“Time has a wonderful way of showing us what really matters.” – Margaret Peters
It’s been a while since my last post that spoke about one of my very first posts: Embracing Uncertainty. Uncertainty means “indefinite or not clearly defined.” When we describe life events fraught with uncertainty such as living abroad, time is a theme that pops up frequently. You have the beginning months where everything seems so new and you feel like a tourist, then, you begin work and establish a sense of routine and then, seemingly suddenly, the year is about to end! For our time here in Spain, it’s almost the end and, again, the uncertainty is rearing back up saying, “I am back. Hello, life. What’s next?” I realize that as I get older this type of lifestyle, one that embraces uncertainty, is one that makes me feel like I am growing and learning and not feeling stagnant or misplaced.
With each day that passes, I grow, as a person. With each opportunity that arises, I try to push myself outside of my comfort zone, working towards that growth. Resilience finding myself doesn’t come easy. My time abroad has shown me that I don’t know myself as well as I thought. Time spent challenging myself has been the reason for my personal growth (and I consider time, although it’s free, to be priceless.)
Resilience Finding Myself and Where I Came From
I started this journey looking for more answers about who I am; I wanted to know as much as I could about Spain because my ancestors are from Mallorca. During my first day at my school here, I made a presentation to my students called “About Me” in which I spoke about my life, my friends, my country, and most importantly my family. Not too long ago, I was talking to my class and I held up a photo of my grandmother, whom I affectionately call Tata. It was then that I told my students the reason why I came to Spain, and why I teach. Time moves on so quickly and life can change in a heartbeat. And, in my case it did. Looking back, I never imagined that I would not be able to see my grandmother again. Those first days in front of my classes were the beginning of my life in Spain inspired by Tata. It’s been a journey that I will always appreciate because I know that she wanted me to be happy, as she told me in our last happy conversations together. As time moves on, there isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t think about her sweet smile or soft voice. She is the reason I started to teach English. Her life inspired me and helped in the process of finding myself. Each day I walk into a class, I carry her with me in my heart. She may not be with us any longer but her story lives on through my work.
Valuable Lessons I Learned
Spain has taught me some valuable resilience lessons, and one of the most important lessons I have learned so far is that you don’t know what tomorrow might bring. I know that I would not have learned the lessons I needed to had I not come to Spain. My soul opened up and my heart has once again embraced another culture that has embraced me back. I am very grateful to have this opportunity.
I was extremely blessed to have been able to see Tata one more time before she passed. Remember to tell those people in your life how much they mean to you regularly. If they do something to upset you, it’s ok to be upset but remember that at the end of the day, time is all we truly have. There are a set number of days on our calendar that we will be here. Live your life, be well, let go and carry on. This has been an incredible journey finding myself abroad! I look forward to what is next.
Cause you never think that the last time is the last time. You think there will be more. You think you have forever but you don’t.” – Dr. Meredith Grey