To my dearest future chayalot,
You have so much to learn on this incredible journey and I hope you will take each lesson with grace and determination. It's hard. I won't lie to you that there are days where you feel that your strength has completely run out, physically and mentally and emotionally all at once. Yet, there are also days where you feel that you are getting it all right and making friends like a boss. Try to focus on these days; the ones where you thought anything was possible. The army is not at all what you're expecting, unless you are like me and therefore, had no expectations whatsoever. Honestly, just roll with it. It's going to be ridiculous sometimes, but instead of taking it hard, find something to laugh about. There is something funny in every situation and it will help you through your journey to not take everything too seriously. Listen to those who know more than you. Pazam (experience) may not always mean smarter, but there is knowledge in everyone, you just have to comprehend it. You may doubt what you're doing here, you may doubt it often, and others may cause you to doubt yourself. Don’t listen to them. Seriously. You have to keep the excitement and the confidence as well as compassion to succeed the way you know you can. Strive to prove to nobody but yourself how amazing you are and how much of an impact you can have on this amazing country. We must be happy with ourselves before we attempt to be happy with others. Remember why you're here and bunches of הצלחה on this exciting new chapter in your life!
With much love and support,
Shani is from Atlanta and went to Midreshet Harova. She is currently serving as a medic in the Totchanim Unit and is a member of Garin Tzabar.