I am quite new to the whole blogging scene and for a couple of days I was debating how to begin my first official entry. After several rough drafts, I decided to go the formal, polite way and introduce myself. Shall we begin:

My name is Dayna, I am 21 (going on 22), I was born in New York, lived there until the age of five. At which point, my Israeli father and American mother decided to make aliyah and so my two siblings (Ariel, 24, Adam, 21- my twin brother) and I followed suit. We lived in Israel until I was 12, when my father lost his job with a high-tech company and moved us all back to the US, this time to Florida. During the next few years in Florida, we suffered socially, financially, and emotionally. Friends were hard to find, my brother, sister, and I never seemed to connect to the other kids, we felt older, different, excluded. I remember nearly every day during those early years after we first moved, of walking home with my brother and feeling emptiness. It was a difficult time.

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A year after moving to Florida, my mother was diagnosed with an advanced stage of breast cancer, and two years later, my parents filed for divorce. No life wasn''t easy during the early teens. Luckily, my brother and I sought solace in school, we attended an accelerated high school program that was combined with community college and thus at the age of 18, I was a graduate of high school and a junior in college. I attended the University of Florida for my final two years and graduated with a BA in journalism with a concentration in Arabic. I was 19. I had finally acclimated socially and had begun to build a life in Florida, but still something was missing. I felt neither American or Israeli, I felt nothing. I had no idea who I was, where I was heading, where I wanted to be. All I knew was that the time to find the answers to all those questions was now, not in 5 or 10 years. Rather now.


I first began mulling over the idea of joining the IDF when I was 16. I was listening to a song by the Israeli band "Hadag Nachash" when the insane idea popped into my head. I thought it over and after a couple of days brainstormed the idea with my parents. They nodded and shook their head at all the right parts, but overall, I think they thought I was bluffing. For three years they were correct until my final year at UF when I knew it was time. I was 19 when I graduated, far too young to venture off into the world in search of a job with no title. I suffered most my life from an identity crisis. I grew up in Israel as well as in the US. I was an Israeli-American, and yet I felt confused as to which I was where. And so I decided to make aliyah in August 2009 with the program "Garin Tzabar" and eventually joined the IDF.

Nice to meet you, my name is Dayna.


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