Youths.

I was going to write a post about how miserable I am here.

How lonely I am, and how it feels impossible to make friends here. How this program totally doesn’t have its stuff together…how I won’t be getting paid until November or December, so I’m rationing my food supply. How I’m supposed to do some kind of paperwork to be able to stay here for an extended period of time, but nobody in the program has a clue how to go about it, because they’re giving everyone different – vague – instructions. It’s supposed to be done within 30 days, and it turns out we’ve got to set up appointments and the earliest openings are in December. How I legitimately don’t know what I’m supposed to do in the classroom because the teachers don’t really know what I’m supposed to be doing either.

I actually typed up all my points this morning before heading to work.

However…today, I went to a certain class for the first time. And as soon as I walked in the door, I heard a 6 year old voice say “Hello!!” And immediately, one girl ran up and gave me a hug. And then another little girl joined her. And then a little boy. And then another, and another. The teacher was trying to get the students to make a circle so they could play a game, but nobody was listening to her. They all wanted to hug me. Haha. It was a dogpile of hugs.

So! As you may have heard, hugs release endorphins or something…I don’t know, but at the moment I’m just pleased to be alive. Haha. And lucky to be part of these cutie’s lives. So. There’s your update. <3

11 Places in My Building That Terrify Me Thanks to Annabelle

I told myself it was definitely a bad idea to watch Annabelle just days before heading out into the world by myself. I know I’m an easy spook, but I love horror films. It’s a terrible combination. Nevertheless, I watched this movie, thinking that it wouldn’t be as scary if I watched it with a large group of funny people. But I watched it. And that’s all my brain needed to drive me crazy for the next 8 months. Here are a few places in my apartment building that make me really uncomfortable thanks to my terrible life decisions.

Let me go ahead and get this one out of the way. Because stairs kind of freak me out already, but noooo Annabelle just HAAADD to have a scary scene on the community stairs.

Let me go ahead and get this one out of the way. Because stairs kind of freak me out already, but noOo Annabelle just HAAADD to have an awful, scary scene on the community stairs.

Yes, the living room. Yes, in the day time. Because the directors took away the sweet security I had with the brightly shining daylight. GUESS NO LEVEL OF LIGHT IS SAFE!

Yes, the living room. Yes, in the day time. Because the directors took away the sweet security I had with the brightly shining daylight. GUESS NO LEVEL OF LIGHTING IS SAFE.

I hold my breath every time I step into the elevator. And I hope and pray that when the door opens, I don't see a freaking baby carriage.

I hold my breath every time I step into the elevator. And I hope and pray that when the door opens, I don’t see a freaking baby carriage.

To further that point, I glare down the "0" button every time I get in, and make careful sure that I specifically press the "3" button. Hhhh....so stressful. I know what you're thinking. "Alexz, why don't you just take the stairs???" PLEASE SEE PHOTO NUMBER ONE.

To further that point, I glare down the “-1” button every time I get in, and make careful sure that I specifically press the “3” button. Hhhh….so stressful. I know what you’re thinking. “Alexz, why don’t you just take the stairs???” PLEASE SEE PHOTO NUMBER ONE.

You guys...at night, when I turn the light on in the kitchen, it flickers for an uncomfortable amount of time. Sometimes I'll think it's done with the creepy flickering and I'll walk to the sink and the light will go out for like at least 2 seconds!!! NOT COOL. Also, when the door is closed, I am afraid to open it. So there's that.

You guys…at night, when I turn the light on in the kitchen, it flickers for an uncomfortable amount of time. Sometimes I’ll think it’s done with the creepy flickering and I’ll walk to the sink and the light will go out for like at least 2 seconds!!! NOT COOL. Also, when the door is closed, I am afraid to open it. So there’s that.

When I lay down to sleep at night, I have to do so much self talk and self coaching. "There is nothing standing there. It's your freaking coat stand. Full of cardigans of scarves. Non-evil accessories."

When I lay down to sleep in the nighttime, I have to do so much self talk and self coaching. “There is nothing standing there. It’s your freaking coat stand. Full of cardigans of scarves. Non-evil accessories.”

Either behind the door or from the hallway....nope.

Either behind the door or from the hallway….

Nope!

Nope!

Nope to you, also!

Nope to you, also!

You're not safe, either.

You’re not safe, either.

What could be lurking around the corner, waiting for me to grab some cereal so it can DO SOMETHING SCARY I DON'T KNOW.

