I am now back at my flat in Tel Aviv, having flown in from London yesterday, after being there for the last month. I had the most amazing time at home with all my friends and family; doing everything I wanted to do and seeing everyone I wanted to see. Whereas last year, it was very hard for me to come back to Israel after the month back home, this time it is a completely different story and I am feeling fine to go back to the army tomorrow.
What a month! Pretty much like last year's trip but probably even better. For four weeks, I endulged myself on all the things I miss about London; from watching Sky TV at home to playing football with my mates. Apart from the two hour session of playing football, I did zero exercise (transition back to the army may be hard work then!) and took no restraint to the amount of food I ate and time I spent lying around being lazy. But then again, that is what the 'meyuhedet' (special holiday) is all about and after more than a year of not being home, I have to admit that I deserved it. Every day was simply fantastic and I spent some quality time with my parents (and all my family) during Rosh Hashannah. Going to shul and feeling part of the festival is actually somehting I don't really do in the surroundings of the army or in Tel Aviv, so that was also a nice part of the holiday. One of the main highlights has to be all the Tottenham matches that I managed to get tickets for, and going to Spurs with my papa (just like I used to in the old days) was extremely special. The fact that we won every game while I was in England, including a fantastic defeat of our rivals Arsenal, made my friends try and convince me to stay in London as I became somewhat of a lucky charm! As much as I don't ever regret leaving London, there are a lot of things that I miss and it's also important to rememeber that this month was a holiday for me from the army, maybe this explains why I had such an incredible then. Coming back here this time was a lot easier than last year and I think the fact that I came home to my apartment in Tel Aviv has a lot to do with it.
One of the other highlights from my trip was when I went up to a couple of my friends' universities to visit. Since I was in England during September, most of my friends had already gone back to university and since I've never experienced the uni lifestyle, I went there for a few nights. It was a crazy couple of nights, filled with alcohol, partying and general madness, and it was great to catch up with all my friends and blow off a lot of steam with them. Coming home from the universities left with me some interesting thoughts however. While all my friends are living the non-stop party lifestyle, where they literally do nothing all day, don't turn up to lectures and then party all night, I am leading somewhat of a different style of life. When comparing who is doing something more meaningful or fulfilling, I'd say it's easy to see that the army and aliyah has definitely given me a purpose to life. Nevertheless, I came away a tiny bit jealous and kind of frustrated that I'll never experience what they're doing, which is three years of care-free, student living. Although my plan is to go to university here in Israel once I'm done with the army, it's not the same experience (not necessarily worse, just different and more mature) as the one my friends have been doing for the last three years. It doesn't make me regret my decisions at all it just something that I won't expereince fully, but then again, in life, there are many things one will never experiences and I suppose I have to always look back on the fact that in the long run what I am doing now and continue to do post-army is what really matters.
As I neared the end of my amazing trip I started to say goodbye to my various friends and family. Goodbyes are alway so difficult, I mean how do you say to a good friend "see you later", when really "later" means in a years time. As much as I try and keep in good contact with my mates it is quite hard due to all the circumstances, so this trip where I see them a lot for a concentrated amount of time is great but something out of the norm. Although when I was back home, everything felt like normal after five minutes and seeing everyone again so many times in such a short period is great, it makes it even harder to say goodbye. In the end though, there's nothing you can do but part ways and as fun as it was for the last four weeks, everyone moves on and here I am back in Israel. Saying goodbye to my parents however, is something completely different. I think I realised that the main source of any anxiety, sadness or pain that I have following time off from the army is not because I have to finish my holiday and go back to reality, instead it's the fact that I have to separate with my parents every time. I have a unique relationship with my mummy and daddy (the fact I still call them that alone shows that I clearly am still attached to them!!) and making aliyah was the hardest thing I ever had to do as it meant leaving them behind. Leaving them yesterday was as hard as ever and it's simply because I love them so much and miss them all the time.
It was truly a wonderful month and something I can enjoy and be grateful for but still come back here to Israel and get on with my normal life. While last year I questioned my life here on my return from London, this time I am a lot more confident of everything and the fact that I can look forward to life beyond the army in six months time is exciting. I go back to the army tomorrow and back to my platoon on the Lebanon border, in the coming weeks there will be some interesting developments to my army service, of which I will update in the next blog. I will be closing Yom Kippur, so fast well everyone and just feel lucky you're not guarding in the scorching heat as I probably will!!!
Singing my heart out at Spurs.
Singing my heart out at Spurs.