Immigration anniversary

by tamarjacobson

Quote of the day:

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[Sign outisde the Unitarian Universalist Church]

It is always tempting to write a reflective piece around this time of the year: transitioning into fall, and the Jewish New Year. I probably have done so each year for the past seven that I have been blogging. Actually, the fall for me, is an anniversary of meeting the United States for the first time. Back in early October 1987, I arrived in Buffalo for a month to see if it was going to be a good idea to uproot my son and me from Israel and emigrate to the States – mostly for me to acquire a higher education. I will never forget flying into Buffalo from New York City. I looked down and saw a wild splash of fall colors reaching as far as my eyes could see. I had never seen anything like it. I gasped with amazement. It was as exciting as if I had fallen in love! Walking out into the crisp fall air of Western New York, I felt a chill that went right to the bone. It felt so completely foreign and new for me. And so, each year since then – 25 to be exact – I sense excitement and anticipation as the air becomes chilly and leaves start to turn and fall to the ground.  A reflective time to be sure because so much has happened since then. Indeed, I think I grew up and became an adult these past 25 years, even though I arrived in the States a year before my fortieth birthday.

Lately I have been thinking that I am tired of living out my history. Once, a memoir seemed like such a good idea, but these days I am thinking about looking ahead. History is important because it helps me understand how I came to be the woman I am today. It even helps me change some of my old self-destructive behaviors. But if I focus on the past I find myself longing to be young, or feeling regret for things I might have done differently. It is not helpful to living in the moment or looking ahead with hope.

Indeed, I am weary of nostalgia. Memory is so selective – determined by attitude, my emotional state of mind in the moment, or in keeping me locked in a vicious cycle, reliving an unchanging life script. And so, instead of wallowing in past transgressions of days gone by … this year, I would like to celebrate the joys of living right here and now, enhancing and enriching relationships with people I love, and who love me back.

And, to conclude … here's a right here and now thought on this, the eve of my "immigration anniversary:" I am an immigrant, a citizen … and I've got hope!

Seven years ago at Tamarika: Jack is back