Yesterday, I talked to an acquaintance of mine who’s been in the public service for years, occupying some of the highest positions an Israeli in America can hold.
Our paths first crossed at an event I spoke at couple years ago, as part of my role as Founder and President of Israeli Startups NYC, and we’ve kept in touch and remained friends since.
Now, that I’m back on the road, I decided to reach out and see if he knows people I can connect with or events I can speak at.
With a very sincere and genuine tone, he told me that if he hadn’t known me from my “previous life”, he would probably never invite me to speak at an event, and he also recommended that I cut my hair and kept a trimmed beard so I don’t look like an “uncultured nomad”.
I received his feedback with love and empathy, as I knew his intentions were good and was only looking to “help”.
I thanked him for his words, and said I understand.
After some contemplation on his feedback, I looked at some of the events that were happening around me in Lexington Kentucky, as I wanted to make the most out of my stay in this town.
There, I saw an “Open Mic Night”, and figured “what could be a better experience than me sharing not just the initial mission I set off to do, but also the spiritual part of it and the general goodness I saw all around.”
I quickly wrote down my thoughts on paper and drove down to the place, so I could share my story with the crowd.
I was nervous, as I had little to no preparation, no idea how receptive the crowd would be and when I got there I found out it was in front of a bonfire with zero light (really. I had to use a flashlight just so I could read), but at the same time, I was thrilled, as I felt like this is also part of my journey, and it would be a sin not to share some of the kindness I’ve encountered with along the way, and show people there’s still a lot of good happening in the world!
After I got off, this one guy came up to me, thanked me for sharing my story and said that my words touched him, and they came just in the right time.
Later, when he got up on stage to play, he even dedicated one of his songs to me!
You see, I don’t fit everyone’s “cup of tea”, I know that!
I also know for a fact that for some groups and organizations, my personality/appearance/attitude/etc isn’t a good match.
Heck, I bet some of you reading this right now don’t like me or support my choices.
But you know what? THAT’S TOTALLY FINE! (and by the way, you can unfollow/unfriend me at anytime).
I didn’t start this journey so I could fit anyone’s ideal of how life “should” be, or how I “suppose” to conduct my “Promoting Israel in 50 States” journey.
On the contrary, I left all this “fit the norm” bullshit back in NYC!
I started this journey to find myself and do what I believe is right, in my own unique way, with my own unique voice and my colorful, multidimensional character.
And to tell you the truth? As long as I’m doing what I’m doing with love, gratitude and clean heart, I’m sleeping very well at night, and feel absolutely zero need to conform to other people’s idea of a “normal” way of life.
*A quick side note – If you got this far without unfriending me, than this message is for you – NEITHER SHOULD YOU!
That’s it, now that we’re clear on this, next stop – Louisville KY!
To hear my open mic story, check the video above, to support my journey and make a donation, click on the link in the first comment, and to thank the photographer for an awesome, vivid shot, you can thank my mom ליליאן שואעי 🙃
With much love and gratitude ❤️