I now have my flat to my self. My whole self. I like it. I also liked having a flat mate. I mentioned I was sad. A new “friend” was leaving, again. I knew from the get go there was a time frame and when we met, I had no idea how things would go. When she arrived, she was completely dependent on me (and I didn’t mind); she didn’t know anyone, didn’t know the town or how to get to work, where the grocery store was nor the delicious tapas spots. Heck, the first few days, she was adjusting to a new school, new kids, new teachers, new everything… and we slowly got to know each other. She’d spend each afternoon studying a ton for a huge placement exam in June and then in the evening, we’d chat or get tapas. I enjoyed the company.
By the 2nd week, she was more comfortable, settled and making friends with colleagues. It dawned on me, our dynamics may change simply because she’d no longer be dependent on me, she’d have her friends, activities and routine. Sure, we’d see each other but things would change.
Which reminds me of when I arrived in Roquetas in September. A month before I landed on Spanish soil, I finally understood what can be possible with FaceBook- connecting people from different parts of the world, or in my case; connecting me to fellow auxiliars who had similar questions and worries as me with our impending life change. I was grateful to “know” Jessica before arriving and on my arrival, I would meet her and her flatmate, Ana first. Heck, I stayed a week in their flat and felt comforted by the fact, I knew someone… Someone to discover the town with and hope to become friends with.
Over the next few weeks, I met other auxiliars in Roquetas and we soon called ourselves “The Roquetas family”. We’d get together often, for dinner, celebrate birthdays, to watch football games, for tapas, to chill at the beach. We were all new to Roquetas, we all were dependent on each other for emotional support, figuring things out such as how the heck do I apply for my NIE (Foreigners number) and how do we take the bus? We wanted to hang out, get to know each other and create some semblance of a new life here. As we each started getting comfortable and creating a routine, we slowly became less dependent on each other. A few moved to Almeria, one guy was trying out for the local soccer team and was consumed by practice. When I returned after Christmas, everything changed. The “family” had shrunk to less than a quarter of what it had been. We didn’t get together as frequently. It was an adjustment. Initially, I tried hosting a dinner and when that failed, I attempted setting a weekly tapas night where we’d all get together but I realized, we all have different schedules, different routines and some now had significant others (which I know well, can be a distraction).
I don’t see the “family” often, despite living in a small town but I’m grateful when we do see each other. It’s ok. We’re all focused on our own lives. Our lives have become busy and we all have different goals and routines. That’s ok. This is life. I’m thankful Jessica and I became friends and our friendship is one where I can share my soul, show my silly side, my serious side and be embraced. Always.
So you ask, Am I sad my flat mate is gone? I’m sad she won’t be around but I’m wise enough to know changes were coming. We were meant to meet, meant to be in each others lives for 2.5 weeks, meant to share stories and ideas and party in Almeria… but I knew their was a time frame. And life usually gives you just what you need in the moment.