So I’ve been thinking and planning to make aliyah since I left Israel the summer of 2015. As this dream moved from a dream to a reality it has been pretty smooth. The little hiccups I’ve had felt very intense at the beginning but when they were done that was it! More important in hindsight they were not as big as I thought, just maybe irksome. I had one big reality about a month ago. When I tell people I’m making aliyah they say what does your family think? How does your mother feel? It started to bug me and then I realized it’s because I’ve sent most of my young adult life putting them first. Setting aside my own wishes and dreams to help the family. Largely it’s been rewarding but then there are times when it’s not, just like anything really. Besides for the most part my mom has been supportive.
That was until this morning during our morning walk with the dogs. She then lays out all her anxieties about me making aliyah. Of course I get upset because I’ve been talking about this for a year and I’ve asked about her feelings and she’s been supportive. I realized I was also upset because in the back of my mind I knew she was not supportive. I knew that her needs would come out in the end and they would feel like they always felt as if her needs superseded mines. We’ve had a good run for about a year of little arguments and disagreements (mostly about social issues) but we haven’t had one about finances in a long time.
It’s so interesting to have her lay all this on me. What if you go and you can’t payoff this? What if you go and you can’t pay me back for Autumn (my dog who almost died last year she paid the money upfront and I’m paying her back)? I can’t help you. Remember when you moved from LA back home (in 2011) and it took you a whole year to find a job (mind you I worked on-call and pretty much worked every day and I always paid her. In fact I took a loan from a friend, and paid her back, just so I could pay her). Of course part of me living with her now has been contingent on me paying rent, which is low for the bay area but really for only a bedroom and a bathroom (it’s comparable).
So really who Am I upset with? Am I upset at her because she finally acknowledged what we both always knew was there, under the surface? The piece where she said she was supportive but relying on me financially knowing that she couldn’t full be supportive. Is it that I have my own anxieties that perhaps I’d have to put aliyah off because I can’t get a job? Or because my savings isn’t where I want it to be so how will the bank give me a guarantee?
I guess it doesn’t matter why I’m upset except to just acknowledge that for the first time in my aliyah journeyI am doubting myself and my choice. Locked into a job I cannot stand for the most part, dreaming of the day when I can have a full time private practice and focus on my clients, living in Israel surrounded by a huge extended family. Will these feelings of sadness, betrayal, anxiety, and anger propel me into action or trap me in despair? Knowing how much I’ve grown since 2012when I made that very conscious choice to do things different I know I will be propelled into action. I know my plan, which when I think about what it means for me-I’m focusing solely on my needs, wants and desires, is solid. I welcome support from my mother but did not and do not expect it. It’s enough to have extended family and friends, and most important my heart and my connection to G-d, as my source of support.
So words of wisdom for people who are making aliyah and finding that the naysayers come from their family, remember why you are doing this. Create a solid plan for yourself and remember that you will be sacrificing. I will not be working a cushy 40 hour a week job making $70,000/year but I may be working multiple jobs that together total $45-50,000. For me thats a sacrifice I’m willing to make and all support is welcomed.