I keep waiting, with an air of nervous expectation, to miss my life. I have this occasional obnoxious nagging fear that one day soon I am going to wake up in a panic and realize that I have quit my job, sold all of my belongings, and left 10 years worth of friends and memories in California. In my worst-case scenario I wake up to realize that I’ve made a terrible mistake - I’m alone in a strange country where I don’t speak the language and where I have no family; the total sum of my existence stored in a few boxes in Texas.
The strange thing is that I’ve been in Israel for nearly 3 months, and not once has that feeling washed over me. Not once have I woken up in a panic, and not once have I felt alone or without a family. Instead, I wake up feeling happier than I can ever remember. With no stress or lingering dissertation, I find that my leg and back (having suffered 8 surgeries) have never felt better. I often find myself dancing with friends in the early hours of the morning, hiking in the nearby mountains, or going for a midnight swim in the warm Mediterranean waters, just because I can.
When I took this trip I told my dad that I realized the risk I was taking. I told him that I might be making the biggest (not to mention the most expensive) mistake of my life. But I also told him that it would be a wonderful mistake – perhaps the best of my life.
So far, this has been my favorite “mistake” of all. I may be unemployed, but I have never been happier, never more at peace. For the first time in my life, that nagging voice that continually and discontentedly whispers in my ear “keep moving” is quiet. Breaking apart my life as I knew it – leaving the comforts of my city and job and friends and furniture (and shoes!) - was difficult; but this life I get instead is completely worth the exchange.
Perhaps the most tangible example of my contentedness: For the last year in San Francisco I slept on an air mattress (aka “camp Liz” for those of you who remember) – surely some sort of sign projected from my subconscious that I could not commit to staying in one place; that even while living in San Francisco I was just waiting for something better. I’ve been in Israel for less than 3 months, but I’ve just signed a 2-month lease on an apartment with the option to extend for a year, and I’m looking to buy a bed.
I think it's time I let go of the fear of missing my former life, and embrace this current one just as it is.