Dare to Tell – Day 17
I heard my father’s voice at the end of the line. It was the last straw. I started crying.
I don’t know what I’m doing here. I don’t think I can take this. I’m all alone. It’s the middle of the desert. There’s no one here. It’s the middle of nowhere. What have I done?
My father tried to calm me down, to reassure me that it was going to be okay. That this was just the start, that I’d find my way.
It all started the summer before.
I had volunteered on a kibbutz and fallen in love. I had fallen in love with the lifestyle and the idea of the army. I watched the young soldiers coming home on a Friday afternoon and heading back to their bases on Sunday morning. They were so handsome, they seemed so brave. It felt to me that they had such purpose, such meaning in their lives.
The months dragged by back in New York. I felt the emotional dependence on my family even more than before. It all seemed dull. I longed to go back to Israel and it suddenly occurred to me, I had to join the army. It would be the answer. I would become independent, strong.
So here I was, on a distant kibbutz awaiting the start of my army service. There were other newcomers, immigrants from other places around the world. Amongst us there were many languages spoken but we had to speak the common language. I had to learn to get on with all sorts of people. And I was distraught.
As I look back and tell the story, it seems like a crazy decision, a misguided choice.
This New York girl, daughter of a musician and an artist, having lived a pretty open minded bohemian and arty childhood, now in the Israeli army.
And yet I was right.
I did become independent.
I learned a new language, got on with all kinds of people and enjoyed my time as a soldier.
So much so that I even became an officer.
Life was challenging, fascinating and at times thrilling. It was a brand new path. The right one, it turned out!
– Dorit Sasson is the author of ‘Giving a Voice to the Voiceless’ http://www.givingavoicetothevoicelessbook.com/