The Learning Experience

Almost 3 months have passed since I first hopped onto that plane to get to Madrid. The past couple months have been a roller coaster ride to say in the least. There are many words to describe my experiences so far, with anything from thrilling (my travels and weekend exploration) to monotonous (my everyday work life), but I think the most fitting words to date would have to be “self-discovery” and “character-building”. I haven’t done much, but I think I’ve pinpointed a few things about myself, what I want out of my future career and life.

They talk about the huge adjustment between college and the real world.. well now add a move across the globe away from everyone you know. Yeah. Life may be good, but no one mentioned anything about it being easy.

Just a couple things I’ve learned in the past few months:

-Never, ever get the cheapest of anything. If you are pinching pennies, still pay for the one step above.  That little bit of money makes all the difference. This is especially true with wine.

-I need a job where I have an objective and where I can see my productivity. This whole, “Walk around the class and try to get them to talk about ANYTHING” thing is just not cutting it. I knew I was in trouble when I got excited about being given the task of cutting out a printed copy of a picture for each of my 25 students. It was an exciting class period.

You won’t miss the money you spend on having a good time or eating that weird looking food. Because you did something new, fun, or adventurous. I tend to be frugal, but I’ve tried to unset those ways because some things are worth spending your money on.

-When I was in middle school, I thought you graduated college, you got married, and you had lots and lots of babies. Who teaches us these things?! I can barely take care of myself, let alone the idea of taking care of another human. I was joking with a friend talking about how I have such a hard time getting up in the mornings, that whenever it is I have kids, they are going to be running out the door half dressed, hair not brushed and unfed. Let’s just say kids can wait for a long, long, LONG time. For now Zoë, my 9 pound morkie is enough of a handful.

-On the same note, kids are cute only about 20% of the time and only when you are not in charge of making sure they don’t die. Don’t judge me.. I don’t need to like them yet.. I’m 22.

-“This too shall pass”. I’ve learned that even in my saddest or most homesick moments, a good cry, a few deep breaths, and a fake smile can get you through anything until that smile becomes real. Also I’ve learned it’s normal and ok to be sad sometimes. The moment will pass, and you’ll be back up in high spirits before you know it, on to the next adventure.

-When things aren’t going the way I want them to, I am the only one who can do anything about it. Although they will always be a great ear, I can’t always get my mom or dad to help me fix something. If I don’t like something, I speak up and take action. If I’m sick, I make myself soup or I bring myself to a doctor. If I’m sad, I cheer myself up. If I’m angry, I calm myself down. Self-reliance. This is a big one.

-There’s no place like home. Travel is amazing. There’s a reason I am here. I get to see all of these really great things, meet all of these really great people, and have all of these really great experiences. BUT. I also feel like travel also makes me more grateful for what I have at home. Every experience abroad I find myself thanking god that I have such a great support system to go back to, and to have a city that I am absolutely in love with. While I used to dream about living in some random foreign city around the globe (check) and constantly be on the move, this trip has taught me there is no place I would rather eventually settle my life down than right back in Louisiana. “There’s no place like home” maybe cliché but it really couldn’t be more true. I plan to spend as many future Thanksgivings, Christmases and birthdays as I can with the people I love. To read more about this, refer to my post “How lucky I am to have something that makes saying good bye so hard”.

So that’s all I have for now. Here’s a video to restore your faith in humanity, because it’s the holidays. spread the joy:

Happy Thanksgiving week everyone!! Eat a bunch of awesome food for me. Gobble gobble.

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