Last week, I sat under a tree near the kibbutz dining hall, and told a woman I had just met that I was miserable in Israel (hey, that kind of rhymes!) and wanted to go home.
Now, granted she had a kind face, but she was essentially a total stranger. (I will say in my defense that everyone knows everyone around these parts… which in hindsight might not be such a good thing when I’m bitching and moaning about how i’m like thisclose to hauling ass back to Ben Gurion airport, the kids under each arm like footballs, and dragging my husband by
(But we all know how I feel about oversharing. And now, so does she.)
So, the sympathetic woman and I spoke for a while—she was once a new immigrant, as well, and essentially understood some of my feelings in a way that only an expat can… And eventually we U-turned and exchanged names, family affiliations, the ages of our kids—all the mundane particulars that fill in the spaces of our character.
“Are you working?” she asked.
“I write a humor column,” I sobbed, blowing snot from my nose on the sleeve of my sweater.
I’ve never been even tempered. In fact, a close friend with a psych background recently suggested I might have something called Cyclothymia.
There are days when I am flying high, and I love it here: When I want to soak in every single solitary moment, to smile and say “boker tov —good morning” to everyone I pass while I push Little Homie in the stroller on my way to the coffee place where they make the best lattes in the world. I want to rub my fingers over the lavender growing near the dining hall—I want to touch every fucking leaf on every fucking tree. I want to sing. And sometimes, I do, loud and free.
There are days when I feel like I’m actually putting down roots in this beautiful place, while my arms reach toward the sky.
It’s like this kibbutz is crack, and I am a junkie, licking the last traces of powder from the table.
But then, there are other days. Dark days, when I shrink into myself - crabbed and crippled. Days when I wake up from a dream about Coffee Bean or Barnes and Noble, or my dad, with a sob stuck in my throat. Days when I can barely breathe from loneliness.
Days like today.
Sometimes, I feel like a stumbled and fell into a Nirvana song - only this isn’t some teenage angsty bullshit. This is my life. I know there is help out there: There are people who can tinker with my misfiring synapsises, and, if need-be, hit the reset button on my crazy switch with a strong dose of Lithium.
But the thing is, I’m scared to get this fixed because deep down I feel that the highs are worth it.
My emotional landscape is like San Francisco, and I’m driving a Ferrari at like 1000 miles per hour, up and down and up and down and up and down the scaly dragon humps of the city.
And the view from Lombard Street is pretty fucking awesome.
And besides, if I do find even ground on the slow train through the flatlands, I’ll have to change my blog name to The
Well-Adjusted Baby Mama. And who wants to read that?
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