Can I be honest with you? 10 lies I tell myself

What are the lies you tell yourself? Here are some of mine, as well as some corresponding truths that help me put everything back into perspective.


  1. I am stuck 

    No matter how much you believe things aren’t going your way. Truth is: Time is passing. Life is changing. You might be having a really bad day, even a bad season, but this, too, shall pass.

  2. I have to be nice all the time 

    Sometimes it is not appropriate to be nice. Sometimes people treat you poorly and while you can still hold onto your own integrity and act as a decent human being, you don’t have to be nice. You don’t have to engage in destructive behaviour. You get to set those boundaries. You get to respect yourself enough to not be okay with being belittled. You get to be loyal to yourself. And if you have to walk away from the situation, so be it.

  3. I am too sensitive 

    Oh dear… how many times have I heard this, how many times have I told myself this, how many times has believing this crushed me. Truth is: Everyone feels differently. Your emotions are valid. You don’t have to conform your emotions to someone else’s liking. You are allowed to cry. You are allowed to feel. You are human.

  4. I have to fit the role I have been given 

    People like to label. It seems to make things easier. But a label is never a full description or representation of a human being. What do companies do when they change the ingredients? They change the label. You are changing every single day. Don’t conform to an old label. You just ain’t that person no more. Whether you have been labeled as needy, loud, too much, annoying, or anything anyone, including yourself, has ever narrowed you down to, you get to rip off that label as if it never existed. You are saved every single day. You get to change your ways. In fact, you are supposed to. You are growing. You are receiving more pieces of the puzzle, getting to know more of your truth. Of course you are changing. Don’t hold yourself to a limited version of yourself. A wise woman once said, when you know better you do better and that applies to you, too.

  5. I should know what I’m doing

    Truth is: No one knows what they’re doing. We’re all just trying to figure it out.
  6. I should be further ahead in life

    Whether you are 25 or 75, you are exactly where you need to be. You need to get through this phase in order to get to the next. Comparing your path with someone else’s could either bring joy or frustration, either way this comparison doesn’t mean anything because their stage of life doesn’t have anything to do with yours. Stay on your own lane, buddy. You got this. Life is rooting for you!
  7. I can’t

    I can’t get over this relationship. I can’t pass this exam. I can’t leave… Whatever it is you think you can’t do, I challenge you to do it. I challenge you to be the only one in your life who believes it and I challenge you to prove everyone wrong. I challenge you to think better of yourself than you feel worthy of. I challenge you to believe that you can, even if you don’t feel like it.
  8. I always have to be honest

    Yes, honesty is a good thing. Mostly for yourself. It is liberating to stand in your truth and to own whatever it is that has been part of your life. But not everyone deserves to know all of your truth. Not everyone has a right to know your story. Opening up to the wrong people can be hurtful. Know who you can trust and keep in mind, not everyone will agree with you and that’s okay. This brings me to my next point:
  9. My opinion should be compatible with everyone else’s

    Truth is: No one will ever be able to truthfully understand the reason for your choices. If the person hasn’t been in the exact same situation, with the same background, thoughts and emotions, that person will never be able to understand the reasons. And in knowing that, it’s okay, if they question your reasons. You were there, you had to walk the walk and face the consequences. You understand why you did what you did and that’s enough.
  10. I can do it by myself

    Truth is: I can’t do life by myself. I tried it. It doesn’t work for me. I am most grateful for my relationship with God, because when I felt like I had no one, I knew I had Him. When I faced darkness, I knew He was walking by my side, every step of the way. My life didn’t become easy once I gave it to God, my problems didn’t disappear over night. But I changed. He promises me every single day, that He will provide for me, that He will not allow pain without something new to be born. He’s got my back more than I’ve got myself. How could I reject Him?

What are some of the lies you have been telling yourself?


Was I really naive?

“I never use public transportation in Israel,” he tells me, as he’s typing on his computer.

We met on the ground. I asked him for directions as our gate changed at short notice. He described the way in detail, explaining exactly where I needed to go, to then tell me to follow him, as he was taking the same plane.

Oddly enough, we are now sharing an arm rest, as our seats are next to each other. And even though we have never met before, our brief exchange at the airport seems to have broken the ice enough for it to be eligible to start a conversation.

“You should avoid buses,” he warns me.
If there is anything I do not want right now, it is a conversation.

“I always take a taxi, where ever I go. But I never leave Tel Aviv,” he shares.
As he is talking, I’m nodding, trying to be respectful the way my mamma raised me, yet not too engaging, ’cause I’m just not that good of a person. He talks on different topics; safety, work, politics, sharing his knowledge with me who isn’t capable of absorbing half the information he lets me in on.

He wouldn’t notice it, but I am a bundle of hot mess right now. Saying goodbye to my parents who I won’t be seeing in months was hard. I’m still caught in the emotions of leaving. Could I please have a moment to let these tears out?

Could I please have a moment to let these tears out?

“I’ve been to Tel Aviv over twenty times, wouldn’t recommend going to Jerusalem, though,” he adds.
I smile politely, as I sip on my coke, staring into my plastic cup, trying to avoid far too close eye contact.
“So where are you going?”, he asks.
Oh, Lord have mercy, have mercy on me. I think to myself. Here we go.

“Jerusalem,” I answer concisely.

He smiles, breathing out loudly enough for me to hear it. The type of smile that seems to be laughing at me rather than with me. The type that in my mind should make me feel belittled, yet at this point I’m uber emotional and therefore could be wrong.

“First time?” he asks.

