Life has been Cra-Zee since returning home! Three weeks has passed by and I’m left wondering how so much has happened in what feels like so little time. My mind is in constant ON mode and I seem to have no way of shutting down my brain as it bounces and spins full of thoughts of what’s next, what I thought was going to happen to flashbacks and memories of the last 10 months of my life in Spain and my beautiful travels.
Up until a few days after I landed back in the good ole’ SF Bay Area, I knew what came next: Find a job I enjoy and find a place to live. I wasn’t sure which would be more difficult because SF is a competitive cut throat, overpriced renting market. Gah. Maybe I’m slightly exaggerating but it’s nothing I look forward to, high rent prices (how does $1000 for a room, yes a room, sound to you? + utilities!) and too many people fighting, I mean, looking for the same room as you. I knew what I was getting myself into moving back to the Bay, heck that’s why I was ok with paying full rent of 250 euros, yes 250 euros ($325) + utilities a month for a 2 bedroom apartment on the sea, where I could hear waves rolling in with my windows shut in my sea side town.
During a beautiful surprise picnic, the afternoon after I arrived, jet lagged and all, a friend I hadn’t talked to since December asked me what my plans were- I knew what she was getting at. ” Give me a week and I’ll begin the job search and brush up on my interview skills,” I say. “Ah, no need to worry about your interview skills, it’s more of a conversation,” she tells me. Flash forward to a week later, and I’m at an just getting off the ground cocoa bean to bar chocolate factory in San Francisco getting a tour from my friend, then after a brief chat, I’m asked, We’d love to have you, how does 9am tomorrow sound?
Ah, ok. That was easy and really fast. I’m not sure what to think about it all. I try not to. Just go with it.
Job in San Francisco- Check.
So, the job part was easy. No resumes, cover letters, “proper interviews,” no waiting around or feeling depressing sink in waiting for call backs or replies. BAM. It was in my lap.
I go with it. After my first full day, I’m exhausted mentally and physically and arrive home 12 hours later. Thank goodness I don’t have to go in tomorrow, I think. Sitting on the BART train surrounded by commuters, most on their iphones, I think to myself, this is it, that damn American dream, working working working for 2 days of play on the weekends. But I wonder, if I scratch this opportunity, am I losing something, will I regret the possibilities that could have come from this experience?
Yet I know the game. I know that’s how it goes. I know the rules if I choose a life in America, and more so in a city such as San Francisco! 40+ hour workweek (most likely and maybe more) And I can’t help but think, is this it? Am I really ready? I mean, really ready for this? I also know that unless I’m promoted rather quickly with this job, I’ll be barely getting by, practically giving all my earnings to a landlord. “You can find other work friends tell me,” sure I can, but I’m left to still wonder, Am I ready yet?
Is there really a rush? What’s another year of putting off the inevitable? You know “Real life,” though I’ve been living a Real life in Spain… But there is pressure. Societal pressure that I always strive to Defy, pressure of what I expect of myself, pressure that if I want a family, I need to be able to earn a living wage that can support myself nicely and others. Pressure that there’s a certain road map and I need to follow it because heck, I’m a year and a few months from 30! But what does THIRTY mean anyway? Why do we put so much pressure, stress and shit on this number? I’ve seen how it’s affected friends and it’s no good. These preconceived notions of how are life is supposed to be or where we think will be by a certain age only gets in the way of living, doing what we really want and enjoying ourselves.
Heck, between my commute of an hour and half each way (until I move to SF) and a 9 hour day equals what I worked in a week in Spain.
But I know Spain isn’t all grandeur either, I won’t deny many a time, my work was boring and static and I often day dreamed of what I was going to cook for lunch or where I was going to travel next while assisting in my classes. I know living abroad has it’s ups and downs, flashbacks of the hardships, frustrations and feelings of just wanting to be back home resurface. Now that I’m home, I realize neither place is perfect nor a perfect fit. It’s life. There’s no easy one way street to take nor would I want everything to be easy as much as I may say I do. Some of the most challenging things I’ve experienced in my life have proved most insightful, tested my will and strength,and has taught me who I am and what I’m capable of but in the midst of it all, I’d gladly take an easy pass, puh leeze!
I’ve also surprised myself because returning to Spain was never in the cards. Never part of my plan. The only reason why I re-applied was because I had to for legal reasons that ended up not working out, anyway.
I’ll be honest, if I go to Spain my main reason isn’t to teach. As much as I like teaching and think I’m pretty darn good at it, which I realized this past year, I’m not going for the job. I’m going to improve my Spanish. I can speak Spanish. I can have conversations. I can understand most Spanish TV but my Spanish isn’t where I want it to be. Sure, I can take Spanish classes and attend Spanish conversation meet-ups if I stay in SF but it’s going to require a lot of self motivation. A lot of it. I know how I am. Going back to Spain allows me to fulfill personal goals, to enjoy another year of a leisurely lifestyle, to travel more in Europe, to hone my cooking skills and take some cooking classes and allow life to just happen without the daily stresses that seem to engulf us in the States.
I also think it’s pretty freaking cool that I’d live in the North and have the opportunity to get to know a completely different region of Spain, see different landscapes, places and pueblos, try new regional cuisine, meet new people and travel some more! Let’s just hope I have the energy for it all ( I came home early from potential burn out and now I’m thinking to hop back on over…) It’s also a bit scary- I’m essentially starting over! The excitement and scariness of it all. I don’t know a soul. Then again, I didn’t know anyone before I left the first time but was lucky to be in contact with a gal via Facebook whom I became amazing friends with and met another wonderful friend my first night in a hostel in Madrid. So there you go… Life always is full of surprises.
So I’m left to make a decision soon, with both possibilities having their challenges and benefits. I do know that whatever decision I make will be the right one…but it doesn’t make it any easier.
One moment, I’m all about Spain, the next, I wonder if it’s really where I’m meant to go. In the meantime, I’m trying to relax my brain and trying to hear my intuition speak. My intuition always knows best but it’s hard. I’ve only been hearing muffles. I guess that just means it’s just not quite time to make a decision.
Have you been in a situation where you had to make a tough decision? What helped you through the process? Or have you been in a situation where you thought you knew your path and then a major change, made you question everything/changed everything for you?
Would love to hear your thoughts, leave a comment below : )