Wednesday, May 4

Tasting Fears and Doubts

Leaving my home was heart-breaking, scary, and ironic. We're about to go live a dream we have saving for for almost five years; and rather than be excited about it, I'm freaking out. This entry is a collection of journal entries from April, May, and March of 2011, those last months before departure. It covers a dash of my fears, a teaspoon of my uncertainty, and a pound of confusion.
Hot Water

I love, love, love hot showers. They relax me. It's therapuedic for my soul. I get under the hot water and stress melts away, my soul slowly unwinds. I can think clearly under hot water. It helps me stay grounded and connected to who I am. 

Some of the countries we are going to go to don't have hot water. I've been there, done that fifteen years ago when Kobi and I back packed through Central America. I screamed then, but I could handle it. Now, I have the stretch marks of three children to say otherwise. Now, I don't want to scream when I get into the shower. I don't. I don't.

I'm taking my hot shower when Dahnya walks into the bathroom and sits on the toilet seat to chat. I share with her that in some of the places we'll be going there will be no hot water. She sits there silently, muling this over in her sharp mind. 

"That's ok, mom. We don't have to shower that much." 
"Shit" I mutter to myself. 
She leaves the bathroom, but sticks her head through the door a minute later .
She asks, "Mom, they don't have hot water in the winter too?"

"Double shit!"

Tasting Insanity

To be a homeless, nomadic, friendless, nameless stranger in strange lands, 24 hours a day in the loving grip of my husband and children. AHHHH!!!

of course, insanity is part of what created the crazy idea in the first place. Insanity is what drove us to save like crazy for this adventure. Insanity has its esteemed and dignified place in the equation of things. For the record: I think only slightly insane people leave everything they know and go skipping around the world with their kids.

The Brink of Uncertainty

So, I stand here with one foot still in the life that I know and love. I look forward. Behind me is all I've known and built for the past 7 years; before me is all I don't know yet. I catch my internal conflict touching the surface: Why leave all that you love for uncertainty? How could you leave the ideal life that you've built?

I recognize this knot in my stomach. I've known it before. Before we came to Israel in 2004, life was perfect. Kobi and I both had thriving careers in jobs we were passionate about; our kids were in the JCC and loved it; we had our weekly Sunday gang who filled our lives with laughter and a deep sense of belonging; we were surrounded by family and friends. And then, I said it too: Why leave? Why enter uncertainty when I know and I love what I have now? Why leave this ideal life?

When I came to Israel, I went from Executive Director surrounded by friends to illiterate, friendless housewife. Today, I look at my life in Israel in retrospect and I COULD NEVER IN MY WILDEST DREAMS HAVE IMAGINED THE WHOLENESS AND FULFILLMENT I HAVE IN MY LIFE TODAY.

And so it will be again.

I take a deep breath and jump into uncertainty. With my soon-to-be nomadic family at my side. May the wind and our spirits take us to fascinating corners of the world. May we meet and help beautiful unknown faces become new-found friends. May God keep us safe. I trust He/She will guide me through uncertainty.

As I stand at the brink of uncertainty, I do know for certain that I am about to find out what a nomadic family life is all about..

Naked But Free

Driving home last night from a parenting group I realized it. I'm scared of losing my identity.

I define myself based on my job, my home, the community I live in, the school my kids attend, what I do all day. I am a family therapist;  a parenting expert; I treat people dealing with trauma and pain and help them breathe again. I live in this house which I love. It is my kitchen counter, my backyard, my living room, my bed. my kids go to a school which I helped establish with a group of visionary parents. I identify myself with the gorgeous nature and slow-paced life of the Upper Galilee Valley in Northern Israel.

Leaving means I can't hold onto those things anymore. When I leave my home with a backpack and three kids, I am a person without a title, a home, a community. Of course, I carry all of that with me wherever I go.

Yes, but no. Leaving  rips me of my clothing, but it also frees me to just be whatever I will be. I am just Gabi; just a person; just a soul; just me.

So, it scares me that I won't have my routine that keeps me safe and tells me everyday why I got up in the morning. Sunday- radio show, married couple in therapy, Chispin English-speakers parenting group. Monday- internet marketing course, business status meeting, writing, Kfar Hanasi parenting group. Tuesday and on and one.

Soon, I'll get up in the morning and do whatever I'll do when I get up. I'll be a person. Naked but free to recreate herself, discover herself, discover her family, face all of the issues without being able to escape to the next thing 'to do'.

Here we go.... nomadic family life draws threateningly near.


I'm a mother of two from Minnesota. My husband and I recently sold our home and will take our family on the road in just over three weeks time. Your thoughts in this post are tremendously comforting to me. It's nice to know that a little freaking out goes with the territory. Your thoughts on identity resonate. I don't want to be defined by what I have, I want to be defined by loving life and loving others! That's going to be my mantra as I finish packing up our belongings.

Hello dearest Mountainash,
So glad you found our site and that you are finding comfort in 'freaking out'. If you didn't, I would worry! :-) Email me please so that I can connect you to our growing community of families on the move. They all serve as a great inspiration. So, where do you begin your journey? And, by the way, good for you!


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