I haven’t written a blog post in a while, but not because nothing has been happening. Actually, a lot has been happening. I’m ready for things to stop happening for a while.
In short, I am in a very different place (both literally and figuratively) now than I was a few months ago. I have overcome obstacles that I never believed I would have to face, had experiences beyond my imagination, and maneuvered my way through this magical (and sometimes cruel) city in desperate search of “my place.” It hasn’t been easy. Honestly, it’s been pretty freaking hard. There have been moments (albeit fleeting, but moments nonetheless) where I have seriously considered returning to America, admitting defeat, and accepting the fact that perhaps “my place” isn’t amongst the orange trees and endless clear skies of Seville. But with the support of my amazing family and my close friends, I was able to move past those momentary doubts, and actually land myself in a much better situation than I could have expected.
After realizing that living with small children is not ideal (read: I think I hate children), I began my search for positions as an English teacher at one of the many private language academies throughout Seville. Since my approach can be most closely compared to that of a tortoise preparing for a 5K (slow and steady wins the race), this took quite some time. And it didn’t help that my wisdom teeth decided now was a good time to cause me insufferable pain, which made me fear that I would need to return home in order to have them removed, until I came to the realization that unlike in the United States, getting your wisdom teeth removed without insurance here is actually pretty affordable. In fact, you could book a trip to Spain from New York, spend a week here, eat your body weight in tapas, see a flamenco show, have all four wisdom teeth removed, catch a bullfight, and then hop on your return flight to New York for less money than it costs to get your wisdom teeth removed without insurance in the United States. Let that sink in for a second.
But I digress (as much as I could talk for ages about how much better the healthcare system is here). I was finally able to find a position at an academy in a really nice neighborhood called Los Remedios, and it turned out to be everything I am looking for. Although I don’t think I can see myself as a teacher in the future (“the future” being a vague, ambiguous term of reference here), there is no denying the sense of satisfaction that is rewarded from seeing a student understand a concept and get excited. Also, it’s pretty cool to see the personalities of my students come out when I begin to get to know them better. The other day, an engineer named Ignacio told me that I need to learn to dance Sevillanas, the local dance of Seville. When I asked him why, he responded very matter-of-factly with “So that you can find yourself a Spanish husband at the Feria and have a magical moment.” Thanks Iñaki, I’ll take that advice.
I have moved from my host family’s apartment into an apartment of my very own in a neighborhood named Triana (see pic above), just 15 minutes by foot from my job. As I write this, I am sitting on my bed, my cheap Ikea duvet crinkling beneath me like gift wrap (hoping it just needs a bit of breaking in). I have two flatmates, Paco and Fernando, who couldn’t be nicer. My street is named after some priest or professor or figurehead, but also translates to mean “master of war,” which I find to be strangely fitting and somewhat prophetic. Tomorrow, I will venture out into my new neighborhood in search of things to make my home feel a little homier, including approximately 1500 hangers to liberate the mounds of unnecessary clothing from the swollen prison of my suitcase (why did I think it was practical to bring so many going-out clothes? I would trade all of them for an eskimo-esque parka right now. It’s freaking cold).
Those are all the major things you need to know. Well, frankly, you don’t need to know anything, but I am assuming that if you are reading this in the first place (and have made it this far in the post, despite all my cheesy one-liners), then you’re at least somewhat curious. Of course, millions of other little things have happened in the crevices of those bigger things. Friends made and lost, adventures taken, nights forgotten, Spanish phrases horribly distorted by my American tongue–but if I were to include all of that, then I would never get anything done. And I certainly have a lot to get done.