An image that shows what my move feels like

As most of you know by now, I am moving to Ithaca, NY in September. My husband has been offered the opportunity to do a PhD in physics at Cornell – I’m very proud of him and excited to start this new chapter of our life together.

As you can imagine, my emotions are all over the place, particularly now that we’re beginning to pack and say goodbye to people. I think this image best sums up some of what I’m currently going through. (The following image and text first appeared on Instagram.)

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“I have moved a lot in the last 13 years, and have had the privilege to live abroad for a bit more than half of them. My first time living out of the U.S. was in Senegal 11 years ago, when I studied there for my junior year abroad. I still have a few photos (this was before smartphones and at the very beginning of Facebook) and this: this little, Senegalese wicker basket. It’s never served much purpose beyond decoration. Now, as I’m packing up my husband’s and my place as we embark on moving to the U.S., I thought I could pack this little souvenir amidst some sheets. I guess I hadn’t touched it in years – upon contact, the threading started dusting off like flaky wax. Alas – getting to the age where some moments will only be able to live on in my memories. Without that year in Senegal, I’m not sure I would have had the courage to move to Israel.”

I appreciate all your love and support as we embark on this journey and I look forward to being in more touch with many of you.


Courtesy of qthomasbower at Creative Commons

Turn and face the strain, ch-ch-changes…

So yes, I have been going through some ch-ch-ch-changes lately. Which is partly why I’ve been a bit out of touch writing-wise. First, I moved to a new apartment! I basically moved from the less-hip border to the more-hip border of Tel Aviv’s African area. I suppose a little bit of Senegal always stayed with me, :).  This is both exciting because of the location and the fact that my place is a bunch nicer. These days, I’m all about improving my quality of life. Struggling is not as sexy or as sanctimonious as it once was.

The other change is professional. As some of you know, I was hired as a magazine editor for the Jerusalem Post on a maternity leave contract for six months. The woman I replaced is returning to her position in December, which means I am in the midst of finding work. Thankfully, I won’t be completely saying goodbye to the Post: I will keep my blog and will be proofreading part-time as well.

I am trying to take this change as an opportunity in disguise. Over the course of the last year, I have realized my true passion is writing. However, for me this can come in many forms. Much to my surprise, I even enjoyed editing a children’s magazine. So, even if the subject is not 100% my cup of tea, I still enjoy the work because it involves writing and being creative.

This realization also helped me understand that I want to get back into the nonprofit world. Part of why I burned out is because I went into nonprofit work believing my passion would be advocating for an issue. With this logic, it would just take time to figure out what that issue was. However, I was not as inspired by this as I thought I would be. I only found this passion when I began to write for a living.

Now, I am really excited to start consulting nonprofits and social profits on their communications! This would combine my newfound passion for writing and my first love for social justice issues. Considering I am between jobs, this seems like as good a time as any to try being self-employed, which is something I have been thinking about for a while.  Additionally, I hope this will also give me more time to pursue my own journalistic writing. 

So, friends and colleagues, if you know of anyone needing help with research, grant writing, evaluation planning or reporting, press releases, op-eds, website content, and marketing materials, I would be deeply grateful for referrals! I can work global hours and do video chats via Skype or Google Video.

Thank you all for your support throughout my first year in Israel and I look forward to being in touch.

Courtesy of Guy Sharett

Picture of Florentin, my new neighborhood! Courtesy of my friend Guy Sharett