I’ve been trying to figure out how to express what I’m feeling these days, and I don’t think I can do it eloquently. So if this all comes out like a bunch of melodramatic garbage, please excuse me and visit my blog again later when I’m in a more agreeable mood…
Leading up to this adventure, my life was a whirlwind of big ideas and plans and change and action and excitement. I was ready to turn my world upside down, and, quite frankly, it was long overdue. I’d been ensnared (Too strong of a word? No) in a relationship rife with dishonesty, and I was at a job where my role had slowly diminished to the point where it was sort of laughable.
I did the ol’ pick-yourself-up-by-your-bootstraps gig and started evaluating my options. And, luckily, they seemed pretty endless. So I found myself selling most of my belongings, enrolling in a TEFL course, leaving my home behind (Portland, I miss you!) and moving to Spain.
What I didn’t realize (or maybe I did, but refused to confront it) is that during that period of such glorious momentum, I stuffed a lot of my feelings in the corner.
See Molly run away?
There wasn’t much time to dwell on pesky emotions. (And not nearly enough time to dwell on the feelings that resurfaced when my ex told me some super, um, fucked up shit, a week before I left the country, of which I’m not going to talk about in detail here, only to say that it was another thing I tried to stuff away.) I was too busy buying flights, booking accommodation, packing, driving, moving, partying, saying goodbye to friends. Always in motion.
Now, a little over one month later, life is slowing down.
And, no surprise, those feelings that I refused to confront are knocking around in my mind and threatening to drive me mad unless I deal with them like the well-adjusted adult woman I appear to be. Sigh.
And, also no surprise, life in Spain doesn’t exactly live up to the romantic vision I’d cooked up in my head.
Not to say that it doesn’t have wonderful, absorbing moments. My neighborhood is charming. I can take weekend getaways to beautiful, storybook locations. I wake up every day without the blaring of an alarm.
But it’s not without it’s discouraging moments either. Money and work issues leave me exhausted and pissed off. (I resist the urge to point fingers, but want to know why the TEFL program never alerted to me the difficulties for Americans here, instead making it sound like I’d be able to happily earn an income. Is it simply common knowledge I should have known?) I miss my friends from home, even more than I expected to. I miss healthy, organic meals around every corner. And belonging to a gym and exercising regularly (it keeps me sane!). I miss having a community. And a steady paycheck. And clean air to breathe. (Oh, Spaniards, when will you ever stop smoking in my face?) I miss the man I thought my ex was. (Incidentally, he was not that man, but that doesn’t diminish the point.) I miss lawn games and IPA and calling up my mom in the afternoon. (I could go on with my list, but the melodrama is getting thick now.)
Those things come with time, I realize. And I’ve only been here five weeks. And I’m just starting to put together my routines and work out the wrinkles in my lifestyle. I need to be patient. With others. With myself.
I get it, I do. I know that my frustrations are small beans compared to the big stuff. And that I’m extraordinarily lucky if this is the worst of it, as far as life transitions go. And that the emotional roller coaster I’ve found myself on is quite normal. Sure, anyone who went through what I did in the last six months would be experiencing some emotional fall-out.
It’s throwing me for a big, messy loop.
And patience isn’t my strong suit.
But, pain is fairly motivating, in more ways than I’d like to admit. And that means I’m moving forward. I’m going to figure out the lessons in this, and keep working to let go of the shit that isn’t serving me well, and keep discovering the beauty in the process, without being hung up on the oh-so-elusive outcome. (Talk about clichéd, but still true.)