I know for a fact that Adam’s most recent post has shocked many of our friends and family. He wrote strong words about his commitment to Israel and his want to make aliyah because as we transition back to the US, these are the feelings that overwhelm him. Since our return, we have spent a lot of time discussing how we are feeling, and while those discussions have helped Adam sort through his conflicting emotions, he didn’t feel better until he shared that post. He didn’t mean to raise concerns that we are headed back to Israel in the immediate future. We are not making aliyah right now, nor do we plan to any time soon. We need to be with our family.
I have always highlighted the difference between wants and needs in my classes. It is often challenging to differentiate between the two, especially when you are a fourteen year old kid in Earth Science class. Do you want a new pair of shoes or do you need them? Do you want a car to drive your friends to school when you live a block a way or do you need it? Part of living a more sustainable life is taking the time to distinguish between want and need to make sure that you aren’t wasting resources on things that are not necessary in your life. It is a good lesson to teach and a good lesson to follow.
One thing that I never talk about in these discussions is the importance of want. The things we want are important when it comes to making decisions, even if you may never get it. For example, I want to get my Ph.D at some point in time. Will it happen? Maybe. There are lots of other considerations that will determine whether or not this want will ever come to fruition. Yet, as long as I want it, Adam and I will make decisions that will always keep my return to higher education a possibility. If I didn’t want to go back, then our decisions wouldn’t take that into account, and most likely the possibility of me going back to school would disappear.
So by having wants, which can in larger cases be called dreams, our lives take a certain path even if we never achieve them. By having wants, doors remain open. We create possibilities for ourselves. Our wants are important even though our needs must outweigh them in many cases.
The want to make aliyah doesn’t mean that we will make aliyah. It just means that the choices we make as we settle back in the US will help us maintain the possibility if we ever want it some time way, way, way, way far down the road. These choices include maintaining the connection we built during our Fulbright adventure, which is achieved through visits to Israel, trying to learn more conversational Hebrew, and most importantly, maintaining the friendships we created while living in Israel. It is always important to remember that just because there is a want, doesn’t mean that it will happen. We have many things to consider and those considerations will constantly change over time. Major life decisions are never easy to make, and we certainly don’t make them on a whim.
Until next time…