Letter I Sent To My Parents

It’s 02:21 and I just finished straightening out most of my roommates’ mess…anyway:

So I was talking to my Dad while I was getting ready to head to the guard tower last week and he was really confused about what was going on (mostly because he doesn’t always pay attention to what I’m telling him on the phone, or what my mother tells him). I spoke with my Mom about it, mostly because my Dad’s freaking out about the whole thing and the ‘what ifs’ and the possibility something might go wrong…and the only thing I’m nervous about at this point is making sure my M.A. application is processed right…not worried about getting in, worried that the administration will lose important papers or that I’ll have to have my Mom mail me my original documents back from the U.S….anyway, I wanted to get everyone on the same page. I’ll write more soon…for now, the last friends only post on the matter before I can start posting publicly (I hope)…I wrote this going on no sleep, so I don’t apologize for what will no doubt be a letter rife with grammatical errors:

Hey Gang,
I just wanted to get everyone on the same page. I also wanted to alleviate some concerns that you both might have right now (we’re all in for some life changes, and it’s a tough economy) and I figured the best way to do that was to give you guys a detailed sketch of the next few months.
I ask you to both take the time necessary to read this email twice so we can all get caught up to speed.
The Game Plan
June 19, 2011:
I finish three years of service in the IDF (HOORAY!!!). I leave (as far as I know) as a Staff Sergeant, as a Non-Commissioned Officer, as a commended soldier and as a better person than when I entered.
July 2011
I’m taking July off. I’ve just spent three years in the IDF and I need about a month to clear my head and to readjust to civilian life. While during your visits here you’ve gotten to see the fun side of the branch (as you should) there’s another side to the branch. The other side of the branch is where I have to explain the unexplainable, where I have to translate things at a moments notice or an entire mission will fail, where I have to wake up in the middle of the night to try and get an officer who’s stuck in a snowstorm, who is confused, who is having an emergency from the situation he’s in to a situation where he can complete his mission and return safely to Israel…and I have to be able to do that for any officer I’ve sent abroad in any country in the world at any hour of the day by telephone…and that’s what I do during peace time…it gets a lot more complicated during times where peace is – shall we say – lacking.
After three years (mostly in some kind of command position) I need to move from giving orders, constantly being intense, being on call and ready to be sent on a mission 24/7/365 to asking instead of telling and using words like please and thank you. July is the month where I’ll be doing that. The IDF Psychologist says I should take three months to reintegrate into civilian life…I believe I’ll be able to do so in a month.
July is also the month where I’ll be getting us set up on Etsy, Ebay and Amazon.com and getting our shipping and distribution system setup. Fortunately, I’m an Ebay and Amazon selling maven and, while I’m still getting used to Etsy, I’m sure we’ll do great.
Work, work, work.
First, here’s the deal with J****: if there’s a position for me at J****, awesome! If there isn’t a position for me at J****, awesome! Please don’t stress about it.
Personally, for me, 500.00 a week is 2,000.00 a month, 24,000.00 a year and over a four year period (not taking into account taxes) comes to 96,000.00. I would love to earn 96,000.00 before I start my Ph.D.
That kind of income would not only help me create a nice nest egg, it would mean that I would have the freedom to start my Ph.D. and then look for work in whatever state or country I eventually do my Ph.D. in, instead of having to find work first and then apply to the Ph.D. programs.
It would also provide me with the necessary finances to have an easier time doing my research in graduate school.
That being said: I don’t want to be hired because I’m your son. I would like to be hired because I am incredibly bright, because I have a track record of success, because I have glowing letters of recommendation from every single employer and commander I’ve ever had and because I’m competent, professional and a fast learner. You’re familiar with my CV and you’ve seen a handful of my letters of recommendation.
J***** is – despite a lot of involvement – not a “family business.” I have no delusions of entitlement: J***** is not a corner store – it’s a multi-million dollar corporation.
You owe it to yourself and to your partners to make the best decision for J***** and to hire the person that most meets J*****’s requirements. I strongly urge you to make the right decision for you and for J*****. J***** needs your leadership right now whereas I’ll be able to manage whether I’m working for J***** or elsewhere.
I turn 27! According to my numerology, this should be a better year than the last.
If I’m accepted to the Open University of Israel (side note: I turned in my application today…cross your fingers and wish me luck!) then I begin my distance studies.
Thanksgiving (you guys have no idea how much I’ve missed Thanksgiving)!!
November is also my personal deadline for myself.
If by November I haven’t found work which allows me to earn enough a week where I can continue paying for my M.A. (I do have some leeway, because the IDF is putting 15,000 shekels towards my M.A…not much leeway, but some) then this is the month that I pack my backpack and send out my resume to Teach For America, The Peace Corps, Doctors Without Borders and numerous countries throughout the world – the benefit of being an applied linguist with an ESL teaching certification is that I’m certified to teach in any country in the world (with the one, large exception, of the United States).
If all that doesn’t work I’ll see where the adventure takes me. Remember it’s not really washing dishes at a pub in Ireland…it’s background research to investigate the language dynamics and use of modern Gaelic between lower-class workers and their higher-class patrons…and as a writer, it’s the chance to continue a great story.
RENT (Not Just a Broadway Show!):
The two of you have managed to raise incredibly competent children. I’ve just come back from a week where I was told “use your judgment, if you have to shoot to kill – do so.” I like using my judgment…I will be paying rent (whether covertly or overtly). There’s not much you can do to stop me…I’m persistent. A fixed number I can’t give you (because I don’t know how much I’ll be making yet) but I like the concept of tithing and I know exactly what percentage of my pay will be making its way to the family coffers.
In short, don’t worry, don’t panic, and relax…I’m not stressed at all. I’m excited to see where this leg of the journey takes me! And if I’m not stressed you shouldn’t be either! I know exactly the kind of things I’m facing (insurance, poor economy, bad job market, etc.) and I say bring it on.
Love you both and I look forward to seeing you in July!!!!!!
The Nomadic Son