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Today, despite the heartache and the emotional roller-coaster I put myself on, I had a moment of conversation with my mother that was eye-opening. Or, re-eye-opening, I should say.

Mom said that she had quite a lengthy conversation with my sister recently – you know, the one that I seem to always be disagreeing with on one thing or another. Anyway, she said to mom the following:

You know, Mom, I don’t think Joan’s ever coming back to live here [in the US]…

My mom, being well aware of this and having known this for the last year or so, was shocked to hear that this was a new revelation for my sister.

Well, Mom gently said, that’s true. But why would you think that she would come back before now?

Apparently my sister thought that this whole Israel making aliyah thing was just “something I needed to get out of my system before I realized that it’s not what I thought it would be and then I would return home.”

To which Mom replied: Return to the US for what? She has a job that she loves, the best friends anyone could ask for, she’s nearly done her MA, she steps out her door and is in the middle of the greatest city in the world, and she doesn’t need a car. She’s in demand there! Here, she couldn’t even get a job as a substitute teacher and over there, she has families calling her all the time to teach their children. She’s working in a school she loves and before she knows it, she’ll meet the man of her dreams, fall in love and start building a life with him over there. Why would she ever want to leave all of that?

You know what? She’s right. Not that I was ever ever ever considering going back to the US, but recently I’ve lost perspective with this whole Ben situation. The trees have gotten so big that they were blocking my view of the whole forest. I have a nice life here. I love it here. I am truly happy here. Even though Ben is leaving, and it will hurt for a bit after he’s gone, my life – my nice life – will go on and I will be fine.

Ben is not it. If he was, he wouldn’t be so desperate to leave. I will miss him. But, my life will go on and slowly, slowly the pain will subside leaving space in my heart for someone new and spectacular who does not have aspirations of trying to live in China.

These next two weeks will just be slowly ripping off a band-aid.

And mom is right about something else: the plane goes both ways. For Ben, for me, for my sister (who thinks she’s NEVER going to see me again), for everyone. Nothing is permanent. The only constant is change. Here comes another wave of it.

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