I have always wanted to live in Israel. As long as I can remember since my second trip there, it was for me a real Promised Land. I have always felt that life in Israel has a different taste. There are children everywhere, people are not polite but they are nice, you feel incredibly safe, even safer than in Geneva, which is totally mind-blowing. And it’s almost as if only by being here, being alive, you already achieved a lot. At the same time, I also wonder: if you have kids and the opportunity to raise them in Europe, in a country that is not under the threat of an attack everyday, where no bomb can explode in their classroom, wouldn’t it be criminal for a parent to stay in this country? I don’t have an answer to that question so I have no idea of whether I would like to settle in Israel for good or just for a few years.
I contacted a professor who was working on a topic I find really interesting and wanted to hire me. Unfortunately he couldn’t get the funding eventually. I was disappointed but tried to find other labs. I got an offer for a lab in the middle of the desert. They really wanted me – or anyone probably – but the topic was too remote from what I was interested in, and I declined the offer. The eventuality of doing a Ph.D., in Israel, in the middle of the desert triggered another series of existential questioning. Was I ready to live poorly for at least three more years? Was I ready to give up my life style, my comfort, all the useless things that seem so enjoyable in the first world? Was I ready to set my priorities somewhere else than on an always better salary? We are always “looking for happiness”: when I will have a job, when I will have a boyfriend, when I will have a better salary, when I will have kids and so on… Although wanting more is certainly a good motivation to move forward in life, I fear that it makes us perpetual unsatisfied and unhappy and I don’t want to be like this.
As an unemployed person, I had a lot of down moments when I thought I would be much happier once I had a job. But at some point, I realized a few things: being happy didn’t depend on having a job – I would probably be bored in the next job as I was in the previous one anyway – but was rather to be able to do the things I wanted to do. And to have just enough food, a roof over my head, some (pretty nice) clothes, friends and family, and that’s it! I don’t need a car or a TV, a better phone or anything. So I faced the truth: I had enough of everything I needed, I was even able to party quiet hard in a city where it’s not that cheap, I had tons of time to do what I would like to do, which most of people were craving for, so why would I complain and be unhappy??
I started a tumblr where I post a photo per day, preferably of something cool or funny, but something that reminds me that everyday is unique and can have it’s amount of happiness. And I tried to rethink my priorities.