I propose a toast. Not just because it’s Friday, but because I just bought good Spanish liquor, and because I am alive, in this body, in this moment, in these chaotic times when a lot of things don’t go our way. I propose a toast to the thrill of bringing something special to each day. I am pretty sure this feeling is available to all.
I had an insane few days. Not the good insane. The kind of insane that makes you almost cry in front of twenty five 8-year-olds that have just spent a class throwing objects, and kicking each other for reasons unknown to mankind. The natural “I can’t do this,” thought popped into my head, and it was the first time in over a month that I considered the option of leaving. Tempting, yes. “But then what?” I felt. Stressful situations will find me in any country I move to, and I can either walk away each time or I can actually create something fresh/new in that moment. That day I went home, sending myself off to have the best night sleep. I love my job. I love my life. But the thing I realized is that I also loved my job, and loved my life before moving to Spain. “So why, then, did you come here?” I am not sure. But if I think about it…I came here because I couldn’t not come here. I love the United States. I love Spain. And I love doing senseless things. I love surprising myself. It’s my own test for aliveness.
Today was a great day in Algete. I arrived to school before the music played (because it is songs in English that substitute the bell to announce class). I had science with 1st grade, my most beloved group. They have no idea I speak Spanish, and suspect nothing when they ask me something, and I reply to them in English. “Hablas Español?” they ask, and laugh when I reply and exaggerated, “What?” They welcome me with group hugs, and act as excited to see me as if it was not routine that I came in for their science class. Their surprised faces inspire me.
I went to a pastry shop during lunch break, and had 3 small empanadas at Algete’s main square: Plaza de la Constitución, with its old church, modern little fountain, and stone benches. It was special and spontaneous. On my way home, I did not get off at the usual bus stop. I went a little further so I could get some things from my favorite market. That was spontaneous, too. I bought the Spanish equivalent of Bailey’s, called Pazo de Bispo from Barcelona. I bought jamón cerrano, olives filled with anchovies, and cherry tomatoes. It is called LIDL – according to my landlady, it is a German market. They have cheap prices, and the shelves are organized in ways that make me want to sing! They also have peanut butter, which I’ve grown oddly fond of now that I don’t live in the United States.
Anyways, I am not just having a Friday night in, no. I am having an INCREDIBLE FRIDAY NIGHT IN. I am planning my next adventure, you see. I have purchased my next flight ticket and it’s in less than a month. Now, I won’t spoil it, and tell you where I am going…But I will make a toast. Because it was about a year ago that I had no plans for my future. Because I could have never imagined that something better than my plans was in store for me. Because everything I wanted did not happen, and I had to come up with a new plan. I propose a toast to the disappointment and the heartbreak. To all the things I have yet to discover, and all the things I have left behind.
I have always hated that old saying, “What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.” Ugh. Please. Make it go away -_- If you ask me, I don’t care for being strong, or brave, or courageous. So I am going to tweak that part a bit and say that…what doesn’t kill you makes you LIVE YOUR LIFE.
p.s. watch the YouTube video (link below). It’s the most incredible advice (that is actually not advice) by beloved Robin Williams. His voice yells in my head, “Live your life!” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0dI-WZ5cvM0