- I’m introverted, but I’m not an introvert. I’m a bit shy sometimes, I’m avoidant, and will rather get around having to use my Spanish rather than try and get embarassed. I really am in love with my bedroom, and would rather not leave my comfortable cave without significant intervention. But I love the challenge of working up the courage to speak Spanish, and I like leaving my apartment and taking the long way to explore. I’m hoping I can find the balance between confidence and security so I can really make some gains here. I can’t stay in my room forever.
- I really love staying in, and I kinda hate going out. I love my solitude, I love my bed! I love studying quietly and working on my personal goals. I don’t like drinking excessively, I don’t like yelling over music in the clubs – but I do like to dance – and I hate getting hassled in the streets to go to other bars (Fun fact: club promoters call me Beyoncé often because they don’t know many other black women celebrities! And ever since I was a youngling, people still hear my name and go, “Like Aguilera!”) It’s hard not feeling like a wet blanket, especially in a city like Madrid, but that lifestyle ain’t for everybody. And the way my wallet’s set up, I think staying at home fits in quite nicely with it.
- I need to take myself out more. On the converse, I haven’t spent a lot of time with myself outside my apartment. I need to. I gotta go on walks and just sit in my solitude, with my thoughts alone.
- I’ve gotta enjoy my company…actively. No headphones, no books, just me and my thoughts. I’m doing something spectacular now, and I’ve gotta… stew in it sometimes. It’s good for you. Once I start working, I have to be sure to take myself on little dates here and there around the city, going out to eat by myself, going to museums. Friends are nice, but I have to be sure I’m listening to myself… otherwise I’m just eating salt and vinegar potato chips in my room 24/7.
- I’ve gotta stop being so hard on myself. In order to learn Spanish, I’m going to have to learn to accept my mistakes. In order to teach English, I’m going to have to allow myself to be goofy and vibrant, even when I don’t feel that way. I’ll need to be present, in every way. All of these demands and expectations I just announced are fine and all, but if I don’t achieve them all exactly so, it’s not an indictment on who I am as a person. I should be myself in every moment, that’s what got me here.
- I’m so glad I did this! I haven’t started working yet but I’m already bracing myself for the challenge. I needed a change, I was unhappy, I wanted something unusual and unorthodox for a moment. I’m so excited to go outside and be uncomfortable! It’s weird, I know it seems like I’ve been complaining a lot, I know, but for me that’s just a thing… I could do the same for the US! It’s just I’m in a new world and trying to adjust and am noticing all of the ways that I’m …foreign. And that’s a wonderful feeling! I am not of this world AND YET I’m making it mine. I’m carving out my niche. I’m making it work, I’m figuring things out. I’m… going to get better.
- I’m going to get better. At Spanish, at living abroad, at budgeting (haaaaaa!), at immersing myself in this place abroad. I’m going to get better.
Okay then! One month in! I start working this Tuesday, and I’ll see what kind of schedule I can eek out. I bought an agenda, let’s pray that I get in the habit of using it! I have my work schedule, so I can start tutoring and travelling. Basically, what I’m saying is that my time in Madrid has truly started. Let’s see what madness I can get into during month two?
Thanks for tuning in, we’re just getting started!