A Different Way of Living

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Overlooking the beach at Larrabasterra

This whole time change and culture has got me screwed up, but I say that in the best way possible. Eating lunch at 3:00, dinner at 10:00, six hour time change, new language, new culture; yeah it’s been a work in progress. After just talking to a best friend of mine and someone who also blogs, he told me that he hadn’t blogged in a while because he couldn’t think of anything to write. I thought I was in the same boat, but I told him to write anyways, and in the process of telling him this I discovered that I had so much I wanted to say that wasn’t exactly clear until I thought more deeply about it.

What I’ve been most overcome by within the last week or so has the been the extraordinary realization of how refreshing it is to be away from the United States. Yes, the place that’s my home, where my family is, and my beloved best friends. What I mean in saying this is that Spain’s culture is so different that it’s seemingly impossible to compare and contrast one place to the other. Yet, the contrast between the two is what gives me this refreshing feeling. So, I’m gonna try.

The sun doesn’t rise until close to 9 o’clock. It’s unrealistic to buy a full meal here. They wash the streets every morning. Cars are the least used mode of transportation. It’s quiet here, but at the same time so lively. You can walk the streets at 3:00 AM and still feel safe. Soccer is football (haven’t caught onto that one yet). There is no football (I’ll never catch onto that one). Coffee comes in like 4 oz cups, you can’t get it to go really, and breakfast isn’t that big. I have to wear slippers at all times in my house. I have to turn the water off, put soap on, then turn it back on to conserve energy. Lights are on in only one room at a time. And finally, if you’re not drinking wine you’re doing it all wrong.

These differences are what makes this experience worth doing. I’m not about to tell you that within a week and a half I’ve become the best form of myself that I could ever be, but I sure as hell think that I’m getting better. At home, it seems as if there’s always something to worry about. And yes, being here there are numerous things that are on my mind, but it’s just a little bit more relaxed, more real, more alive. The culture here as already given me a new perception on each day. Since the sun rises late and sets early you have to take advantage of every bit of sunlight you can get, which doesn’t exactly coincide with the difference in time and ridiculously large portions for lunch that immediately forces you into a food coma, but every day here has been unique to say the least.

The most significant difference from home and here is that I feel like I’m living in the present more than ever. At school, I’m plagued with constant thoughts of what’s next, and how whatever I’m doing will affect my future, my career, my life. Excuse my language, but fuck that. These little questions, the everyday tendencies to think of the future rather than the present, propel us in missing out of what’s right in front of us: life itself. Maybe I’m different, and maybe it’s just me who constantly looks back and thinks wow, time’s flying by. It really has though, but I’m not about to let that go on any longer.

My brief time in Spain has allowed me to embrace each day as it’s very own. And I hope this idea will become a mainstay within me and translate to my time back home when I return. See, right there I’m thinking about the future. Gotta stop doing that, but I will.

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