A Year in Review – 2017

Happy New Year!

I spent this holiday going home, seeing family and friends, and eating lots of American food and watching American television. I described it to anyone who asked as feeling comfortable. Home is home. Home is where the heart is.

But at the same time, you can’t go home again. And, your comfort zone is nice, but nothing ever grows there.

I say all that to say, I’m not sure how to feel about everything.

I was unhappy, miserable even, before. Earlier this year I was feeling like a failure. I felt stifled, I felt like I was drowning in a world that I wasn’t supposed to be part of. I was working in an industry that interestingly enough, was dominated by people, customs, and traditions I didn’t recognize. It felt like going abroad but instead of making me feel invigorated and enthusiastic, it made me feel demoralized and lost.

So in some ways I fled. I moved to Spain to teach English. I had a variety of motives, learning Spanish, practicing teaching. In other ways, I went back to what made me happy- travel and learning.

I couldn’t find pixel art that looked like Spain, so just imagine this clearly-Greek inspired landscape is Spain.

All in all it’s left me feeling very excited, frustrated, and curious to see where I’ll take myself next. I’m putting eggs in baskets as I like to say. It’s something I do often, applying for any and all opportunities to see what the lottery of fate and skill get me. On the other hand, I’m feeling the push to take more deliberate actions. Planning my life feels at once restricting and liberating. Flying by the seat of your pants is fun, but I don’t want to spend my 30s and 40s undoing mistakes I made in my 20s.

I say all that to say, WHAT A YEAR IT’S BEEN!

I started writing and promoting on other platforms, I ate some wonderful food and saw some wonderful exhibits with my best friends, I moved abroad and started a whole ‘nother life in Spain.

This year I hope to do so much more, like see more of Europe, make some serious leeway in my language learning, take an active interest in my well-being, and especially, host my family in my new home and show them the world like I see it.

  • I’m going to start journaling in Spanish and Portuguese. Thinking in these languages, expressing myself in them I feel is going to really make me comfortable with it on my tongue. I got this idea from an essay by the author Jhumpa Lahiri about her journey through Italian.
  • Speaking of essays, I’m going to read and write more. I miss reading, and I always act like I don’t have time for it or as if my mind could be occupied into something more interesting, but it’s not true. You have time for what you want to have time for.
  • So I’m going to use a planner. Every year I’ve tried, every year I’ve…I can’t say I’ve failed, I’ve used it more than once, but I didn’t use it consistently until I gave up. It’s a skill I want to learn because a lot of my troubles would be nonexistent if I knew what day it was.

Okay, so those are the resolutions for this year. But what about last year?

  • I did some travel hacking like I said, and ended up in Amsterdam and Germany.
  • I did hit up the Primavera Festival in Madrid and saw Gabriel Garzon-Montano. I saw Aminé in Amsterdam.
  • I’ve been eating new food in Spain, specifically lots of new cheeses and meats. Sometimes for the better, sometimes for the worse.
  • I got super spontaneous this year. Nothing’s been planned that well or at all (see resolution number 3!). I saw the good and bad in that!
  • I started the process of going back to school, and haven’t gotten back to Brazil yet, but my passport did get stamped. A few times!

I’ve got to work harder and smarter. I know I have potential. I know I have promise. I just have got to do the work, no two ways about it. Hopefully this year, I’ll take someone on an adventure, start those swim classes, and discover my different language personalities.

As always, you’re invited to come along.

And now, there’s time for some thank you notes.

Thanks to my family for their love and support. I’m glad y’all are there to lean on, and I love you all dearly. I’m here for y’all whenever you need me.

Thanks to my friends for being there for me and I hope to remain there for you into the next year. We make great teams!

Thanks to modern technology for making anything possible and the places of the world for being so wonderful. I’m glad to be able to see it all.

HAPPY NEW YEAR!

 

 

Kristina

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4 comments

Reply

Beautiful piece and inspirational. I haven’t traveled internationally and lived there since I studied abroad in college and the last international trip I went on was for my honeymoon. You’re definitely inspiring me to get out of the U.S. even if it’s for a short time. That’s a goal for my husband and I. We really want to travel more.

Reply

As they say, “The world is waiting for you!” There’s so much in the US I haven’t explored yet, so even if it can’t be international, you can definitely get a taste of the whole world in one country!

Reply

Been enjoying your blog as I wait for the pieces to fall into place for my own adventure abroad. Thank you for letting me tag along, allowing me to see the light beyond my own graduate school/boring job torture chamber. Keep the stories coming!

P.S. As a lover of both Spanish and Portuguese, I’m looking forward to your multilingual posts. Venga, que tu puedes… menina!

Reply

Ahhh, obrigada! I’ve been wondering about writing in Spanish or Portuguese, I might give it a try!
And yes, you’re always invited! For the good and the bad and the wonderfully in-between. Thanks for reading!

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