Anna's Journey

Planning and holding on

In Sanlucar la Mayor on April 3, 2011 at 8:44 pm

I am suddenly aware of the brevity of my time here in Spain. Months that once seemed to stretch endlessly before me are now cut short by the knowledge that I have a job this fall! While on one hand an enormous weight has been lifted from my shoulders and I am beyond excited, on the other hand, my mind refuses to focus on the moment here in Spain, instead racing to the future. It all seems twisted together. As I ate paella with a good friend who visited this past week, our conversation morphed from the taste of the rice to the best way to buy a car in Boston.

My hiatus from my career is slowly ending. Of course, it had to end. But is it a window that will open again, I wonder? Will I have another opportunity to live in a foreign country, to speak the language, to build deep friendships with the people who reside there? I think I so. I hope so. But I don’t know.

I know that life has unexpected turns, and that it can creep up on you, or rush at you, so that your moments spent wandering through the olive fields become just memories that you ponder as you drive to work each day.

Luckily, my position for next year is to teach Spanish. I will continue to immerse myself in the language and culture of this beautiful country – my temporary home – but this time, through the eyes of my students. As they taste the Spanish tortilla, clap along to flamenco, and learn the sentences that I use every day, perhaps I will awaken in them the desire to travel, to reside in strange lands, to learn to speak a language fluently that is not their own. To understand people who are not from their neighborhood, or country. To communicate with them; to learn from them.

This is my goal.

But my time here is not up yet.

And yet, I feel palpably that change is once again surrounding me, sweeping me up, directing me onto the next stage. My next stage – with a car, a commute, a full-time job – is exactly what I want for next year. And because of this year – a year of teaching, learning, and adventuring – I am excited about the parts of life that often seem so ordinary, even boring. I am eager to jump into my first full-time teaching position, to develop curriculum, delve into lesson plans, join a learning community as a faculty member, and stretch myself professionally.

But for now, hombre, I have to enjoy my time in Spain!

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