Once, I wanted to see if I could live off of nothing but mixed nuts. The experiment lasted 36 hours. For at least two weeks now, I’ve been surviving on inertia. I don’t mean to imply that I’m not comfortable. I eat well, exercise, work, watch money bounce up and down online, rambling sophistry with friends. I’ve accomplished a few small things: GRE practice, taught myself how the stock market works, made a lot of progress in capoeira, wrote a new song, finally learned long division. Nevertheless, I fidget. I am a dynamo that senses friction like a cold wind. All five senses are kinesthesia. Beyond all these little goals that old void is smiling, and I’m suddenly terrified of slowing down, of not getting something done today. I need to write. I need to sit. I need to study. This isn’t even after midnight. Maybe it will all go away once I’m back in Israel, with family and school and a modicum of adventure.
That’s the word: I’m heading back to Haifa in January to begin a masters program in marine civilizations. Hopefully that means scuba diving, archaeology, dolphins and lecture halls. I’ve got a little fully-furnished playpen waiting in Ramat Eshkol. I can keep taking capoeira. They’re paying me. I have no idea why. I’m pretty geeked. On the other hand, it’s tough leaving everyone here. Old, young friends. New, old friends. Ann Arbor tugs at my sleeve and begs, recounting the good times. I’m done. One year too many. I’m not without my apprehensions, either. The thought of spending the next six months at sea on a bark, or hiking along the Sierra Nevada, seems less scary than moving to Israel and trying to erect a status quo. I’ll be living alone, alien but not foreign, studying and working with grad students whose average age stalks too near to thirty.
I guess the old questions don’t apply anymore. Is this getting me to the next step in my life? I guess this is the next step. Is this preparing me for a future career? No way to tell. The worse one is this: Is this a good use of my time, or should I try for something better? Me and T. recently had a talk about her four-year relationship with a boyfriend that she loves like home but not like wildfire. She asked me if it was foolish to cut and run, just to see if she could get more, more potent love. I told her that if she’s found a good fit in her man, she should probably try to juice him up a little and build onto what she’s got. But, if she knows that she wants more from a relationship, she shouldn’t let herself settle. I guess the same is true of plans and circumstance. I’m happy with my life, but I still want more. If only I knew what I wanted more of. Chalk it up to youth.