You know the moment when you realize you’re in love?
Personally I’ve never experienced it, but the movies have to be a pretty great indication of how it happens.
The typical story of the girl who has had the guy there for all this time and just when she realizes that she loves him the way he has loved her for so long, boom, he’s gone.
That’s the story.
That’s how I feel.
I have lived here for 13 weeks, and I leave in 2 weeks. I leave in 2 weeks. I leave in 17 days.
I guess I’ll tell you some of the wonderful things that can happen in 13 weeks, give myself some room to think about the wonderful things that I will find in the 2 that remain.
In thirteen weeks you can:
…buy and consume your weight in tortilla de patatas. And you won’t regret it one bit.
…become more comfortable speaking your sencond language with locals. You begin to realize that they don’t judge you nearly as hard as you judge yourself.
…make great scores on your exams and still realize how much you have left to learn.
…travel all over Europe, though it may not be as cheap as a broke college kid would hope.
…make a closed off culture learn how to open up to people. And it feels wonderful just to receive a kind glance, let me tell you.
…have your views on ethical issues either magnify or change completely. Never have I experienced a conversation class that made me more ready to engage others and stand up for what I believe. Watching others do the same is one of the most humbling things you’ll ever see.
…start speaking English with Spanish grammar and accent. “Aww thanks! You put me happy!”
…reexperience an event from your past and react differently; thus, realizing that the person you’ve grown into is not the one you used to be. This is seriously creepy.
…hold your first Thanksgiving dinner for 20 people and have everything go perfectly.
…learn to accept people that are completely different from you, because when you need someone that’s the person that’s going to be around.
…share your opinions with someone who doesn’t believe the same things or share your opinions, and you can learn that not all people are going to run away from you.
…learn how to hold your ground, or learn how to give in. Sometimes you learn that the ground you hold isn’t worth clinging to, and other times you don’t know what you’d do without it.
…look into the eyes of a friend you’ve only had for a few weeks and feel like you can now confide in them all of your struggles, or all of your heart.
…fall in like.
…fall in love.
I understand love a little bit more now. I understand what it’s like to love people because they deserve to be loved regardless of who they are, and I understand what it’s like to fall in love with a city you have to leave.
In 17 days I will get on a plane and come home. I will see my mom and sister’s faces, and I wouldn’t change that moment for anything; but that doesn’t change these last 17 days.
Here’s to bus rides, small pueblos, Spanish friends, and American Bilbainos.
Here’s to rainy Spain days, holiday chocolates, hugs goodbye, and the last day sitting on the coast with my people.
Here’s to living life.
Agur y hasta pronto.