Before Christmas the pangs of homesickness made me feel a little lost and pessimistic about life here in Spain’s capital. However, since returning and getting back into the swing of things, I can honestly say I’m having a freaking awesome time.
My body may ache all over (Power Yoga – it’s painful) and my eyes feel heavy, but even after working for 13 hours I can’t help but feel upbeat. The other day a friend of mine asked me when I’d be coming home and my first thought was “But I am home?”, which was a strange but welcomed sensation. I think back to this time last year, about where I thought I wanted to be, and I feel good. I have achieved [almost] everything I had in mind back then, and even a little bit more.
Things are not perfect, but coming to terms and shrugging my shoulders at that has made things a lot easier. Sure working 5-10 on weekday evenings totally limits my social life and has meant I haven’t been able to do aaaaaaall the things I had in mind (Salsa classes, Theatre, Meetup events…), but for now saving 300 euro a month is a sweet compromise. I miss my delicious, flavoursome vegetarian cooking, but I don’t miss facing piles of dirty dishes every morning, or doing laundry for that matter.
That’s the thing; moving to a new country you automatically have this romantic vision in your head that it’s going to be something worthy of epic poetry (through blissful tweets and excessive instagramming). But when you start to come to realise that, actually, really it is just the same old stuff just in a different place, admittedly it is kiiiind of a bummer. But then once you’ve come to terms with that and you think about how doing the same things here is better than your hometown, and the prospect of having to return “home home” sucks, those regular day to day things aren’t so boring anymore. I sleep, I revise Spanish, I meet friends for coffee (or Chinese), I wonder, I teach private classes, Au Pair, and sleep some more. I go out every Thursday and/or Saturday, and I work 12-14 hours over the weekend.
And yet when I’m walking up Calle Castellana on my way to play with Disney Princesses and Pinypon for 1 hour, I catch myself smiling – I’ve never felt more alive. I was desperate to get out into this “real world” aaaaall through University, and people told me I shouldn’t wish those years away because “They’re the best years of your life!”, but low and behold I was right… Sure there are some things I miss, but for me this is what I love. I love being rushed off my feet all day; I love working (especially when it’s teaching children); I love wondering aimlessly through streets I’ve never seen before, and stumbling upon places I’m always dying to return to; and it’s refreshing to be learning something practical that I is more useful every time I walk out the door.
Some people find it terrifying, but it’s so exciting to have my life in my hands. It feels cleansing to be building new foundations, and being able to finally let go of past nuisances that I’d let linger for too many years. I’m not committed to anyone, and nobody told me I had to do this, which makes doing it successfully just that incy bit more rewarding. I’ve only just started to scratch away at the surface of Madrid, and already I’m struggling with the prospect of leaving so soon… Here’s to the next 6 months!