It’s a write-y kind of day! Yay!!! This morning I had a new realization that I really wanted to write down, then instead of napping after lunch and six hours of classes I went to a new coffee shop with friends and wrote in a journal for my thesis, and I’ve paused to write little things throughout the day. It’s all a random mix of thoughts, so instead of trying to make them cohesive (although I did edit them a bit because sometimes my scribbled notes are weird) I’m going to leave them as they happened throughout the day:

This morning (the thoughts that kind of made me late for class):

Some people move away only to find that they can’t escape themselves; no matter where they go, they’re still the same person.

I’ve found that that’s true for me on a base level, but as I’m discovering a whole new world and way of living, I’m finding a different Hayley too. Here, there’s a version of me that is open to experimenting with different looks and trying new things because I don’t care what people think and I don’t feel pressure or expectations to present myself in a certain way. I’m not afraid to buy that weird sweater or paint my nails a color I never would’ve thought to at home. It’s fun to be crazy and try new things and not care whether or not I’m being judged. It’s fun to own it.

This version of me likes to work hard, to chase her dreams, to do things that are scary. This version of me doesn’t let anything get in the way of doing what I want to do. There’s a country I want to see, so I go. There’s an opportunity I want to take, so I do it. I want to learn Spanish, so I take all the hard classes. I want to write a blog every day; here it is. This doesn’t match the me from home that I know that always has an excuse or is just lazy or “waiting.” Granted, I’m still me and I still obviously have to face my downfalls everyday, but I’m better about it here. This me chooses water before coffee in the morning, is much better at avoiding sweets and food as comfort, makes smart money decisions most of the time, and tries to make do with having little. I don’t let fear stop me from making things happen. I’m even trying to be responsible about my health (and CHOOSE to go to the doctor). Even though I’m the same person deep down, I don’t feel the same as the girl who left in August. I want to take this self home with me, and I hope I do, but I’m slightly nervous that the comforts and ease that come with home will make that challenging. I am going to try my best to bring this new me home because it feels amazing, but if I can’t, I’ll just have to go in search of her again.

After lunch:

I could’ve slept. I wanted to sleep. But I said no. My homesickness has been getting worse and worse because lately I’ve been closing myself off in my room when I don’t have something to do. I’m digging out of that and the homesickness is subsiding. I do wish my medications didn’t make it more difficult, but it’s just something I’m going to have to deal with.

After teaching my host mom’s granddaughter:

If there is a human you genuinely love, it doesn’t matter what you feel or fear. I’m scared of teaching almost every time I have to do it, or I’m just not in a good mindset, or I’m being lazy because it’s always easier not to do something than it is to do it. But I actually love this child, and when I’m with her it just doesn’t matter how I feel or how I felt beforehand. Teaching her is a highlight of my week, and I need to try not to forget that. When I’m with her, the negative feelings float away and are replaced by the colorful pictures we draw, the games we play, and the laughs and struggles we have trying to communicate when neither of us are very good at the other one’s native language. She is a beautiful human who loves to create, to lead, to learn, and yes, sometimes she does remind me of myself when I was younger, but I love her because I just do and I can’t help it. I love helping her learn and learning with her, and spending time with her is enough of a reward for coming to Salamanca.

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