Thursday, July 06, 2006

When Dreams Come True

In the musical Wicked, the good witch Glinda sings about having your dreams come true:

Cause getting your dreams
It's strange, but it seems
A little - well - complicated
There's a kind of a sort of - cost
There's a couple of things get - lost...
And if that joy, that thrill
Doesn't thrill you like you think it will...

A dream of mine is coming true, but I didn't realize how much I wanted it to remain a dream until it became reality. Hubby has been asked by the Jewish Agency to be an Aliyah Shaliach (emissary) in the good ol' US of A, and we will be moving there for a 2-3 year period at the end of the summer.

I made aliya at 14, two weeks before high school began, and was dragged here kicking and screaming. My year revolved around my visits back to the States, seeing my relatives and friends, the shopping and fun, and the feelings of comfort and familiarity which I didn't have in Israel. This continued all during high school. I dreamed of the day that I would move back to America, go to college there and come back to Israel after I had a degree. I went to Midreshet Lindenbaum (a women's yeshiva) for a year and then did a year of Sheirut Leumi (national service for religious women). That year of sheirut was the first time that I was actually happy in Israel. I mean really happy, content.

I had seriously contemplated going to university in the States, but for a number of reasons, chose to stay in Israel and go to Hebrew U. I regret the decision for a number of reasons, but paradoxically it was the best decision I've ever made, cause I started dating hubby in my first semester and I never would have met this wonderful man had I gone to the States to study. But I still wondered what my life and GPA would have been like had I gone to the States, the "What If..." a persistent little voice in my head. I felt that I needed to go and live there for a few years, just to get it out of my system. It was a consistent dream, a desire. But due to hubby being the ardent Zionist he is, (which is one of the many things I love about him) moving to the States for a few years "just because" wasn't an option.

Suddenly, the opportunity was presented on a golden platter. Shlichut, going as an emissary to encourage aliyah and Israel programs, being a representative of the country which we love. We received official acceptance in April, and then the oddest thing happened. My dream had come true, I would be going to the States for a few years, "getting it out of my system". And yet, I am experiencing a surprising reticence. I don't want to leave my home. I'm happy here. This past year has been difficult, in the respect of needing to juggle multiple jobs, a full load of classes, my marriage and a social life. But I have been so happy. I love my husband, love our apartment, love our location, our friends, basically our life that we've built. Suddenly, my dream, once actualized, is making me more sad than happy. It's funny how that happens, huh?

There are good points about going to the States. I'll be living near my grandmothers, both of whom are elderly and not in the greatest of health. I plan on pursuing an M.A. while we're there, and I know that as a team, hubby and I can accomplish so much for Israel, a country which we are both in love with. Hubby will make a fantastic shaliach, and I'm so proud of what he's going to do. I plan on boosting the American economy (I have a slight H&M addiction).
But when it all comes down to it, I'm equally sad and excited.

Even though we haven't left yet, I can't wait to come home.