Gefilte Fish Out of Water

Minor freakout while running.
March 31, 2009, 8:07 pm
Filed under: Feelings, Struggles


Went for a long (16 mile – how many km is that?) run in Yarkon Park this afternoon.  My boss is incommunicado for a few days while travelling, and work will be a little slower during this period.

Started thinking freak out thoughts while running.  Firstly, since I’m working for a startup nonprofit and there’s no 401k, how am I gonna continue to save for my retirement?  If not 401k’s or pensions, what is the main retirement savings vehicle in Israel?  Olim, feel free to reply.  I’m sure I could ask the NbN message board, or my boss when he comes back, or AACI – and, it isn’t I must have this answer now or I’ll die, but it kicked off some wacked thinking.

Also, over the weekend, YouTube videos of the New York City Gay Men’s Chorus‘ 27/3/09 concert, “The Big Gay Sing” surfaced, and they were very bittersweet for me to watch.  They did an amazing Madonna medley, including full drag reenactment of M’s legendary “Vogue” performance from the 1990 VMAs.

Then after speaking about Proposition Hate, they sang “Tomorrow” with Andrea McArdle !!!

And they ended the concert with Beyonce’s “Single Ladies”:

Plus, they did MJ’s Thriller and Toni Basil’s Mickey.

Now, there just isn’t anything like that here. I sang at Carnegie Hall five times with the NYCGMC. I loved Monday night rehearsals, our special yearly Retreat and infamous “No Talent Show,” and c’mon – look at those special moments they created together onstage! Girlfriend, you KNOW I would’ve given it my all to try and make the dance team for that Madonna medley.

And I REALLY need my own apartment. Right now, while my boss and our intern are away travelling, it’s just me in the office. And it’s a home office. And I’m also living here. So, basically I have no commute and can work in my jammies…WHICH GETS OLD. If I don’t go running, or to an AA meeting in the evening, I can stay by myself all day here, and that is just NOT GOOD. It’s not total isolation, b/c I am commenting on friends’ Facebook status updates, returning emails, and having the occasional Skype call.  And my back is hurting, b/c I’m not in a proper, ergonomic office chair, and I’m humping over, leaning into da laptop.  :-/

And like – this felt really right to make Aliyah.  And it’s not like it feels wrong now…but I knew I just couldn’t do more of the same old, same old.  But what if….asking my Dad to help with a downpayment on an apartment in Chelsea would’ve done the trick?  What if being a first-time apartment owner in a cool neighborhood and decorating it with pride and care – what if that would’ve filled me up just fine?  Did I really have to move to Israel to feel like I was doing something new?

Well, there is the matter or work.  I was never in love with my PR career.  Look, I fell into it b/c I was a nervous mess, addicted to drugs & alcohol.  But as my career progressed, I was able to move into a firm where our clients were cool indie films and nonprofits and LGBT causes, and – meaningful stuff.  When I got laid off, I really didn’t wanna look for just another PR job to pay the bills, where my clients would be crapola like hair care lines and pharmaceuticals.  I just couldn’t be a hack for crap.  And I am not talking about work on this blog, at the request of my boss, but I’ve told you: I’m part of a skeleton staff building an important nonprofit from the ground up, and it’s really meaningful, meaningful stuff; we’re already saving people’s lives and we’re going to save a lot more.  It’s a pretty incredible opportunity, and also for the new professional experiences I’m adding to my work experience.

So, I dunno.  It’s a few hours after my run, so the feelings are less intense than they were.  I just wonder – I mean, I love being here…just walking down the street, breathing the air, listening to and seeing all the Hebrew – it feels very right.  But the only places I’m going to are the office/my residence, Yarkon Park, AA, and Basel Square.  I should see other parts of the city, as well as other parts of Israel.

One more thing – what about how I’m a colossal U2 fan, who still hasn’t heard the new album yet (b/c I don’t want to iTunes or my huge music library on my work laptop and my desktop hasn’t arrived from NY yet), and I just renewed my ICON (Madonna fan club) membership,  b/c I’m a legacy member and can order concert tickets from the pre-sales before the general public.  My good friend from NY Sheila has offered me first right of refusal on her extra U2 ticket for NJ’s Meadowlands on 24/9/09, and I do get 1 business trip to the states per year for work…but will the timing work out and I’ll be able to make the show?  When Madonna tours again, will I have to sit it out (last time she came through NYC, I went to all four shows)?  Will these things cease to matter to me after more time has passed?  Right now what I’m giving up seems more clear than what I’m gaining by being here.

Hey, sorry for not serving up a pithy post and instead getting all confessional on you.  But as my friend Marko might say, maybe I had to just “WORK. IT. OUT!”  (Oh, that IS a quantifiable thing I’ve gained from this move: I’m blogging now, and really enjoying it.  I saw no reason to do that while living in NYC.  Cool, bonus.)


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