a book this morning, and in it the protagonist has a line about something being a couple of years and two lifetimes ago.

This is my second time coming back to NY after making aliyah, and coming back here now feels like my life here was another lifetime.

Strange as this sounds, it was never so clear to me as when I was with someone who I once loved-- and still do-- and realized that since I made aliyah I have changed so much and that even if I stayed here, I could never be with this person. That realization hurt so much. How can it be that someone I loved so much and who loves me back...that we've grown, or I've grown, so much away from who I was that it couldn't work? I loved him for three years (?-- give or take--) and then made aliyah and changed. And still loved-- love-- him. It hurts. A lot.

After high school I didn't go to seminary-- I went to college and grad school. My friend Shana, who did and then made aliyah, came back to NY and we were talking. We got onto how we'd changed and she said something that really made me think. She told me that I'd really just grown into more of the person I was in high school. I sort of got it-- college (really just post-high school and living out of my parents' house) gave me a chance to explore what I liked and things that interested me and figure out what I wanted, beyond the walls of school and my home. If I think about the person I was then, I can't say that I've really just grown into more of the person I was then.

I've changed so much over the past 18 months, and I don't know if I went back in time, if I would really believe that the person I am today evolved from the person I was then. I...I don't feel Israeli, but at the same time I know that Israel is so much a part of me and that I could never not live there. I'm so conflicted about how I want my life to be: I want to raise my children in Israel, but at the same time I'm horrified by the education there. I want my children to be Israeli and at the same time be American-- and proud of both of their nationalities and absorb and understand both cultures. I want my children to serve their countries, and I'm ok with it being either. I hope to G-d that there won't be a need for my children to defend Israel, but if there is, I want them to do so willingly and proudly. I want to be able to be able to express my feelings to my husband in Hebrew and in English and not have to translate from either language. I want my children to grow up singing the folk songs of America and the classic songs of Israel.
Is that too much to want?