Alright, I’m going to whine a little more about the army. Watch out.
So next week my officer is going to talk to the officer’s office (that makes more sense in Hebrew) to see what my options are for trying to complete officer’s training. The issue at hand is my abilities in Hebrew, specifically with regards to reading and writing. There are a few possible results from that conversation.
The most concrete result would be “no.” Just a reply of “his abilities are still not up to the level he would need, and we aren’t capable of making accommodations.” Part of me thinks this would be the best answer. Straightforward, game over, start planning for whatever’s next.
A slightly more interesting answer is, “We don’t think he’ll be ready for the next session, but have him wait for the one after that.” That postpones whatever decision-making I’d have to do by a couple months, but it still leaves me with decisions to make. I can make short-term plans, but long-term plans are iffier.
Then there’s “It’s up to you.” That’s a scary sentence right there. “It’s up to you.” Go now, postpone, or give up. Your choice. If you choose wrong, you have nobody to blame but yourself.
So now is when I’ve got to start actually making a decision. Get off the fence and decide what I really think is the best decision for me.
So let’s weigh costs.
Going means a period of several months where I’m entirely consumed by this. Past the course itself, there are preliminary exams and my own preparation that I’ll need to make time for. Anything not related to officer training that I’d want to do during that time would be out of the question. It might mean not visiting my parents at all this year. It might mean losing contact with friends. It will very likely mean the end of this blog. And then there are those things that just come up, and I’ll hate myself for taking away my own ability to do them.
But on the other hand, this is the only chance I’ll ever have to do this. How can I not at least try? And while almost everything I’d be giving up would be fleeting, and a good portion of it I’ll admit would be downright petty, choosing to become an officer in the IDF is something that affects your whole life. Isn’t it worth giving up those six months to get the chance to develop something over your whole life?
But that’s slippery slope logic, isn’t it? It opens the door for me later on when I’m in a situation I might not like to say “hey, I already made this much of a sacrifice, adding a little more is worth it.” And then a little more, and a little more. I’m good at tricking myself into seeing opportunities where none exist, and I can easily see me fooling myself into taking a path I really don’t want because I think it will pay off eventually.
But if you always live in the now, if you never plan for the future, eventually that’s going to catch up with you. At some point you have to make some decision and say “this is what I’m doing with my life, and these are my goals.” I’ve been putting that off ever since I graduated high school. I initially welcomed military service as an excuse to put off the decision even further while still being productive. Two more years where it’s okay if you don’t know what you want, because you have something else to do anyway. But at some point you’ve got to actually come back and make a choice.
So here’s the choice right in front of me. An option for something long-term and concrete vs. a fog of mystery. I’m not ready for it. But I need to know what I want by the end of next week.
There aren’t any concrete answers. But there are concrete slabs. Out of which one can build a foundation. That foundation might be used as a stable base for some answer to be built on, or it might be used as a target to hurl yourself off the neighboring building at and avoid having to make the decision altogether.
Here’s hoping I don’t hurl myself off of “Ode to Florida” and on to this post.