I can hardly believe that writing this from Kiev while I wait for my connecting flight tht will take me to Bangkok.
It feels surreal for so many reasons; lack of sleep, excitement, but mostly because I can't even process that my time in Tel Aviv is up. I'm in shock that the year flew by so fast, and while the year came with many difficult obsticles, I'm sad to see it end.
I've hardly even focused on my traveling plans for the next two months becuase I was too invested in trying to stay present for my last couple of days in Tel Aviv. I think I achieved that feeling of presence as much as I could've hoped for. I managed to drag some classmates and roommates out to watch a meteor shower from the beach followed by a sunrise swim in the mediterranean, I sang a song (in Hebrew!) for our graduation ceremony, I went dancing one last time in Jaffa to middle eastern dance beats, I took pictures of the Jaffa port illuminated at night so I can always remember what it looks like, my roommates skillfully organized an amazing surprise party on the beach with all of my friends and favorite food of Tel Aviv, I went night swimming and nearly got carried away by the current, and I had one last shabbat before my roommates took me to the airport at four a.m.
But I also had to say some of the hardest goodbyes. Mostly, my life has been made up of goodbyes that pretend to be temporary. "It's only goodbye for now, we're only a short plane ride away, I'll come visit sometime soon..." But these goodbyes were different. I don't really know if Tel Aviv will ever be in my future again, so some of the goodbyes I had to say there could carry no false pretense of being temporary. I found that very sad and tough to stomach. l really don't like goodbyes after all.
I can't even begin to undestand the way this last year and the people I experienced it with have changed me. I suppose in many ways it's difficult when you're sitll living there. I think maybe traveling, and especially when I get home it will be more apparent. Maybe not to anyone else, but definitely to me. I feel differently already, about life, about the world, about my role in both.
This past year I felt like I was beginning to understand, in a new way, who I am. I have to be honest. I feel more lost now then ever. I'm looking forward to just taking a few days to sit in a Bungalow on a Thai Island and reflect on all this year has brought me, while I wait for my India Visa to be prepared.