Feliz Año Nuevo!!

Happy New Year! It’s amazing to think about how much has happened in the last 365 days and where I am now. Between graduating and saying goodbye to a lot of friends (and I’m not talking about just to move out of the country), becoming an adult and doing so in another language, starting all over again with nothing more than a 12-hour a week job and a bank account, I’ve found out how happy I can be. I need to pinch myself sometimes because I can’t believe I actually took this big risk to move to a foreign country and start my life. This is what I’m supposed to be doing at this moment in my life – while I’m young, while I’m free to travel and experience and learn and grow.

The past four months I’ve been in Spain, I’ve certainly done a lot of that. To me, the most important things are my relationships with the people I’ve met here and those who are most important at home. It’s important for me to meet people and learn from them (especially Spanish speakers). It’s important to represent my country well, no matter what I think of the government and foreign policy and that idiot we elected. And it’s even more important for me to transmit all of this to my students. I came here for more than teaching – I really just wanted a change. I needed to get away. I realize now how dissatisfied I was with my country and how certain things had panned out in my life.So, going forward, I have a lot of goals for myself. Being kinder to my body (aka sleeping more). Making decisions based on what I think, not what may be best for someone else or because it’s been requested of me. Taking care of other people. Working to constantly be content with every single thing that’s going on in my life. In a lot of ways, it doesn’t even feel like I’m living in a foreign country. Despite the long coffee breaks (yes, I now like coffee, tea, AND EVEN FRIED SEAFOOD!!), speaking in another language and having a non-American boyfriend, I feel like I’m right at home.

Like 2007, there is a lot of uncertainty facing me in the coming year. In five months, I’ll be done teaching and forced to make another decision about what to do next year. Part of me wants to go back to Chicago for the summer to make money, but another part of me wants to stay in Sevilla until next school year starts. The only thing I am fairly sure of is wanting to stay next year, even though that, too, is something that I have doubts about. I’ve got money to survive on here. I have a place to live. I have the ganas to do it. I think. When did I get so indecisive?
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About Cat Gaa

As a beef-loving Chicago girl living amongst pigs, bullfighters, and a whole lotta canis, Cat Gaa writes about expat life in Seville, Spain. When not cavorting with adorable Spanish grandpas or struggling with Spanish prepositions, she works in higher education at an American university in Madrid and freelances with other publications, like Rough Guides and The Spain Scoop.

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