What could be lurking around the corner, waiting for me to grab some cereal so it can DO SOMETHING SCARY I DON’T KNOW.

I’d like to add to this list the amount of noises that I hear regularly. And there have been at least two times that the door has slammed very fiercly and made a VERY loud and terrifying noise. I just blame it on the wind. Definitely the wind.

Pray for me, y’all.

31ish Things I’ve Learned in my Travels So Far

Some lessons, some thoughts. It’s a list. My precious likes lists. I’m sleepy, here you go.

  • Light PDA is acceptable when you’re not going to be able to kiss your boyfriend in the next 8 months. Hadtogetthatoutofthewaysorrytherestwillbenon-gushy.
  • As much as I work to remember to bring everything I need, it’s just….no.
  • 4 oz of contact solution at an airport costs twice as much as 3 oz of baby powder, and one dollar more than internet on the plane. However, a USB wall charger costs the same as it does at Best Buy. So there is the silver lining of not feeling totally stupid for forgetting something so detrimental. Only some stupid.
  • There doesn’t have to be snow or ice for a plane to be delayed. #Texas
  • 40 minute layovers are not ideal, and can lead to a terrible chain of events.
  • Repairs on planes can take place immediately before take-off, and we should all just be cool.
  • I am the “flight assistant’s pet” in this class of businessmen who definitely need their laptops out right now, it’s important okay.
  • Economy passengers are not allowed to use the restroom in the first class section, and the guy beside me really doesn’t care what I do. (See above point.)
  • Using the toilet on a plane is FREAKING terrifying. But still preferred over port-a-potties.
  • German airlines are pretty insistent that you eat something. Imagine your Mexican grandma’s face when you decline food. Then put it on a tall blondie.
  • Now, imagine the look if you make this decline with tears pouring out of your face.
  • Unrelated: I finally watched “The Fault in Our Stars.”
  • Everyone on the staff speaks fluent German and English, and give all instructions and announcements in both.
  • Did he just say hobitses?
  • I am getting more comfortable with asking strangers questions in Spanish, because I have no idea what’s going on.
  • I shouldn’t be afraid to ask questions at airports because, as it turns out, nobody knows what’s going on. So, the whole intimidation factor should not even exist. Everyone is dumb. #equality
  • Spain, apparently, is also “All About that Bass.”
  • Bus station guards take their job very seriously.
  • Spanish teenagers look just like US teenagers.
  • I have a newly discovered ability to find places without GPS or maps.
  • Bedding is something you provide for yourself, hello.
  • Imagine Olivander’s Wand Shop with sheets and blankets.
  • I am very lucky when it comes to homes in Spain. So far I’m 2 for 2.
  • I am also very lucky with roommates in Spain.
  • My name is Ale.
  • Spanish 7 year olds are PSYCHO.
  • It’s fun to pretend that your beloved pet fish is still alive when children ask you whether or not you have a pet.
  • I have found that I am better at Spanish that I thought.
  • The town of Cehegín is about the same size as UTA’s campus. Going from school to school is a lot like going from class to class.
  • I cry when the bus is late.
  • Unrelated: I still have jet lag.

Back in my own very small pond…

It has been exactly 47 days since I said goodbye to the experience that changed my life and my being.

47 days since I said goodbye to the family that invested over 4 months of their lives into mine so that I could grow as a person and a student.

47 days since I said goodbye to a group of folks that went from strangers to the very best of friends within moments.

47 days since I said goodbye to 45 minute walks that felt like 15 minutes, churros con chocolate, bocadillos, Matalascañas, weekend trips to different countries in Europe, my bestie Felix the cat (and of course, Dante), the daily beauty of cathedrals and Spanish architecture, my crazy professors, the Gray Man and his Grandson, street musicians left and right, the amazing staff of ISA, Luca and the crazy chef who gave us those…yummy…cookies (haha), Spanish festivities, the people…

47 days since I’ve said goodbye to Spain.

I’ve had 47 days to readjust to life in the states, and I’m still not there yet. There are times when I get so frustrated because I can’t seem to relate to people, even friends I’ve had for years. Frustrated because there are times when they can’t relate to me or understand where my heart and my psychology are at after such an experience as living abroad. Sad because I miss everything so much. Sad because I’ll never get those moments back.

 

“Don’t cry because it’s over. Smile because it happened.”

I am so, so grateful to have had such an incredible experience! I’ll cherish the memories forever and ever! 

I still don’t know just who I am, and I’ve got a ton of growing to do. But that’s the adventure in life, right? ;)