Tuesday, June 26, 2012

6/26/12: So This Is Growing Up

Tomorrow marks the completion of my first full week of Ulpan study, and really, despite the horrific misery of waking myself up at 6:45am (7:45 if I'm fortunate enough to be staying with Frenchy), I have never enjoyed anything more. It is still extremely difficult for me to find a basic comfort level speaking Hebrew, I am shy in an area I have never been shy in before, but every day is getting better and better, and I have to keep reminding myself that it's a slow process that will work itself out with enough time and hard work.

In other news, after unsticking myself from the rut of not having most of my non-apartment associated friends with me in Israel I finally got off my butt and made plans to see a wonderful friend of mine from Berkeley. He has been in Israel for a few months but with our seemingly opposite schedules it has been impossible to get together until now. Luckily I caught him right before he leaves to start his international MBA program, so my timing couldn't have been better.

Me and Jon! Finally reunited! 

Our lovely little Italian dinner was spent reminiscing about the good old college days, plans for the future, and how lucky we both feel to be able to call Israel our homes. Though he is going abroad to study he will be retuning to the Holy Land upon his program's completion. As I was sitting and eating on the outside patio of the restaurant, watching people walk by on the busy street in front of me, I couldn't help but feel overwhelmed at how lucky I am to be where I am, and to be doing what I am doing. It isn't easy; it is hard and scary being on your own so far away from home and familiarity, left on your own to make the hard decisions in your life, but then I asked myself: who really wants easy? That's no way to fill a life with excitement!

It seems that the more I am in Tel Aviv the less I know about the city, and the more I want to discover. My comfort zone has always been my room and I have decided that this is no longer an acceptable way to live. I am fortunate enough to reside in one of the most exciting cities in the world, so it seems a shame and a waste to stay in so much (I also think that re watching Sex and the City and seeing those women galavanting all over vibrant New York helped kick my butt into gear as well. Thank you HBO).  Sometimes to get to know a place inside and out you just have to throw yourself into it, so whether that means doing my homework at a new cafe every week, or even going out to eat meals alone just so that I can see new places and try new things, then that is what I am going to do, and do it I will with pleasure :-)

Tomorrow will be another normal day at Ulpan, followed by homework and the drafting of various letters that need to be sent to both my university and various Israeli government agencies, followed by a hopeful dinner with my best girlfriend Susanna, who has FINALLY returned from the states. This Thursday is a treat for Tel Avivis who will be celebrating Lilah Lavan (white night), an all day, all night celebration of Tel Aviv being declared the white city by the UN (at least that is what I heard. I will get back to you in the next blog post after I have partaken in the celebrations)! Any excuse to party all night here good so I thoroughly look forward to missing out on some good sleep. After that we will see what Friday and Saturday have in store :-)

Until we meet again ya asdeqa!

Jordana Simone 

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