I don’t think I miss you…
Whoa. That’s a bit harsh and not very nice. Let’s see, how do I express all the emotions and the intangible…
I miss things about you.
Oh how I do.
But before I explain how I miss you so; you see, I’m happy to be with my family. To have happy hour dates with my mom and to see my good friends (who live in the Bay Area) on the regular.
Not to say, I didn’t create some pretty incredible friendships abroad. Being home makes it that much more complicated because I’ve come home to a small but amazing group of friends while my friendships around the world have grown. It’s never a bad thing to have friends in different places but it’s frustrating when I want to hang out with them and my best option is a Skype date. I wish I could hang with all of you lovelies where ever I am.
That’s a bit selfish.
I also have to say I really enjoy speaking in my native tongue on the daily, except I’m not quite sure if I can really say that. Between staying in touch with friends in Basque Country, I do a fair share of speaking and texting in Spanish. Living in a different language is quite the experience and I admit, I love(d) and dislike(d) it all at the same time. Learning new words, new expressions, noticing my progress and then the constant plateaus as my brain processed all the new information. Interestingly, now that I’m “home,” some days my tongue and my brain aren’t cooperative and the words don’t flow in English as I expect them too. On my really great days, I find myself thinking in Spanish and sometimes, even talking to myself in Spanish, (yeah, I do that).
There are plenty of things I miss about you but I’ll save the laundry list for another post.
It’s true. I’m jumping into a new life here and am grateful to have great friends here. I’m pressing the “restart” button and beginning again. A place that is familiar, filled with memories and yet full of places still to be discovered and explored, restaurants to taste and new friendships to cultivate.
You want to know what I miss most about living on the Iberian peninsula?
I miss my life style.
I really do.
My life style was Simple. Social. Engaging. Fun. Easy.
My work life was no more than 20 hours a week and though I may have had classes at different hours of the day, I had an impressive amount of free time. I quickly learned I had to schedule writing time and Skype dates because even with more time, it filled up quickly. Having time meant a chance for the unexpected to happen, such as having a conversation in the street with someone I knew, ringing a friends’ door bell just to say hi, which turned into a 2 hour conversation or impromptu “Let’s go for pintxos” text messages an hour before or “want to come over and cook dinner together in a few hours,” type of calls because we could. I loved that I had plenty of time for friends, socializing, making time to cook (often 2 meals a day), practicing the art of eating (wink), traveling and writing often. It was beautiful; life bringing the unexpected when you’re open to the possibilities (and have a flexible schedule).
Work was easy. Sometimes my job was engaging, sometimes fun, sometimes frustrating and downright boring. Teaching English to unmotivated high school students wasn’t fulfilling but then again, that’s not why I moved to Europe. I was there to improve upon my Spanish, to experience another culture, to push my comfort zones, to travel, and live in another country with different sets of rules and customs; never easy or simple but worth all the hardship.
As I settle in to being back in the Bay Area, I’m crafting what I want my life to look like here. Some days I wonder how can I combine the best of both places? It’s an interesting experience returning home (more on this later). I want to incorporate certain aspects about the Spanish/Basque/European lifestyle while simultaneously focusing on finding a fulfilling job, a place to call home and re-adjusting to the culture of California.
Let’s see how my next chapter unfolds…