Tel Aviv Yourself Ep 5: Dear 40-year old self, I hope you are still rocking and living the life in Tel Aviv
Welcome to Tel Aviv Yourself: a series about my life in Tel Aviv. Every once in a while, I will be posting short stories about my life in the city I now call home. Now, this series is very raw and unedited. As this is my story, as I have full ownership of this blog as my creative space, you are going to get my version if you choose to continue reading. Thanks, and enjoy!
I was walking by Allenby today and I had this literally had quick flash of my life as a 40-year old, still in Tel Aviv. This city has been my home base since August 2016. Without second thoughts of moving here after my first visit, what I found really surprising is finding a place in the world, which does not happen easily to everyone. More often, it doesn’t happen to everyone at all because most of us are okay with the place we are in – even if it sucks; even if it’s the horrifying years of your existence. Not everyone takes the plunge.
In that moment, I saw myself living in Tel Aviv, with an excellent, fulfilled and vibrant as ever life. As someone who changes plans every split second, this has never happened to me and I’ve never really imagined myself loving and living somewhere especially in a misunderstood country as Israel.
Just for fun, I wanted to write something to my 40-year old self assuming that I am still living in Tel Aviv after 12 years (feck, I’m nearly 30).
I’m actually you at 28 and I just got back to my apartment in Jaffa and I am currently reading Roxane Gay’s Difficult Women. Do you remember reading this? I am on page 53 while sipping a chamomile tea with Gordon Ramsay Dash in between. I am wondering if you are still doing this at 40? Oh no, wait, I am more interested if Tel Aviv is still a young city after 12 years? I don’t think you’re old but if I am 40 (you) and all my friends are the same age, I wonder who the feck is drinking at the Nasich at your time?! Or? Eviatar? Ella?!
(For the readers: Or, Eviatar and Ella are my friends’ children who are aged 6, 12 and 9 at present)
I am a little curious if something unfolded in your career but am pretty sure you still look the same – that Asian Trisha with a short jet black hair Trisha. As much as nothing has changed physically, I really do hope there are a lot of big transformations that happened in your life that are positive.
When you were 14, your grandmother told you to have a big heart for everyone, including loving the awfully doomed souls around you because that’s what she was good at. Did you finally learn to just love everyone and really shut your mouth if you don’t have anything nice to say? At this time, your 28-year old self is practising very hard because it’s human nature (not bad at all if you don’t love everyone) but I want to be the kind of woman my grandmother was in terms of loving, giving and accepting.
Did you change your last name? You always told yourself that when you get married, you will always carry Velarmino because this is 100% you. You can’t imagine yourself with another surname so I am really wondering if your mail is addressed to Mrs. Something. Wait, are you married? Do you have kids?!
Please don’t tell me Duterte and Trump are still Presidents? Not that it matters but it’s just a side note just in case you want to divulge some information about what’s happening fast forward to year 2028. I know that you are still continuing your efforts for girls education all over the world. I really do!!! Today, 60 million girls are still out of school. I hope at your time, we reached half?
Were you able to fulfil your dreams of teaching in Sierra Leone? Pakistan? OMG, what happened to Syria? I really feel that you were able to go to these places because I know you are that person who nobody can’t stop from doing something you want. Arrrggghhh, just tell me you did it! Oh, and Yemen, too!!! How’s that?
You are obviously reading this so you are still alive but did you finally pulled your sh*t together by focusing more on your health? That journey is intense and challenging for you so I really am curious about how that unravelled.
That was a lot but I am writing this because I really do hope that you are still rocking and living the life in Tel Aviv. The same high you felt when you first arrive in August 2016, I really wish you still have it!
Though you are really okay with who you are now (at 28), I hope you’ll be triple okay and reached a certain level of contentment. Are you and Olivia still biking around Allenby with your torn jeans? I really wonder if you and your hipster friends are still hipsters because now that I thought of it, being one is not so bad at all even if everyone thinks you it’s something negative. I mean, what the feck is their problem, right? Remember that the artist in you unleashed when you decided to live in Tel Aviv because every fecking one is very creative, independent, counter cultured though most of the time have a very high opinion on progressive politics. And politics is something you luckily didn’t have interest in (thank God, I hope you are not politically involved in Israel now, please!)
I am praying hard that you still love your tattoos and that you finally got that coconut tree emblem with that surfer boy from Jaffa. But please don’t tell me you tattoed your names on each other! I will literally crack up. Sometimes, your decisions in life amuse me but I know that you will always choose something you have strong feelings for.
Which leads me to the question: when caught with two situations, do you still choose the more difficult choice? I hope you still do. You’ve always been like this – you don’t like easy. Not being friends with easy lead you to great heights and that includes living in Tel Aviv. It isn’t easy. It is fecking expensive. It was harsh. But you did it! You did it because you are happy here.
I hope you are still friends with Adva, Olivia, Jonathan, Ilan, Batel and Effie. These friendships were the ones that got you through when you first moved to Tel Aviv. Never ever forget about these people because they really are the best people – you can never ask for more. Though I think it will be funny if you are still doing a few shachtas in Nahalat Binyamin or wherever you people hang out now.
I hope you still kept that apartment in Jaffa with surfer boy. That is really one of a kind and you vowed to yourself that even if you decide to live in a bigger place, you will always keep that place no matter what. I hope you still have the Great Dane sitting next to you while you are working on your computer. I hope surfer boy still loves you as he loves me now – that he is still patient, caring and still carried on with telling you how beautiful (and different) human being you are. Do you still fight because you have poor organisation skills and he’s borderline OCD?
I hope your family got to see your home in Tel Aviv. It’s quite expensive to bring a big family there but I hope they slowly came through. Remember how badly you wanted to show your brothers and sisters around? To show them there aren’t missiles flying over the the city? To treat them to the best restaurants in the city even if you’ll be miserably broke after it? I hope you did it!
How about the beach house in the Philippines? I hope you were able to pull off the schedule of living there for 6 months and going back to Tel Aviv when winter is over. It really sounds like a good life.
I hope that eyes opened or closed, you still dream. Wide awake or deeply asleep, you are still that person who never stopped dreaming. I hope you still laugh (very loud), you still play, you still talk a lot, that you are fluent in Hebrew by now, you are reading triple the average books you normally read, you are still in love with that surfer boy from Jaffa, and that you are still traveling, above all. Never lose sight of your dreams. Even if you are happily living in Tel Aviv (I really hope you are still happy), I wish for you to see the vastness of the world the best way you know how.
I wish Tel Aviv is still your boundless of creative space – and that it is still a place where you can be your most beautiful, sometimes miserable unapologetic self.
I love you, Trisha. You are always loved and supported. Keep going to the direction of your dreams and never ever stop.
Love always and forever,