My mission when I set out to create this blog was to be as real and as transparent as is possible.
In the age of social media envy it’s tempting to add filters to life, especially life abroad, and while curated photos may be pretty, curated writing is just about as, if not more, vomit inducing than walking into the smell of eleven dirty diapers on a Monday morning.
Rather than tell you that the first two months have been just peachy, I’ll be honest. Little miss independent is homesick! I never thought I’d see the day, but it has arrived in full give me a Dunkin iced coffee/cider donut combo STAT fashion.
That’s right. I’m admitting that moving to a new place, whether within your home country or abroad, is hard. Add another culture, language, and screaming babies to the mix, and it’s a recipe for homesickness. But I’m ok. While it initially bothered me a lot to recognize these feelings, I’ve come to terms with the fact that missing home, especially when getting there requires a train and two plane rides, is normal. It makes me sad that I am not able to share these experiences with my friends and family, and that the people who really know me are an entire ocean away.
Again, I’m talking about the girl who couldn’t wait to get back here…
What I’ve come to realize, is that I’m feeling homesick because I am not fully present in my life in Spain. While modern technology makes it easy to keep in touch, it focuses my attention away from my daily life here. I constantly feel as if I am living with one foot in Spain and the other back in the states, while my mind is focused on the future.
From now on, I’m going to try my best to be more in tune with my Spanish life, because if these past two months have taught me anything, it’s that I am extremely privileged to have this opportunity, and that I shouldn’t let a bout of homesickness taint it for me. For both personal and professional reasons, moving abroad makes sense for me, and I should try my best to carpe that diem.
When I think about it, I do at least one thing each day that pushes me outside of my comfort zone. I spend most of my time communicating in Spanish (which means PLENTY of miscommunications on a daily basis). I learn about Spain and Spanish culture from the people around me, and I’m prompted to view my own country from different perspectives. Heck, I’m even learning some new English words from my Irish and Australian pals! Finally, I’ve been forced to come to terms with my singing voice, because when you’re vying for the attention of a roomful of two year olds it’s best just to break out into a dazzling rendition of Head, Shoulders, Knees, and Toes.
The next time that I wish more than anything to I could board the next flight to Boston, I’ll remind myself that but that right now, my life is here. That iced coffee isn’t going anywhere, and someday I’ll probably find myself homesick for Spain too.