Living With Matthew

My Gap year has been a completely new experience for me. I grew up in a small school, in a small grade, so for me to join a program with around a hundred people my age was something I had never experienced before. I remember the first night we were out of quarantine being crazy nervous just about meeting people and making friends. Though this unfamiliar environment gave me a perfect opportunity to develop socially and in my independence.

I  was able to show off my bravery early into the program. Just being social and introducing yourself to people is one of the bravest things someone at 18 can do. It takes a lot of confidence to spend an entire weekend meeting new people. The day after our initial week-long quarantine they had us all staying together in a hostel. Nobody knew anyone, so for all of us to spend 48 hours engaged in small talk was very brave to me. 

Kindness has always been a specialty of mine, often I am one of few people that interact with everyone in a group and make sure that everyone is included. But my kindness has really come out since moving to Tel Aviv. In Tel Aviv we have a kitchen for each floor. I might not be the biggest cook but my kindness shows with how often I clean. I’m part of a floor that all look out for each other and try to make living as easy as possible for everyone, this only furthering my desire to help out and be kind at all times. For example I was having trouble sleeping one night last week so a friend and I decided we would surprise the floor with a beautiful clean kitchen in the morning.

Looking back on my time in Israel so far I’m not sure if failure comes into play. As much as I want to write about the time that I struggled and then was able to help myself, that time doesn’t really exist. though my bounce back from high school has been huge. I used to have a lot of resentment toward Judaism and since coming to Israel I have been able to mend that which is a blessing. This bounce back was courtesy of my trip to Poland where I was able to take a second to appreciate everything my ancestors did to make sure that I had a place on this Earth.

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