My report on the jajah website caused me to receive lots of silence that didn't surprise me because no one reads my blog anyway, one excuse, and one phone call.
Through the phone call I did receive I got several email addresses to follow up old friends with. So far I'm behind in my chase; writing this blog takes too much fucking time. So far, I managed to make one call as a result of a resulting email correspondence.
Through the two calls I've learnt that a good friend has a newborn daughter, another good friend is expecting a baby daughter, an ex work colleague has died all of sudden, another ex work colleague is HIV positive and is in all sorts of other problems, and other than that my friends all seem to be doing well professionally.
Two funny things came up in the second call. The first was being asked whether I'm a writer, given the volumes in my blogs; obviously, the friend who asked the question didn't really read the blog.
The second funny thing was being asked whether I managed to fulfill all my dreams in Australia. Now I know where this question came from and why it was asked, but I also know that at the moment I find such questions to be silly; it's a question that comes from a different world, a world I left four and a half years ago when I came to Australia to settle here.
At the time I left Israel I was a hot shot earning lots of money. I was sure that Australia is going to open its doors for me, I was going to find an even higher earning job, and the world is going to be my oyster (or at least Australia).
Nothing has prepared me for more than five months of unemployment which ended only due to my brother's contacts with a job that although interesting was earning me less than half of what I used to earn in the past. I wasn't prepared for the winter cold, I wasn't aware of the local dressing customs - in short, I was a Sting like English man in New York, only in Melbourne instead.
Slowly and eventually I did settle down, in the process abandoning many of my highly publicized Australian dreams. Everybody knew that I was coming to Australia in order to get myself a motorcycle (probably a Honda VFR), after which I was to get myself a sports car (the talk was about a Mazda MX-5 which I was supposed to drive down the Great Ocean Road while listening to the Meir Ariel song talking about him wanting to flee from guard duty in the Israeli army).
What did come instead of those dreams is the realization that happiness does not come with such lowly achievements. My views on the ways of this world have changed; from being a capitalist who used to think that if someone's poor and miserable it's only because they didn't bother to make an effort, those five months plus of unemployment have made me into a socialist.
If you asked me now whether I am happy, I would tell you that I am happier than I ever was. But if asked to explain why, I will tell you that it is because I am sharing my life with the person I love the most, who for one reason or another loves me too. I am happy because although I need to work to pay for the roof over my head and the larger and larger amounts of food that I eat, I work for a place that strives to make a social difference and I work at a place that allows me to have a life, too. And in this life I do lots of creative stuff: I watch films, I read (although not as much as I would like to), and I also blog a lot.
To me, at this point in time, all of those mean a lot more than being able to buy something. I am constantly expanding my horizons, reaching further than ever before with my mind.
Yes, there is a lot of room for improvement: Meaningful relationships with people are the thing I value the most, yet being in Australia means that I left most of the people that love me the most - my family - behind. The same applies to some of my best friends, who in some cases have been friends of mine for 28 years by now. Another problem is that with our lowly social skills we are definitely not doing as much as we should be doing with the friends we managed to acquire in Australia.
But other than that, I don't have any particular dreams that require fulfilling. I am living one big dream; it has its lows, as I recently found out the hard way, but that's the way life is. The end is the same for every living thing, but I think I have found the formula to turn the way there into a nice ride.