I used to have very specific long term dreams. When I was a young teenager, my dream was to move to Israel, join the army and become a career officer. In the end, I moved to Israel, joined the army, realized that I hated every second of being in the army, and dumped the idea of becoming an officer. My next dream was to go study at a university, get into a graduate program as quickly as possible, and start a career in academia. And of course, the idea of being a successful academic was part of a larger dream of building a life for myself in Israel. In the end, I started my studies as soon as I possibly could, signed up for a joint BA/MA program, learned that I did not enjoy the world of academia and dropped the idea of becoming an academic.And the longer I lived in Israel, the more I realized, I really do not like living in Israel.
Is anyone else noticing a pattern here? Some might say that I am a quitter. I would disagree with them because while I moved on from ideas that no longer made me happy, I never quit. I finished my army service, I finished my schooling and I've lived in Israel for 10 years.
When I used to hear about people that were "trying to find themselves", I would feel very superior. I used to be so sure that I knew who I was and where I wanted to go. What were these "flakes" doing traveling to India or some other seemingly random exotic country to find selves? I always knew who I was, how could someone not know who they are? What did it mean to "find one's self"?
It turns out that I was not superior. Nor did I know myself. Anyone that knows me, or has read this blog knows how true that is. I once thought I was a heterosexual, religious guy. I have since "realized" (grown?) that I am a homosexual, secular guy. I used to be someone who's identity was deeply rooted in Jewish nationalism and I have since realized that I am an intense individualist. I used to be someone with very specific long term dreams. I am now a person that has no idea what I want to do, or where I want to be in the long run.
In 23 days, my 10 and a half years of living in Israel will be coming to an end and I will be moving across Asia to Vietnam. Why? Because I want to (that is the easiest answer). And because I am on a journey to find myself. (I know, I am such a flake!) I am starting a new chapter with the hope that this change will make me happier and that maybe I will learn some more about myself and where where I want to go.
When I started this blog, the main idea was to write about my leaving religion, and my coming out as gay. I chose the name "Off the Path and onto the Road" because it symbolized the orthodox Jewish view of me going astray from the "religious path" and my view of starting to proceed on my own road. Those chapters in my life are over for now and my road is leading to other new adventures.