Thursday, July 28, 2022

One Month in Israel: Aliyah Without Aliyah

I thought I'd feel something ... something more. More deep, more powerful, more. Just more. 

When I made aliyah in 2012, I felt it all. I felt the air differently, the mornings differently. Every experience was like I was growing into a new and more meaningful life. I saw everything through new eyes, and those eyes felt and experienced things differently. Everything was shiny and new. 

I was a new Chaviva. A better Chaviva. A Chaviva more deeply in touch with her spirit, soul, and emotions. 

Moving back, I've realized I'm not that Chaviva anymore. I'm eight years, three kids, and so many life experiences (both challenging and rewarding) later. 

And I'm struggling with not feeling that ... feeling everything "more."

When we landed, Tuvia was on an energetic high. Every sight and sound was big and special and like coming home to him. I was in awe of him. I envied him. At the same time, I didn't understand why he was able to feel that way when I just felt like everything was dulled. The sights, the sounds appeared as if the shine and shimmer had been buffed clean off. 

Over the several weeks we've been here I've been waiting for that more, that shimmer to return. To look around and marvel. I've had a few moments when I step out on the balcony at sunset and the view sucks me into a world of quiet and light. But it's fleeting. It's so fleeting I don't even know how to describe the speed to you. It's shorter than the blink of an eye. 

You know when you live someplace a long time and it becomes comfortable? There's two types of comfortable you can feel: the type where it's easy and relaxing and always like coming home or the type where it's too familiar and thus uncomfortable. Somehow, that's how Israel feels to me right now. 

I know I should say I'm lucky to be here, and I am. I feel lucky and blessed and so happy to finally be home. But I want it to feel like it used to. I want to feel something about it. Anything really. It feels too familiar, too normal, too run-of-the-mill, too dull. 

I have a feeling it's because I'm working, and the kids are home, and it just feels like summer back in Denver in many ways. But I'm holding out for the moment, the feeling, the shimmer. I know it'll come back to me. 

I need to start learning again and find an outlet that is more than kids and work and marriage. Kids and work and marriage have been all I've had for so long now. I have nothing that's mine or for me. I have to find that something, and I have to find it soon. 

Anyone out there know the feeling that I'm feeling? Drop a line in the comments, please.