I’ve spent twenty-two years in Texas and only three and a half months in Spain. I don’t know how anyone expects people to learn everything they’re supposed to in that amount of time, or if anyone actually does. How could that ever be enough time to learn everything I want to know? I want a million lifetimes in a million different places to experience it all, to see and understand these cultures and countries truly.

Since I’ve been here, I’ve experienced the worst physical pain I’ve ever felt. I’ve had more medical issues than I’ve ever had in one period of time, and all without family. I’ve been alone, I’ve made mistakes, and I’ve had hard days, of course. But I’ve also had some of the most purely blissful moments of my life. I’ve experienced a kind of freedom and happiness that I haven’t known before now. And less dramatically, I’ve lived very differently than I’m used to. And I still feel like it’s just the beginning, that I’ve barely started to understand the surface of what I’ve gotten to be a part of here. I’ve also met beautiful people, seen such cool places, and gotten to know new parts of myself. There’s no one way to describe what I’m feeling, and I think it’s obvious even I don’t know. There is excitement, stress, contentment, love, fear, and sadness all at the same time. And that is what I think is beautiful about it, about any moment in life when things are foggy, like a watercolor painting that’s been rained on. It’s really just life.

Today I had a good class. I realized a know a lot more about Spanish food thanks to my host mom than I thought I did, and I was able to communicate well with my professor. I had to buy a new pen after class. I did work, rested, had lunch, rested, worked more, and went out to take care of all the little things I need to do to come home in less than ten days. I walked around the city and saw the Christmas decorations, including the one in the picture from the main shopping street with a train for kids and reindeer at the front. Then I came home to my sweet roommate and more family here, because tomorrow’s a holiday and anytime there’s a holiday, we have more people at the apartment. Our host mom’s granddaughter is here too, and she brought my roommate and I a special dessert that’s kind of like french toast. It’s sweet, and these moments are sweet, and I am happy to enjoy them.

2 replies on “Day Ninety Eight: Bittersweet

  1. There is something special about Europe. One year in Italy a guide was taking us through the Tuscany area and I asked to stop and drink in the beauty surrounding us, then I wept. The guide was overcome with emotion as well and she said, “I take for granted that I live in one of the most beautiful places in the world. Thank you for reminding me.” Drink it all in, even when you think your eye’s can’t fully see it all, your heart will remember and cherish every moment!

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