Tuesday, July 1, 2008

all she wants to do is dance

Two Saturdays ago (June 20, for anyone who wants to know), I was in Israel. More specifically, I was in Jerusalem. Let's just stop and think about that for a second. Less than two weeks ago, I was in Israel. My home. With my people. On the journey of a lifetime. Having the most amazing and memorable experience of my life with strangers who have become lifelong friends. And now? Back at work. On Long Island. Living with my parents. Doing the same thing I always did. Hmm. Maybe not doing the same thing. I am writing this blog, afterall, and I celebrated Shabbat last weekend for the first time at home ever, which was wonderful to be able to share with my mom. But overall, it's pretty much the same old, same old. But change takes time, right? And now that I've had this life-changing experience, I can consciously make an effort to not forget the feelings I had in Israel and to make those feelings part of my everyday existence. There's so much I want to do in my life, and now I realize I can and should do it all.

But back to my original thought - Saturday night in Jerusalem. Drinking and shopping on Ben Yehuda Street and dancing all night long in a small, sweaty bar the next street over. I felt something I really haven't felt in a long time - stress-free, worry-free, unrestricted fun. All 40 of us mayanot 41 birthrighters, plus some of our new Israeli friends who met us out that night after sadly leaving the group on Thursday, squished onto the tiny dance floor already packed with locals. We sang and danced and drank and sweated for hours - and it was wonderful; perfect even. As I'm dancing with Matt pressed up against the bright red wall, sheetrock crumbling down in the corner, friends old and new all around me, I thought to myself, "I need this."

I don't know why having this kind of fun is something so hard for me to do in my everyday life, but when I finally just let go that night in Jerusalem, I had the time of my life. I guess I was able to do it partly because I felt the safety of the group of 40 people I had grown to trust and love over the course of 10 days. At home, I have one, maybe two, people I can go out with and trust. Pretty sad, but I guess that's just reality. In life, I prefer to have a few really close friends whom I care about and know care about me. But for situations like going to a club or a bar, going into the city or doing anything I'm not too comfortable with (which happens to be a lot of things), a large group of friends would be really nice. Maybe I've found that in mayanot 41. At least I hope so.

Time to organize a reunion. ASAP. I need to dance.

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