Spain, Spain, Spain, you’ve done it again. I’ve barely unpacked my bags and gotten temporarily situated here in the US and I’m already dreaming of cobblestone roads in the old towns, Spanish small talk with locals, lounges on patios for a café con hielo (coffee with ice), and long talks with my amigas (girl friends) over canas (small beers) and tapas (small snack you get with beer)... But the thing is, I also miss the crappy stuff that we all complain about, like how Spanish people are notoriously late, or how the men stare relentlessly, or how they seem to be completely oblivious of other people walking at a different pace along the same side walk. They may have had me grumbling from time to time, but it’s a part of the great Spanish culture I adore.
What I’m discovering through these moments of return and reflection is that sometimes plans don’t work out being clean and pretty and nicely packaged, but they always follow some kind of more destined path. Just days ago I was organizing a plan to move to Denver and force upon myself a new life that would surely be fun and pleasant. But I couldn’t ignore an off feeling about the plan and even my close friends could see it. Now, as if a greater force is trying to drill a message into my brain, my closest contact in Denver, once encouraging me to move west, has revealed that she will now be departing soon after my arrival. Beyond this discovery, other facets of the plan have been falling like a house of cards and I can do nothing more than believe that this is not meant to be. I have learned the hard way many times that when you go against your instincts and these types of glaring signs, the results are can be disastrous. Case in point: my hilariously bad trip to Amsterdam last June, but that’s a whole different story…
So here’s the thing that I am openly pondering here in this entry: When do you ever hear advice like: Ignore your instincts; Take the road more traveled; Lead with your doubts and fears? I wager to say not often and that if someone is giving you this advice, run. My instincts are screaming to me that I need to go back to Spain, and this time for a while. For the first time, maybe ever, I am longing for some stability, but I want it in Spain. I want to unpack my bags and stay for a while. This visa situation is something I’ve conceded to without further consideration. But then, when I think that other Americans have found a way to make a life work in Europe, and not just by teaching English or getting married to a European (not completely out of the question, but I mean, come on), I have to believe that if I fight for it, if I turn every stone and kick open every door that’s cracked open, I will somehow make this dream come true.
It’s a remarkable sensation when you decide unequivocally that you believe something is right and when you want something with every bit of certainty you can muster. And the final piece that has quieted the last of my doubts is the blessings and encouragement of every member of my family and my loving friends that reside all over the world. It’s time to make this dream become reality, changing plan A from a fair compromise to a reach for my brass ring. This may all be a pipe dream and I could be living in la-la land, but after almost three years with the same voice getting louder and louder, telling me to keep traveling and get my ass back to Europe, I gotta believe this is real and this is what needs to be done. My daily quote today says it the best and we can all learn from it:
“Only as high as I reach can I grow, only as far as I seek can I go, only as deep as I look can I see, only as much as I dream can I be.” –Karen Raven.