Scared and Anxious in Tel Aviv

img_6225

I’m struggling in a weird way right now. I’m so happy to be home and yet something is off. I’m staying with my friend in Tel Aviv and her boyfriend. Their apartment is beautiful and I’m sitting here thinking about how I can’t wait to have a beautiful apartment to call my own. Then I think about my lack of job and lack of Hebrew skills and it feels like it will never happen. Life for a single person is never easy. I mean one bedroom apartments in Tel Aviv, Jerusalem, Berkeley San Francisco, etc are expensive. The only way to afford it is to have to people there paying for it. Just punish me for being single why don’t you. 

I’m struggling in a weird way right now. I’m so happy to be home and yet something is off. I’m staying with my friend in Tel Aviv and her boyfriend. Their apartment is beautiful and I’m sitting here thinking about how I can’t wait to have a beautiful apartment to call my own. Then I think about my lack of job and lack of Hebrew skills and it feels like it will never happen. Life for a single person is never easy. I mean one bedroom apartments in Tel Aviv, Jerusalem, Berkeley San Francisco, etc are expensive. The only way to afford it is to have to people there paying for it. Just punish me for being single why don’t you. 

I’ve heard so many complaints form people about the low pay and how everything in Israel is expensive in comparison and I begin to wonder if I will be able to make it. A friend keeps telling me how wonderful and cheap Haifa is…but It’s cold, I haven’t been and therefore there is no connection there for me. I’m connected to Jerusalem and I’m starting to feel a little bit of love for Tel Aviv. I want to be in or near one of these places (although Jerusalem is where I really want to be).

So back to feeling strange. My friend left off to work this morning and I’m still here in my pajamas. In all fairness I only arrived two evenings back and I spent all of yesterday sleeping. Yet I feel like I‘m being lazy. My sleep is completely off but it’s been this way for months. I am waking up in the middle of the night and getting on the internet. Autumn got me started with this because she wakes up in the middle of the night to use the bathroom. I feel cold so I lay in front of the heater and I have nothing to do so I get on the internet. This was in the states where I would spend time communicating with people in Israel. Now I am here and haven’t stopped this awful pattern. 

Again stop digressing. So I woke up at 2 am, finished off Gilmore Girls and then searched Netflix for something to watch me sleep. I found Dexter and then picked up my kindle and read. By 5:30 I decided it was time to get up and walk. I walked 5 miles (something I haven’t really done in a long time) and explored the city. I returned to the apartment, ate breakfast and showered. I had a call about a job but the person did not answer. So I’m waiting and writing and reflecting. 

 

img_6226

I know my anxiety revolves around making a living here. I am anxious that I wont be able to make enough or I’ll have to sacrifice something in order to have a decent standard of living. When I started my last job I worked 9-5:30 and I sacrificed working out. I was flat out tired and could not get myself to really walk and work out like I used to. So just a couple days outside of work and I have started my morning walk routine again and that has been great. So will I have to give this up to make a living? I did before and I think it contributed to my anxiety and unhappiness. I’m not looking forward to that again. I really don’t want to give it up again.

What about the low wages and expensive places? Or the fact that I want to live comfortably. Here is where I fall back on my memories of Orange County. When I went to grad school I lived in Santa Ana. I was literally a block from the city of Orange which was by my school. My part time job I was a mere 15-20 minutes away driving. The apartment on the outside was not much to look at but I loved it. It was upstairs, corner and had two balconies. I paid $1199 for it (it was a special). The apartment was clean and quiet overall. It was plain and safe. I had furniture donated to me and then I took some of my furniture from my house. I made it mine and I loved it.  I worked three jobs and went to school but everything was ok because I came home to peace. My house was clean and Autumn was happy (we walked every morning). 

 

img_6227

I remember looking online before going to grad school at apartments.  I wanted to live in Tustin or Irvine but when I saw the apartments in person I didn’t like them and they were expensive. Yet I fell in love with my accidental find in Santa Ana. A city that people will tell you is not great. Money was tight for me during this time and I remember being broke and calling family for help, crying. Help did not come either. But some how I stretched and made it work. 

7 years from that experience those fears have re-emerged as I am planning my new life. Worse yet, tv sucks and Netlfix Israel sucks. Theres no way for me to dissociate and avoid my anxieties. They are present and foreboding. That’s what I’m feeling. The second guessing is here too. Am I making the right choice? It’s going to be so hard! Can I handle this? What if…? It’s not a great feeling. But when I look out the window from my friends comfy couch/my bed and see the sun shinning while listening to Israeli radio and hearing the gardeners work I know this is the right choice. I have to face my fears head on. How else will I grow if I continue to let my fears and anxieties drown out my other thoughts. As I write this my friend sends me a message for someone looking for an english speaking psychologist. I mean there really is a need out here in Israel for English speaking therapists that I could help fill. So again why are my fears drowning out my hopes, dreams and wishes? Also when did I become afraid of hard work? More important when did I let other peoples feelings decide my behavior? 

I think when we move into the unfamiliar we seek out comforts any way we can get them. For me it’s the comfort of tv (reruns I’ve seen a million times such as NCIS, Psych, and Monk which I’ve been craving). So I most move into this anxiety and find a way to work through it if I am going to be successful. Other peoples negative experiences do not have to be my experiences. 

One of the things that keeps running through my mind is that I have to do what’s practical. Not necessarily what I hope or desire but what is practical. I really don’t like this as it feels very limiting. How can I grow if I don’t try to do more that whats easy…what’s practical…what others have done. Being practical is another way that my anxiety is speaking to me. If I’m practical and just accept what others tell me or work crappy jobs because I don’t speak Hebrew and that’s all I deserve I will be miserable. I will be like those people who come home, make aliyah and then bounce. This country is not for the faint of heart (I mean I went to the Superpharm this morning and the cashier threw my card on the counter as well as my receipt, all irritated. I was amused by her behavior and sent a text to my friend. I could’ve let her bad attitude impact me or wish that I was back home where (service) people want to talk to you and be your best friend even though its freakin 7:30 am. Ha! Not in Israel my dear and that’s ok as long as she didn’t cuss me out or yell I’m good). 

So now I’m focusing today on the job hunt. I think it’s best that I focus my attention on finding something in Jerusalem since that is where I want to be. I am tired so I think a nap is in order (I did mention that I’ve been up since 2 am and it’s 11 am now) and then hit the ground running trying to meet other therapists in Jerusalem and maybe even be brave and send off my CV. I’ll keep y’all posted on today’s events. 

img_6228

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s