Two questions may be running through your head:
1. Why did you disappear?
2. It’s the end of January so why are you just publishing November’s post now?
And those are two quite valid questions. Little did I know that life would be throwing a few hurdles my way – and that my internet would not work properly and that my laptop would have to be sent out to be repaired (which ensued in a few weeks of reading, drawing, and actually going outside wutttt). So, in the upcoming weeks, my plan is to post those “This is Israel” installments that I had missed to date: the November, December, and January installments. Hopefully life will be a bit smoother and I will be able to keep you all up-to-date! Sorry for the delay friends 🙂
So without further ado, here is the fourth installment of “This is Israel”! A space where I share with you what I have experienced during my past month in Israel. In addition to my normal travel blogs, I want to use this space to give you a glimpse of what my life in Israel is really like.
To be quite honest, I did not do too much during the month of November in terms of exploring or adventuring (…even though last month I had told myself I would try to explore more… woooops). However, I felt it wasn’t appropriate to skip a month just because I didn’t go on adventures, so I thought that I could change up what I’d do this time around: I thought I’d talk about the things I’ve learned while being abroad these past few months.
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1. It’s okay to let go
Letting go has always been a hard thing for me to do. Detachment has always been a tough thing for me to wrap myself around (hah, the irony). But these past few months I have truly learned the importance of detachment, that sometimes it is mentally and emotionally better for you to let go of a thought, an emotion, or a person. For example, one of my friendships had become quite one-sided. I was putting in effort and time into it, but the other side was not reciprocating in the slightest. I had ended up becoming a “last resort” option. If they needed something from me, they would call. If they didn’t have anyone else that would hang out with them, they would send me a text. It wasn’t healthy for me, because the friendship began making me feel like I didn’t deserve respect or deserve a proper friend. It was utterly draining. So I came to terms with myself that it was okay to let go of that friendship. Now, I think it’s important to also realize that a friendship not working out in no way means that the other person is bad – it just means that your personalities may not have matched up. I do have one thing I truly believe in though: every person that comes into your life, whether they’re there for a minute, a month, or still by your side, adds to your life and allows you to gain a new perspective or learn something new. If they did something good, you learn that you would also like to act in that way. If they did something that hurt you, you learn that you never want to act that way to others.
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2. Getting out of your comfort zone results in magic
I’m quite shy, I may not appear to be when you meet me, but I’m scared of taking risks or getting out of my comfort zone. So when I came to Israel, I decided that was exactly what I needed to do: push myself past my comfort zone. Granted, making a goal for yourself to get out of your comfort zone is wayyyy harder than actually doing it. So little by little I have been pushing myself to try new things, meet new people, and engage in different activities. And you know what? So far its been going well. But I have to be honest and say that although good things do come about, it leaves room for being hurt – because you are putting yourself in a vulnerable position, you’re no longer in an arena where you feel comfortable. BUT no matter what, I am thankful for stepping out of my comfort zone because it has allowed me to slowly, but surely, meet new people and try new things. And you know what? Leaving that comfort zone has allowed some pretty magical things to happen.
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3. It’s the little things
It’s the little things in life that can bring you so much happiness. Go watch that sunrise, go read that book, go smell those flowers, go to that coffee shop you think is cute because of its twinkling fairy lights. Because it’s when you begin enjoying the little things that life has to offer, that you become a much happier person.
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4. Be true to yourself and respect yourself
I learned that it is beyond important to be true to who you are – because that way, life will be a thousandfold more enjoyable. Who cares if you do something awkward or embarrass yourself: embrace it! If someone judges you or doesn’t respect you for who you are, then is it truly worth it to have them in your life?
And always respect yourself enough to know what you deserve. Just like how you should treat others with respect, you should know that you are deserving of it in return. If someone doesn’t want to treat you with respect, be kind to them, but don’t keep them in your life.
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5. Do your best
My parents would always tell me to “do my best” when I was in university, but I never listened to them or truly agreed (sorry mom, sorry dad!) – because the competitive environment at university is not conducive to that kind of thinking or attitude. It doesn’t matter if you tried your best, because when you don’t get that A+, you feel as though your life won’t surmount to anything (which is utter BS thinking to be honest, but it was ingrained within me). These past months in Israel have really made me realize that doing my best is actually what matters. Not only that, but everyone has a different level of doing their best, so we should in no way compare ourselves to others. There is more to life than good grades – like friendships, experiences, and happiness.
5 months down, 25 more to go!
Is there anything you learned while being abroad?