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the life changing transition
Eyes droopy, stinging with lack of sleep,
Body hurting, pain soaring through every muscle,
Memories emerging, breaking through your thinning wall of indifference
And somehow, through it all, the will to go on
All other emotions disappear into the light
Running away from the addicting need
The need to get past the pain
Past the emotions
And gradually, but confidently
Move into a new stronger you
If there was any brief way to portray the life changing transition from nonchalant seventeen year old to tough beyond definition twenty year old officer, it would be through the paper you’re about to read. This is the first documented true story of a portion of the life of Aliza-Elezar.
Turmoil rained through Aliza’s mind as her parents got divorced, and she needed to escape the pouring cloud above her. In order to rid her internal pain, at age sixteen she moved out and made Kibutz Yotveta her new home. Like any other kibutz kid, she went to school, had a part time job, and enjoyed life. She was free-souled and had not a single worry by her side. But as eighteen approached and army letters arrived, Aliza knew it was time, time to join the army.
As the bus approached her base and she looked out the window, she could already feel the stress and constant movement in the air. Her emotions were like an uncontrollable wave, changing from up and excited to down and scared. And the second her boots touched the dirt ground and entered this “new world” she knew life would be different.
Her time was always controlled and there was not a second to sit and breathe. When the day came to be separated into specific army groups, she was put in one of the most intense and most important groups, Communications. She was exhausted and desolate. Living in a camp with mostly only male chauvinists, studying all day, and being hated for her intelligence by the only female officer was not helping. Yet the day she was chosen for an officers’ course she accepted. She was alone and weary, but proud. She knew she just had to keep believing in herself and nothing could touch her. As long as she could trust her own mind, she could trust her way in the future.
The work was demanding and distressing. Clear memories of struggle and sweat remain stained in Aliza’s memories forever. This was the first time women were ever allowed to join Communications and to top it off she was going to be an officer too. As an officer she knew she had to change her atmosphere. She was now going into the world with such confidence, such an aura that not a single thing could touch her; something she stills believes other must do today. Aliza remembers the memories of being an officer with about fifty men from about 40-50 years of age having to listen to her every order. She was no longer the nonchalant seventeen year old listening to Janis Joplin under the apple tree, but a tough fearful officer who temporarily was in charge of the whole Communications department, a highly respected job meant only for experienced men officers.
At age twenty Aliza was asked by the army to stay past her required years and make being an officer her new career. And though the pay was great and the respect was high, she knew she learned all that she could from the army. She was no longer a small daisy, but a vigorous red rose who could open her dreams to the world with no fear or doubt of what was to come.
After the army she decided to travel the world starting in Sweden with a job of picking strawberries. When I asked how she could go through so much change in her life the advice came out plain and simple, “You have to be like a cat, it doesn’t matter where the world throws you, just land on your feet…and keep walking.”