School started this week and I wasn’t there. It’s still hard to believe that, while my former colleagues have been setting up classrooms and welcoming back students, I have been “preparing” for Spain. I wish I could afford a visit to my old stomping grounds right about now, but it will be over a year before I am able to see my students again. I’m surprised to realize that I miss it. I miss decorating a classroom from scratch. I miss figuring out what to go over with new students. I miss catching up with my old students and getting to know new ones. I miss my coworkers and friends. I miss the campus. I really, really miss my homeroom. But I realize that, while I will go back to visit, my life is moving in a different direction. And this change is completely self-initiated with some solid reasons backing it. So, while those of my previous life are starting a new school year I am hanging out at home.
I keep getting asked what I do all day, with all the time on my hands. A good chunk of my day is spent exercising, and the rest is spent researching life in Spain. As excited as I am about the move, I can feel the anxiety building as the time for departure nears. I can tell it’s there when I find myself clenching my teeth, having trouble breathing or tossing and turning instead of sleeping. I think it’s natural, me being me. There is just so much to consider! Phones, bank accounts, health insurance, piso-hunting, work commutes…so much! Not to mention all of the pre-departure preparations – bank conversations, tax-filing inquiries, loan payment setups, paperwork gathering and buying of essentials. I just want to be there and be settled in already!
I know even the most ordinary things in Spain will be an adventure because it’s something new. I am thoroughly excited for this part of my life, but I am certainly a bit under pressure. So, I’ve been spending A LOT of time reading pre-departure guides from the program, and even more time reading other travel blogs.
This part, exploring other blogs, is my favorite thing to do right now. There is so much experience and sense of adventure out there to learn from! Plus, new people to meet. Who knows, maybe I’ll even get to meet some fellow bloggers while abroad.
Despite my current worries, I became aware today of the fact that I feel much more ready for this experience than I did for Teach For America. I think this has to do, in large part, with the fact that I’ve been out in the real world for a couple of years now. When I was fresh out of college and headed to Houston for TFA, I felt more terrified of a new life than stressed about the details. Now, I am ready to embrace the experience ahead of me fully, though the details cause me stress.
I really hope Spain will help me become a more relaxed, less worrisome person! 🙂