It has been a week now since being in Madrid and I am completely infatuated with the city. Every little thing is so fascinating to me; the people, the language, the cobblestone, the cafeterías, the restaurantes, the architecture, the tapas.....all of it. I've had the opportunity to experience fiestas both at home and at the club and it's been a blast!
Learning the language was not as easy as I thought. It's mentally exhausting constantly having to use your brain to try to hold a conversation, and when you miss a beat, you miss it all. Simply being able to communicate through broken Spanish is not satisfying enough for me. So now as a habit, I've started to carry around a notebook, writing down everything I learn, and refering back to it when necessary. I know it's only been a week, but I'm extremely concerned about my progress. Anyone can live in a country with an unfamilar language and survive through basic words, but to actually become fluent takes so much more work. In that sense, it's incredible to me how people learn English. It's the reason why I've always admired my friends here in Spain, and other friends abroad for doing so with such excellency.
The past few nights here have given me a lot of time to think. For the sleepless nights where I lay wide awake, I would stare out the window and try to remember everything. Try to remember how the cool breeze felt against my skin, the sounds throughout the night, even the smell of cigerettes that seem to be the standard here. I am falling intensely in love with this country and its people. Not only am I incredibly fortunate to be here, but more so for being able to experience such a passionate feeling for a place. A drive through Madrid one night, while breathing the brisk air, had me wondering how amazing it is that I have the opportunity to be here. Without the support of my family and friends, it would not have been so rich.
And I guess here's the thing I've realized about opportunities since being here: they don't always come to you, and they're almost aways not obvious. Not all of them serve you, teach you, or help you grow, so being an opportunist is a matter of practice; A practice of finding them and even creating them.
Until next time! Hasta Luego! :)