Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Long Time, No Write

I've neglected my blog long enough.  My writing came to an abrupt halt as I felt my life feeling less like an adventure and more life hum drum life.  That's okay, I suppose, but if I'm going to live thousands of miles from my loved ones, I would much prefer life to be exciting and inspiring.  For so many months, practically the entirety of 2010, life was just that, and now it feels weighed down and frustrating.  I have managed to wedge myself into a job that feels like an uphill battle and a bland day to day with only bursts of excitement and wonder to remind me I'm in Spain.  I've concluded that this needs to change.  No more arduous days running around the city and sitting on the metro.  No more stressing over lesson plans, fighting the crowd at the gym, waking up to the alarm clock and having no time or energy to get away.  It's time to get back on the road.

I knew this day was coming. Since the last time I wrote in November, I've completed my course to receive my "official" teaching certification, traveled extensively, made a few extra euro busting my ass in English camps, and begrudgingly begun to teach classes.  It's only been in the last month that I've actually settled into my routine life here in Madrid and every day of it has seem like an ill fit, but I'm not sure why.  Moving into a new apartment with new, great roommates and being hired to do exactly what I came here to do was supposed to light a fire under me and be satisfying.  But what I discovered was quite the opposite.  By making the commitment to these jobs and this flat, I felt like my adventure was coming to an abrupt halt.  Panic was all I could sense as I received my weekly schedule.  This isn't why I am here! I am not in Spain to be tied down, am I?  But all of my friends here seem to be getting on with it just fine, so why am I kicking and screaming inside?

All of those coincidences and fateful signs that I'd been so tuned into were feeling zapped from my life.  I needed to get away.  I needed to clear my head and taste the road again, if even for a few short days.  So I headed down to Seville to see a friend and experience a different part of Spain.  The weather was absolutely beautiful, a welcome change from the rain and cold in the big city.  I fell in love with this place on contact.  All the smiling people, cruising the town on their bikes, strolling around in their sandals and shades, cafes littering the sidewalks with tables full of tinto and conversation.  Has this little paradise been here the whole time, hidden from view by all the distractions of hustling, bustling Madrid?  I'm in love with this place.  My demeanor changed instantly and for the entire weekend I was swept up by it's charm, from the kitchy shops lining the curving ally streets to the artsy cafes with live music filling the air.

When I left the answer was clear: move to Seville!  Start fresh here.  But I'm plagued by the travel bug.  Am I just destined to pick up and change locations, constantly unsatisfied by the present situation, itching for something more, something different?  Is this fear of commitment something I should address by biting the bullet and making the best of life here in Madrid?  Or is it simply that I am playing a game of trial and error with life right now.  Trying different lifestyles, cities, careers to find that perfect fit that makes me feel whole.  I don't know if I'll ever find the "fit" but if I could at least be in a place that makes me feel comfortable enough to clear my mind and remember who I am, maybe then I will know better what path to take that will be more permanent.

The road is still taunting me, beyond choosing a city in Spain as temporary residence.  August seems to have a giant time stamp on it as the terminating point of Europe (at least for now) and the potential start of the next leg of my quest to see the world.  Asia and the South Pacific is calling my name the loudest.  New Zealand, Thailand, Indonesia, Fiji... I'm dying to feel the fresh ocean air from the beaches, be surrounded by such natural beauty, taste the tradition and culture of the eastern world... I just can't sit still and even as I try to convince myself to conform and call it quits, the justifications are not nearly compelling enough.  I have to keep moving and experiencing and growing.  One day I will have to stop. The money will run out or I'll finally have someone or something offering me an even greater happiness than the road.  But for now, I can't do this commitment thing.  I can't stop doing what I feel destined to do.

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