Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Ode to Empty Boxes

Oh, moving boxes...why must you taunt me with your emptiness?

Are you that unfulfilled in life, oh empty moving boxes?  So void of purpose?

There you sit...hoping for a smidge of acknowledgement each day I enter the room, only to be disappointed when I do not even glance in your direction.

There you sit.  Patiently waiting to be carefully filled with the pack rat's DH's adored collection of dozens of the same copy of newspaper, his beloved anthology of long forgotten computer parts and random wires and the ratty college t-shirt compilation that still lingers with the sweet acrid stench of fraternity basements and all-nighters.

With Grandma's creepy painting of an owl that always frightened me as a child and kind of still does.

With the pencil drawing of Jesus holding a lamb.  Oh picture of Jesus holding a lamb, you always held a special place in the hall closet of our Jewish home once my husband figured out you were not just some guy holding a fluffy puppy. 

And other useful items I have acquired in these nearly 27 years of life.  You longed to be filled, oh poor barren moving boxes.

But I do not come.  I am content in my procrastination. You will have to wait until I am ready.

Don't be surprised if this is how I leave this world.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

How do you say "Breakdown" in Hebrew?

In two and half months exactly, I will be on a plane flying over the Atlantic with one happy husband, four over packed suitcases and a pissed-off husky on my way to my new home in Israel.

Right now, at this exact moment I am freaking out.

During certain moments in the past few months, I have allowed myself brief periods of complete anxiety induced breakdowns.  I don't have any triggers per se. I don't know when or why they occur. 

Let's go back to Thursday of last week for example.  I woke up on a beautiful Thursday morning, had a relatively normal day at work and the drive home was equally as uneventful.  I walk into my apartment and BAM!...DH enters a firestorm.

As I am frantically tearing through the kitchen drawer for my notebook to re-check the June to-do list, simultaneously I am pacing the kitchen floor, figuring out how many blankets, winter clothes, toiletries, picture frames, books we can fit into the monstrosity of box we're shipping and coming up with a brand new entirely worthless list of items we need to purchase before we go.

Let me share a few thoughts a crazed type-A will come up with during a anxiety-induced-I'm-moving-half-way-around-the-world breakdown:

Oh no, I don't know the word for Tampax in Hebrew. 

I wonder if they will let me pack stuff in the dog's crate.  Aha-there is room!

Sweet baby Jesus, my hair straightener won't fit into Israeli outlets.  I'm going to have to live with frizzy hair forever.

If I get to Israel on Wednesday, sleep off the jet lag on Thursday, get back on a plane on Friday then I can make it to the first Alabama football game on Saturday.

I need to go to Costco to buy 300 ibuprofen and a jumbo box of grits.

Normally, I am a perfectly rational human being, excited about the adventure that awaits and who thinks logically about this move most of the time.  During these periods of sheer panic, I am not. 

Today, as if it were the first time my brain realized it, I am freaking out because I can't speak Hebrew.  Most days I am aware that learning a new language will take time.  I usually give myself credit for taking on such a daunting task.  Today, I am freaking out.  Tomorrow, I am sure I will return to normal, but today...

Friday, June 11, 2010

Listen All Y'all, This is Sabotage

We had our last pre-aliyah meeting this past weekend. A middle-aged Orthodox woman from Nefesh B'nefesh came to meet us at the local Orthodox shul. We went through the last bit of paperwork and asked her the last of our questions.  I'm always wary of these meetings.  I feel because I'm not Jewish that I have to work extra hard to prove I'm commited to Israel and raising Jewish children.  I randomly pepper the conversation with useless tidbits of Jewish or Israeli knowledge just to prove my point. 

I guess I'm hoping they will try to understand me a little more. Accept us a little more. Feeling accepted is not an unusual need for anyone.  Although it is a need we all try to hide.  We don't like to think of ourselves as shallow, because we've been taught the need to be accepted sabotages ourselves.

In the end it's just human nature, another feeling we all have but don't admit.  From the time I first ran home crying from middle school because I was wearing the wrong shoes to today as I desperately try to find my place in this new world, I am constantly struggling to be true to my beliefs and finding a way to fit in.

Trust me, I'm usually a staunch defender of interfaith relationships, but that nagging feeling of trying to be accepted has a funny little way of making you sabotage even your most basic truths.  I don't care what this woman thinks of my marriage.  I'm not worried if she thinks I'm good enough to become Israeli and to raise Israeli children.  I don't hide my faith.  Usually. 

Fortunately, she was an angel.  She took my hand and tried to make me feel comfortable.  Just a nod in my direction made me feel a part of the process.  She said she hoped we would be blessed with healthy children in our future.  And, of course, in typical Israeli fashion invited us to Shabbat dinner no less than 10 minutes after meeting us.  We left feeling more energized than ever.  More accepted than ever.