And just like that, it’s the first of June. Actually, it’ll be the second of June in about half an hour as I start writing this, and I can’t believe it. A year ago, I was in Manila, working one job I’d been doing for four years and another I’d been doing for two, and wondering what life in Boston would be like.
Today – two cities, two and a half stories, 16 new friends and a thousand cups of cafe con leche later – I’ve not only been in Spain for almost a month, but I also feel like I’ve lived an entire lifetime here. It’s hard to explain: For the last four weeks, time has felt both stretched out and compressed. Everything happens so fast – but it also feels like it’s been happening forever.
…I’m not giving the feeling justice at all. I guess I’m just trying to express how amazing, challenging, ridiculous, funny, ironic, difficult, frustrating and wonderful this trip has been so far, and even using all those adjectives, I can’t even come close. How can I describe the awe I feel at just being here, at getting this opportunity to live and learn, to work and enjoy, in a place that only six months ago I couldn’t even imagine? How can I explain how utterly unbelievable it is that I’m doing this – basically living out a dream of mine to study abroad and to see the world? How can I talk about meeting the craziest people – both sources and students – and interacting with them and learning about their lives and thoughts and personalities?
How can I write about any of this when I don’t know the words??
Every time I look up at the Madrid skyline, I can’t believe it. Every time I catch myself sitting on a sunlit table at a sidewalk café, watching couples and their dogs stroll past, chattering away in Spanish, I can’t believe it. Today, when I walked around El Rastro, the local Sunday market, submerged in the sights, smells and sounds of a sea of humanity and objects for sale, I couldn’t believe it.
I can’t believe any of it – my luck, my situation, my just being here – and I also can’t believe it’s almost over. In just about eight days, I’ll be on a flight back to Boston, carrying the memories of this trip with me and probably still not believing it happened.
Life is tough, but it sure can be great – and full of the most ridiculous, beautiful surprises. I’m going to make the most of this last week, seriously.
I close this late-night reverie in two completely unrelated, somewhat weird ways. First, my new story is up here. Click on the underlined word!!
Aaaand here I am taking a selfie, as caught by Julia (whom I really think should hire as a personal photographer):