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The days were long but the years flew by. It’s over. It is crazy to think that only 2 years ago I moved down to Houston with Teach For America. Truth be told, those were two of the toughest years of my life, but also the most transformative. I fell apart so many different times for so many different reasons. Which only gave me the opportunity to pull myself back together again, in some pretty ridiculous and life-affirming ways.

And I am relieved to say I’ve changed. I can feel the marks of my transition into “adulthood.” I have changed into someone who recognizes the beauty in life, and in change. I have changed into someone more comfortable with change itself.

Sure, I am 24 and still without a solid career or romantic prospect. But, I am 24 and still chasing my dreams and forging my own path through life. There’s something to be said for that in this, the age of practicality.

So what’s next? I’m moving to Spain. It seems so long ago now, about a year ago right after my trip to Italy, that I blogged about my intense desire to live abroad. I was going to do one of those programs that required me to take certain classes and pay for the move, etc. My sister suggested I apply for a Fulbright grant.

I’m not sure how to express just how unlikely I thought it was that I would actually receive a grant. But I applied because if we don’t take chances on ourselves, how can we expect it from anyone else?

About 8 months later I still find myself overwhelmed with disbelief and gratitude. I cannot believe that this is actually an opportunity I’ve been granted in my life. Getting paid to live in Europe?!? This is quite literally a dream actualized.

Of course I grappled with whether this was the right decision. It’ll be another year of not working solidly in my desired career field (though I hope to intern on the side), and I’ll be living off a stipend rather than full salary. But some things you just do not say no to, and a dream come true is one such blessing.

I’m not sure what I’ve done to deserve this opportunity. I’m not sure why this dream was chosen to be brought to fruition. I’m confused by the mixed positive and negative occurrences in my life. Am I loved and blessed, or astray and punishable? But I do firmly believe all things happen for a reason, though the reasons are often unknown at the time.

So, come September I’ll be on my way to Segovia to work as the Fulbright ETA at IE University for 10 solid months at least. In the meantime I’ll be enjoying summer in Chicago!

Wish me well and stay tuned.