A few weeks ago, doves created a nest in a blue ceramic planter outside our back patio- our main door we use to enter and exit our home. It’s magic to watch nature in action, mom and dad dove taking turns sitting on the eggs and continuing till after the birds hatch, keeping the babies warm until the babies are so big, their bodies squish out from underneath mommy or daddy bird.
The day came when they were ready to spread their wings and fly. The two babies were below the nest like deer in the headlights. Mom or Dad bird a few feet from them, guiding them. FOr the next few days, the birds remained in the back patio and though we all tried to avoid being in their way I’d often come home and see them in the back patio staring me in the face and I’d say, ” Don’t worry birdies, you can fly.”
Simultaneously, I was debating my decision and joked with my mom, “The birds are like me, they’re not ready to fly yet… ”
A few days later, the birds took flight and haven’t returned.
A week later I made my decision- To Spain I go.
Hence, the title. I’m like a bird finally taking flight.
After months of indecisiveness, questioning, wondering and feeling uncertain about everything, I’m going back to Spain. Yes. One more year of teaching English in Spain in exchange for decent pay with health insurance for a very challenging and tiring workweek of… 12 hours a week. Yes. I know. On paper, you likely think I’m crazy that I even questioned another year but I’m sure most of you can relate that decisions can be much more complicated than they appear. For those of you who read my last post about letting go, it’s not news. You already know.
But now it’s official: I have my plane ticket.
I leave in 5 days! Yes. 5 days. Holy moly…
I’m nervous. Scared.
Like with any new endeavor, I’m anxious for what this year brings-This new and unplanned opportunity.
I feel more nervous than I was last year or maybe I just can’t remember how I felt. My brain erasing memories of unease. I do know I had my concerns and plenty of questions, like most do when you trade in your comforts for the unknown, or trade in the anticipation for living the dream.
Last year living in Spain was a dream come true. This year, returning to Spain is a chance to improve my Spanish, discover a new region, get involved within my new community, experience constant rain and snow storms and see where the road leads me. All great things.
I’m noticing the difference between leaving for a dream vs. an opportunity.
Or better said, Going knowing what I’m getting into rather than naively spreading my wings and taking it all in. I seem to do best when I don’t know what I’m getting myself into, you can’t predict how things will go and you creatively figure out how to deal with the curve balls thrown at you. This time, I know what some of those curve balls look like and though you think I’d be better prepared because I’ve lived through them, such as loneliness and home sickness, not being understood and not being able to express myself; they intimidate me. Ironic? Maybe.
This time I know the bus system and the metro, banks are only open for 3/4 of the day M-F, the grocery store chains, siesta hours, tinto de verano, washing machine takes 2 hours and there are no dryers (trivial matters), and more importantly I have a better grasp of the language and the culture. Then again, I’m going to a region with their own language of Euskara and their own culture…
What’s there to be scared of?
The unknown. The unknown is always a bit scary because we don’t know what’s on the other side.
I’m filled with questions I can’t answer until I live the experience. I have to be patient and know I’ll have some amazing days and some difficult days but in the end, I will grow, learn and have new perspective.
And maybe as I get older, I feel a little less sure of everything. I know I was scared when I took off to Africa in September 2007, terrified really but I didn’t let anyone know. I had to be my own advocate for such a daring adventure. Maybe I just forget that with every new adventure or opportunity I take, there is always a sense of uncertainty, anxiousness, and nervousness simply because it’s new. It’s ok to be scared.
And staying in the Bay Area isn’t any less scary. It has it’s challenges. It’s hardships. Either choice I choose is a good one complete with excitement and uncertainty. All I know is I’ve done this before, I can do it again and how often do I have a job lined up in Basque Country, Spain?