I thought about writing a One Year Aliyahversary post…and then didn’t. And now I decided I’m ready, so here it goes!
To be honest, hitting one year of being Israeli was extremely anticlimactic, for several reasons:
1. At the end of August, I left my job. After five years, this was a big deal. But the timing was right, because I want to live full-time in Israel, so a job that puts me in NYC for four consecutive months out of the year isn’t compatible with my life.
2. I spent a lot of time anticipating my last summer in NYC, and the four+ months away from Lior. All of a sudden, we were back in the same city…just like that, it was over! We survived the summer apart!
3. Lior and I spent September packing and preparing for our four months in London. When Lior asked if I wanted to come to London with him, I immediately said yes. I was already going to be unemployed, so I was making exactly zero career sacrifices. It was a once in a lifetime opportunity to live with my boyfriend in a new country! How amazing!
Except the fact that while this is a great opportunity and I do feel grateful…I want to be in Tel Aviv. But ultimately I decided I wanted to be with Lior in London more than I wanted to be in Israel, alone. But only for four months. (I’m writing this on a train to Amsterdam for 10 days away from Lior, but still, you get my point.)
So in the midst all of these things, processing my first year of Aliyah was on the back burner. Also, it’s technically only 8 months, since that’s the amount of time I spent actually living in Israel. And when I return to Israel in February, I will only have been living in Israel for half of the term of my citizenship. This feels weird.
To sum it up, Aliyah and living in Israel was everything I thought it would be. The only thing that surprised me was the fact that I met Lior so quickly. I really did have a sense that a lot of my life was on hold while I decided whether or not to make Aliyah. This feeling was magnified once I decided to take the plunge. (So maybe meeting someone relatively quickly makes sense, because I was finally in a headspace where it could happen, plus dumb luck?)
And then once I arrived in Israel, it felt so natural. Sure, a lot of it was hectic and I felt uncomfortable a lot of the time (and still do). But Aliyah is still exactly what I wanted. And exactly what I want. And I can’t wait to see what the next year brings!