Defining Time

       I wanted, so badly, to write a piece the night before I left. I figured that with the broad amount of thoughts flowing through my head I would have, at the very least, a FaceBook's post-worth of material to write down. I wanted to write something sweet - even short - about my thoughts before I said good-bye to America for the last time.

       But I did not 
      "Tomorrow," I said to myself. "Tomorrow, I will definitely have something to write about."
       Yet again, I did not.

       I tried not to think about it, and I tried not to become frustrated by it. Yet, as I anxiously sat in the El-Al terminal in the Los Angeles International Airport awaiting my flight, I began to question myself: "Where is it, Jordan? Where are the very same words you used, just a few months ago, to describe your feelings about your upcoming Aliyah? Why are you silent?"

       I wanted to write, and I wanted to express myself; but the more I thought about it, and the more I tried, the more difficult it became. It was as though a barrier had been built between my mind and my fingers and what was once a lake full of self-expression, had simply dried up.

       For the past month and a half, I have restively waited for the moment where that barrier would come crashing down and I would be able to freely express my thoughts about having made Aliyah. 

And for the first time, I believe it has.

        I have always marveled at the extreme complexity of time; specifically, at how difficult time is to define and conceptualize. Humans, naturally, tend to focus on a life-changing paradigm shift as a defining moment in one"s life; a paradigm shift is where a previous approach to life has, through intense thought, rigorous action, or interaction with an outside force, been reformed in order to make way for an improved way of confronting life. The problem, however, that we have with paradigm shifts is that we often have difficulty defining the exact moment in time when a monumental paradigm shift took place. 

       August 30th, I knew, would not be like any other day. Although I woke up, showered, and headed to pray as I had done every other day over the summer vacation, August 30th was, in my mind, going to be the day my life changed forever. You see, August 30th was set - on just about every calendar in my house - as the day I was going to make Aliyah. It was supposed to be the day in which everything suddenly completely changed for me. I expected every second of my Aliyah process to be emotional and inspiring, culminating with my plane landing in Israel and me finally coming home; while I cried when my plane landed, and constantly thanked G-d for bringing me to this point in life, I initially marked August 30th as the day where my paradigm shift would peak, and where I would be able to define that day as when I was completely changed forever.
      I was wrong.
      I do not mean to say, or even imply, that I regret, at all, the decision to move to Israel: I regret it not one bit. I do not mean to say that my life has not changed greatly - for the good -  since I made the best decision of my life by coming home to Israel: it has. What I mean when I say that I was wrong is that I was wrong about feeling that simply making Aliyah would be the peak moment of my life-changing paradigm shift. I had thought, so wrongly, that just by getting on a plane, landing in Israel, and becoming a citizen, all of the sudden my life would change. What I have found to be true over the past month and a half of living in Israel as a citizen, however, is that every single moment of every single day of living in Israel is a new peak moment in my life-changing paradigm shift.
       My life, since I began living in Israel, has changed for the better; I feel as though I live a life of meaning where everything I do is for a purpose which is greater than I am alone. When I walk down the street and see all the incredible people who also live in this country, I cannot help but feel warm and whole inside knowing that Israel is a country whose people are not only constantly accepting and encouraging change, however are willing to help others change in order to better themselves.
       The Aliyah itself did not change my life; what has come after it has.

       My life changes every time I interact with a stranger who teaches me something new, valuable, and meaningful about life. My life changes every time I reflect and remind myself that I am now part of a people who live and constantly contribute to a legendary history, the same history our ancestors were a part of many years ago. My life changes every morning when I wake up and remember how truly privileged I am to be living out my dream, knowing how changed of a person I will be when I lay my head down to rest at the end of the day.

       In life, we experience difficulty defining the time in which a determining paradigm shift took place because often a life-changing paradigm shift is one which began long ago and has not yet ended. The essence of a paradigm shift is in its ability to prominently change how we humans think about and approach life; yet I came to realize that the reason I was having such a difficult time defining the peaking "moment" of my life-changing paradigm shift was because it had not truly peaked yet.

       And for the eventual entirety of my time living in Israel, I hope it never does.