to proceed to perform the first or earliest part of some action; commence; start
How do I even begin…
From the beginning perhaps.
Today marked the beginning of the new me. The beginning of my next chapter.
I’m in Spain. And that is weird to say. I’ve been planning for and looking forward to this day for a very long time. There were many obstacles along the way, some even big enough to cause worry that it might not work out. But it did. Estoy aqui.
The plane ride… was hard. I knew what to expect. I knew it would be different, difficult. I knew I wouldn’t be able to turn back…even if I tried. The shock still hit me… the feelings when sitting down, hearing everyone around me speaking in Spanish, writing my last few text messages and turning my phone off for the last time, being nervous of the future, terrified of the unknown, first meetings with the family, fear. Plain and simple. But then I thought, where else would I rather be? Yeah home would be nice, being with my friends would be fun… but this is what I want! This is where I’m supposed to be. It was only a little easier after that, but it still got me through.
Let me tell you about my arrival.
After loading up my bags I went out to face the multitude of people waiting for their loved ones. I didn’t know if I’d be able to recognize my family! But I did, the mom and older daughter were standing front and center, smiling big and holding a big welcome sign! I’ve always wanted someone to greet me at the airport with a sign, so it completely thrilled me.
We came home which is in a large condo like apartment building, we live on the top floor and the house covers the whole floor. The neighbors are below us. I have my own room and my window looks out onto the balcony which overlooks the neighborhood. Salva (the father) was telling me that in this area the wealthy people and the poor all live close to each other and that isn’t too common. Certain complexes are really nice and right next door the complex is for those on “welfare.” I don’t know what it is called here. I guess there are some gypsys that live down the street…. Our place is in the middle class complex. I can see downtown Madrid from the balcony and it takes about 45 min to walk there, thankfully the metro is only a ten min walk.
After I unpacked, the family and I walked around the neighborhood and they showed me all the important places in hopes that I won’t get lost. We went to Clara and Alba’s school and they were very proud of it. Right down the street from the house is the futbol field, basketball courts, other sportsy stuff, and a long running trail. Also there is a sports facility 5 min walk, that has an indoor swimming pool and other things for when it is too cold to exercise outside. Salva speaks English well and loves to talk which is nice because it’s never really awkward. After the walk we hung out in the center of our complex. It is a gated community and there are about 19 houses (flats?) in the complex. I met a few of the neighbors and their kids. There is an au pair here from England and we got to talk for awhile, unfortunately she leaves next week. I started to get very tired so we went inside and I showered while Salva cooked lunch. Which was increidbly good. He is very excited that I love food because he loves to cook and their last au pair was a very picky eater and only ate pizza and pasta… There will be a BBQ on Friday night and I am looking forward to that! Salva also says he can cook salmon really well. 🙂 After lunch, I passed out… finally. Woke up for dinner and now here I am, trying to get tired so I can sleep again!
Tomorrow and the rest of the week we will be going downtown to show me all the things I will need to know. I understand more Spanish than I thought I would… but I still have a long ways to go. I am so happy here! It doesn’t quite feel like home yet but I know that will come with time.
I’m right where I’m supposed to be.