“Yes,” I respond, being truthfully honest to a stranger. (Even though in this case, I wouldn’t consider a little white lie to be of sin).

He gives a short expression of laughter.
“Oh, good luck with that,” he responds. I can hear his thoughts through his half bald head. “Poor woman, so naive, cute little thing. Poor little woman.”

Poor woman, so naive, cute little thing. Poor little woman.

After explaining him that I will be volunteering in Ein Karem, a little village near Jerusalem, trying to justify my plans as if I needed to, I realize that this conversation is not taking me anywhere. It is not bringing me any kind of calm, in fact if anything I am starting to doubt myself more. As he is typing and mumbling a few words that I choose not take in, I lean into my seat and close my eyes.

Was I really naive? Was I doing the right thing? The answers I do not know, but with every second that passes, I’m getting closer.

Photo by Yosny Castro


Leaving Home

With every second that passes I am leaving into an adventure that is taking me in.

I’ve procrastinated my way from the kitchen to my bedroom, back to the kitchen and finally find myself sitting on the living-room carpet where Seb is watching a documentary on the second world war. He has rolled down the shutters to darken the room. He hates it when sunlight or any kind of light reflects on the TV screen. Mom hates it when he watches TV during the day, such a waste, she says.

She is out running errands, it’s Saturday. He knows exactly to turn it off as soon as he hears her car enter the driveway. Seb is my little brother. He’s 10 years younger than me and 13 years younger than my older brother which automatically gives him the role of being baby of the family, a title he strongly disapproves of. He’s a special kid in so many different ways. So much smarter than any teenager I know. He knows the History Channel better than I know myself. He will Wikipedia information on historical events, absorbing all the facts he could possibly fit into that smart brain of his and impresses with Fun Facts that no one else seems to know. He makes jokes that I don’t understand but I smile and he very much knows that I don’t know but lets me get away with it anyway.

I don’t feel like joking at the moment if I’m completely honest. I don’t feel like anything really. I am overwhelmed with everything that needs to get done before tomorrow. The clothes that need to find their way from my bed, the washing machine and the floor to my suitcase, the emails I still have to write, the bank, the health insurance form, the books I needed to return to the library weeks ago. All these tasks are seeking my attention, things I cannot do from the other side of the world.

He is deeply engaged in his documentary. It’s too dark in here for him to notice the tears running down my face. I’m leaving tomorrow. My family just moved into this house two months ago. The light bulbs don’t even have shades yet, the cables still hanging from the wall. The area is beautiful. The street leads up to the forest. In the mornings you can hear birds chirping. It’s peaceful here. The nicest place we’ve ever lived in. My parents worked hard for this. Years of hard work went into being able to afford this house. I don’t feel like leaving. I don’t and deep down I do. It’s always been difficult for me to leave.

It’s always been difficult for me to leave.

I remember the many times that I moved out and the many times I would come back home. My family and I are close. When you are a foreigner, far away from your roots, you strongly hold onto the familiar. We’ve always had each other. It seemed like the only stability and consistency we could hold onto. We never had family living close by, not even on the same continent. We were the familiar in a country that even after years never quite felt like home. And then you grow up and you’re supposed to open those wings and fly but mine weren’t sure, never felt stable enough to jump off the edge completely. I wanted to leave and to experience the world, I did and yet I felt this duty to hold onto the only part that had ever been safe- family.

I wanted to leave and to experience the world, I did and yet I felt this duty to hold onto the only part that had ever been safe…

“I’m going to miss you.”, I say as I look to his direction. It’s quiet for a few seconds, my words haven’t reached his attention yet. ‘Okay’, he replies. He’s never been good in expressing or recognizing emotions. ‘No, I’m really going to miss you.’ I repeat myself and break out into a louder cry. He turns to me and seems surprised. ‘Are you crying?’ He asks me as if he needed an explanation for what was happening. ‘Why are you crying?’, he wants to know as he reaches for the remote control to pause Hitler’s Occupation of Poland. ‘Cara.., no reason to cry’ he says. I tell him, ‘I don’t know what I’m doing, I’m leaving you guys behind, I don’t know why I’m even doing this. I’m freakin’ scared”, I say. “I’m really going to miss you”, my cry becomes unstoppable.

I feel so overwhelmed by this decision of leaving my family behind, to go to a country in the Middle East that I know so little about. What was I thinking in my decision-making process. Why did I agree to do this, why did I already buy those plane tickets, I ask myself in the midst of my distress. ‘Everything is going to be okay’ he says, as he gives me a big Seb-hug. The type of hug in which he holds my head in his arms, enforcing both comfort and suffocation at once. ‘Everything is going to be fine.” He reassures me. ‘You promise?’ I ask, remaining in the same position even though he has already let go. ‘Promise. And in case anything happens to you and you’re in the hospital fighting for your life, mom and dad can always get on a plane and pick you up,’ he explains in a very serious, analytical manner. I laugh. Snot dripping down my chin, my ponytail didn’t survive the love, but the irony of everything being fine and dying in the hospital cracks me up in a way that allows both crying and laughter to overcome me.

‘And Cara, your heart is gold’ he laughs. We both laugh together. It’s a joke only him and I share. A joke that we mention to cheer the other up when needed. He asks politely if he can continue to watch TV. I nod. As he continues to watch, I look at him and realise that it’s happening. I’m leaving. There’s no way out, no point in fighting it. With every second that passes I am leaving into an adventure that is taking me in. And silently I know, I’ve been waiting years for this.