Day 1. Arriving in Madrid

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Getting here was easier than getting to Italy or Brazil.  It’s just a 5-hour to Jersey and a 6.5-hour from there.  The hard part is the jetlag but I’m hoping that will be fine by tomorrow.  I lost my phone charger somewhere in NJ.  I was distracted.

The layover time is the worst part of traveling for me.  It’s the real “well I guess I’m doing this” point.  This time was easier than before though.  I had a thought that maybe I am getting better at this, but I know that’s not it.  This “adventure” is just different.  I’m different, but also my mindset on leaving.  When I went away before I always felt like I was half there and half back home; but this time when I left I wasn’t leaving anything insecure behind.  There isn’t any job I needed to get back to, no roommate that was being mean to my puppy, no sketchy boyfriend, no issues my mind was racing over.  For me, this lack of worry is so totally uncommon that there’s a good chance it’s just the exhaustion talking.  I definitely haven’t left the apartment yet.

I feel okay right now.  I have a weird confidence that has been inspired by the events leading up to me leaving that this is exactly where I’m supposed to be.  I have to remember this when the homesickness kicks in.

My goals:

  1. Stop anticipating.  I have this horrible habit of thinking the worst possible situation might happen IF (insert any choice).
  2. Do yoga or meditate every day.  I want to become more grounded in the present instead of what ifs.  When everything went all nuts in Newport, I found the most comfort in meditation and yoga.  Rather than letting my mind obsess over things, I was able to just let the thoughts float past.  If thoughts are fleeting, than they can’t attach and start working with the imagination.
  3. Get over the attachment to routine/comfort.  So, super ironic.  I hate routine, but I’m the most routine person in the world.  If I don’t have it, I feel like I control nothing and I go completely crazy.  When I was working at OneScreen, my routine was always walk the dog, go to work, go to yoga, come home eat dinner (before 8), smoke a j, hang out with Nick, go to sleep.  This one month, Nick and I discovered how to make bomb foil bbqs.  We had some version of that for dinner for an entire summer.  One day he proposed it and I went on a rampage against foil dinners.  I haven’t had it since.  Before I left I made some comment to a friend about breaking his routine, and he just laughed at me saying I was way more routine than he was.  It was true.  Routine is dangerous because it can so easily be shaken up.  Because I’m the type that clings to routine, any tremor causes an earthquake in my life.  I want to focus on living in the moment, to embrace the spontaneous.
  4. Keep my heart open. Embrace new things and keep an open mind to things I don’t understand.
  5. Stay joyous.  I want to stay full of joy, even when it’s not the best day, or when things are difficult.  To do this, I will write more.  Writing will always help.  At least if I’m writing I’m working towards a goal.  It keeps me full of purpose, purpose keeps me full of joy.
  6. Be thankful for everything.  My favorite thing about traveling, especially when I don’t know the language, is being forced out of the ego and into a very childlike state of wonder.  Because things that are normally easy are now super difficult, every little victory feels like a treasure, every small gesture feels like a sign from God, every piece of help is a gift from the universe.  But that’s how it should always be.  When I travel I find myself thanking more, and trying to help more.  I would like to remain in this state so that I can take it home with me.
  7. Pray more.  When all of the above is difficult, I will remember why I’m here.  It’s not about running away this time (like Italy).  It’s not about proving to someone I can do it (like Brazil).  It’s not an escape (like Canada).  This one is between me and God.  He’s giving me the tools to realize my dreams, and I am trusting Him to see them through.  That is our arrangement.  When all else fails, and all of the above feels difficult, I will remember to pray.

The maid is here and she just made me papas fritas.  Things that never fail – potatoes.  Why.

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