Excerpts from My Journal
Tuesday, October 6th, 2009
(Toledo – Bus Stop)
I wonder what my life looks like from the outside. I know that sometimes you have to step outside of a thing to appreciate it. “Can’t see the forest for the trees,” but I feel like I already appreciated my life in Utah before I left. There were days when I was enamored of it, even. Giddy. But maybe that’s not the same?
And how can I truly step outside my own life? Because here I am, still living it.
I think I need to resign myself better to my current situation, in general. Resign seems too strong a word, but I don’t want to say “live in the moment.” That’s not exactly what I mean, and it’s too…new age. Bullshit.
It’s easy for me to look back and appreciate the life I’ve lead, the shape of its overall arch, the contours, the outstanding moments. But I know damn well that I was restless the entire time. Anxious, distressed. I was drowning in still waters, clinging to each misfortune as a sign that I’d chosen, or been forced down, the wrong path.
I tend to focus on what I can’t have, to think in terms of limitation, seeing each decision as confining. Whenever I take action, I see only the doors it closes for me, instead of walking through the doors it’s opened. And then I’m stuck; no way out, paralyzed with fear.
Maybe Spain is an open door for me, then. Maybe it doesn’t shut me off from Utah, or from music. Maybe it opens me up to myself.
Thursday, October 8th, 2009
(Madrid – Metro)
I’m starting to feel at home in Madrid, on the metro. Like I belong. I see the other Americans, recognize the accent, but I know I’m apart from that somehow.
Just now, feeling my new life conforming, starting to fit, like a new pair of jeans, I thought “How quickly I’ve forgotten Utah! How distant it all is!”
But that’s not true. Memories of riding my bike along Windsor Street, summer’s warmth cut with the clear, brisk autumn air. Friday nights going to the midnight movie by myself—it’s as fresh and vivid as ever.
Ha! It’s as real as if it were only two weeks ago.
Friday, October 16th, 2009
(Potsdam – Café)
Feeling better after a walk, even though it’s damp and could out. I almost gave up after one turn around the block, but I warmed as I kept going.
Today marks three weeks that I’ve been here, and I’m finally taking photos. Decent ones, I might add!
Potsdam is lovely, quaint, charming. The people here are all very friendly and very English-speaking, which is nice.
I’m warm and toasty inside a café, with amazing German comfort foods—potato soup with fresh veggies and sausage, brown bread, and hot chocolate.
After this, I’ll practice and maybe read for a bit, then it’s dinner with Beth and hopefully a chance to talk.
If only the whole year could go like this. No work. No Illescas. No hustle and bustle. Anyways.