Tel Aviv, ISRAEL
I was born in a suburb half an hour from tel aviv on 1 January 1981. My parents were both middle class with 8:00 to 17:00 white collar jobs. most of my early childhood memories are happy ones .because both my parents worked, me and my sister were mostly raised by our two grandmothers who were both loving wonderful women .i remember having a lot of friends from my school and the neighborhood, I remember playing around the neighborhood, soccer, basketball, driving around on my bicycle and playing childhood games like hide and seek and treasure hunt. I hope that kids toady are still playing games like outside with other kids like I did and not sitting at home in front of the TV or a xbox or something like that. I have a feeling that very few are, I hope that I am wrong and it's just that I feel old and nostalgic.
When I was 9 we moved from the apartment that we were living in to a house in a different part of town and I started going to a different school. This is were thing start to get worse.
Back then I was a sci-fi reading, dungeons and dragons playing geek and I didn't get along with any of the kids in my new school. often I was laughed at ,sometimes I got beat up , mostly I was ignored .I didn't really have any friends all through my elementary school and junior high and spent most of my time being alone reading some book .basically this early experience affected me greatly and completely ruined any shred of self confidence I had. I was convinced I was a freak and a weirdo and that if I ever wanted to be liked and accepted I needed to change who I was and become someone different.
High school wasn't very different. I made a couple of friends but we were friends mostly because none of us had any other friends and not because we actually had anything in common. My high school years passed on ,I was mostly lonely, feeling like an outsider, obviously no girlfriend ,with parents who only cared about my grades and with no one to really talk to about what was going on with me , my thoughts ,my feelings, my dreams and my life.
After high school instead of joining the army like most of the people in my country, I joined an academic reserve program and started studying electrical engineering at the Tel Aviv University. At my class along with most the students who were already after their military service and were a few years older, were other reservists like me.
This is the first time I started to feel like I was around people who were like me and I didn't need to pretend I was something I'm not. I was still a quiet, shy person and kept mostly to my self but during my 4 years at the university I started to feel a little more confident everyday and to connect more and more with other people.
I finished school with decent grades and joined the army .my army service is one the greatest disappointments of my life. I expected to work as an engineer and design systems, however I was assigned as a projects manager with very little or nothing at all to do with engineering since all of the actual development and design was done in outside companies. My work is tedious, boring, filled with constant arguing and dealing with bureaucracy and yet very stressing as I am under constant pressure from my superiors' to meet the project deadlines. the army is a very rigid , bureaucratic organization with very little room for real creativity. It's a very political organization where you are promoted based on connections with the right people and not based on real performance .it has been very hard for me to keep my integrity and there were times where I really hated myself for turning from a quiet and calm to a very cynical and angry person.
A couple of years ago I moved out of my parent's house and rented an apartment in tel aviv. I made some real friends in the army, guys who where academic reservists like me and who were also living in tel aviv. I started going out more often, trying to have fun and enjoy the fact that I'm living in a big vibrant and exiting city (tel aviv is no New York or London but it's still a fun city ).
Now we get to the love life part...at this point I'm 24 , a virgin, without ever being in a relationship .although I was a much more confident person (you had to be in my job) I still thought of myself as a geek and a freak whose only way to get a girl was to like him was to hide who he really was. I guess I'm not ugly and probably I'm considered as cute, but I just didn't have the confidence to be myself and meet women. I went on a few dates with some girls I met through friends but nothing lasted beyond 2 dates.
On 2008 I met the first girl I really fell in love with at a friend's birthday party. at first it seemed like she really liked me too and for a couple of weeks I was incredibly happy. she was a really sweet and sensitive girl , the kind who writes poems but never shows them to anyone .you probably figured from reading my story that I'm somewhat of a melancholic, sad person ,she was similar to me in that way and maybe that's why I fell in love with her. I wanted to be one who would make her happy. It lasted only a couple of months. when I told her I was a virgin she didn't take it very well .we saw each other a few more times after that but eventually she broke up with me. I guess she didn't feel for me what I felt for her and that she didn't want a serious relationship .we did not sleep together.
I was heartbroken and really depressed, for a week I could barely get out of bed.
In the end it was a good thing for me. I realized I was putting too much stake on what others would think about me and I was feeling so ashamed at being a virgin that could never be happy unless I changed my look on my life.
I decided that from now on I'm going to live my life the way I want to and not the way I'm "supposed to". I would not wait to meet a girl to be happy, I would not be ashamed of being a virgin ,I would stop hating myself and thinking there is something wrong with me, I would not take my job so seriously and I would start doing what really makes me happy.
First I bought a camera and signed up for an amateur photography class. this was probably the best gift I ever gave myself because since then (this was all about a year ago) photography has become my greatest passion . I love walking the streets of tel aviv and taking pictures of everyday life. there are so many things happening in the streets of a big city that people always miss. We walk wrapped in our own thoughts and never notice the thousands of little moments that make up human life going on all around us and when I catch one of these moments with my camera I feel like I am part of this great web of human connections and that after all I am not alone. I sometimes upload my pictures to the web and my greatest hope and desire is that someone out there will be moved by them and will feel like I felt when I shot them and these pictures are what I will leave behind me after I die.
The second thing I did was sign up for an online dating service. I decide that I need love in my life and not to just get drunk and sleep with somegirl I meet in bar to lose my virginity.
After a few months I met a woman online and fell in love for the second time.
She was a wonderful, warm, funny and intelligent woman. I could to talk to her for hours about everything , books ,music , films , art .when I was with her I felt safe and I could be myself .my memories of the time I spent with her are probably the best memories of my life. I told her I was a virgin on the second date and she didn't care , she actually liked me more and when I slept with her I was glad that my first time was with someone I cared about and who cared about me and that I could know what its like to feel real intimacy.
This was 3 moths ago and I had just turned 28 .If life were an indie movie we would live happily ever after but after a month she broke up with me. We had gotten into a few fights when we were together but we always made up until the last fight when we just didn't and she decided to leave. I really can't say why ,she said we had communication problems and although she had feelings for me it wont work. I tried to convince her to stay together but couldn't. My only regret is that I didn't have the chance to tell her that I love her.
So here I am...
so far I have had a safe life ,I always had enough money and i'm healthy. I have a few good friends now , i'm trying not to take my job too seriously, I read a lot, I listen to music , I go to concerts ,I go to art galleries, I photograph lot and of course I am no longer a virgin and for a short time I loved and felt loved by a women.
I guess it's a better life than most people and worst life than some others.
In 6 months I will finish my contract with the army and I will begin the next phase of my life. I hope I will get to travel for while before I rejoin the rat race. I would really like to go to Nepal for a while and feel like I am a free man and that I don't have to worry about getting a job and finding a place to live.
Well like the wanderer from "the big lebowsky" says at the end of the movie - "that about does her, wraps her all up" (if you haven't seen it yet ,go watch it the first chance you get)
It seems weird summing all my life like that. I guess if were a writer I could do a lot better and maybe make more sense out of it. Looking back I don't think I would change much. All the things that have happened to me in my life have turned me into the person that I am now and if I changed them the person that I am now will cease to exist. Since I kind of like myself now I don't want that to happen. I still feel lonely quite a lot but I am at peace with myself .I just wish I would find some girl who would make me feel a little less lonely.