January 31, 2012 § 20 Comments
If you read my blog you probably read other blogs – you probably read about travel – or recipes – or workouts. Maybe marriage or children – or fashion – or home design. In all of this reading I bet you have heard about vision boards.
I learned about the vision board from the woman herself, Oprah. Before she went and left us I watched a show [probably 3+ years ago] on visualization and surrounding yourself with the things you want in life.
I am not that person that thinks you can just sit in your house imagining your dream job and looking at pictures of money until the CEO of Google comes knocking with a bag full of signing bonus. You gotta get out there and work it.
But I do believe that what we think about, what we see everyday, the kind of people we associate with, affect our future.
I had a pretty kick-A vision board before I moved to Spain. I worked hard on it and had it displayed in my second bedroom [i.e. ironing / workout room turned packing headquarters.] I saw it every morning.
The vision board was photographed and then discarded before the move east. I mean, what would the Spaniard think of this crazy American with her dreams plastered all over a poster board. [Not to mention – one corner of my board was devoted to love and marriage. FREAK – he would have surely kicked me out.]
But let’s take a look… what have we here?
The blonde marries the tall dark and handsome?
Head in a new direction?
Call me a vision board convert. When I was cutting out pictures of love – that is all I was looking for – photos that oozed love. But, yes I will take the tall, dark and handsome.
I had no expectation when I cut out “head in a new direction” – I just wanted something to show openness to the future and opportunity.
So let this be a warning: be careful what you visualize.
Now that I am moving back – now that I have a whole new world – a whole new family and an entire heart of new dreams – I need a new board. A new set of dreams for the big, bright future.
Off to find the scissors and a stack of magazines I do not own.
If you knew with 100% certainty that whatever you visualized would come to fruition – what would you picture?
January 26, 2012 § 16 Comments
I have something to add to the list of things I love about Spain.
The Emotions – they are all put in public.
If you’re having a $hi! day there is no need to smile. There are no unnecessary niceties around here. “How are you?” (or the spanish equivalent) will not be met with the American standard “fine.” From my experience, you will hear how it really is.
Say it loud. Say it proud.
If angry at your boyfriend/girlfriend/partner/spouse and you happen to be in a public place, there is no need to wait until you get home to make it known. If you’re in a restaurant – no problem. If you’re walking down the street – get it out. Anywhere is ok to be angry, speak with authority and let your grievance be known.
If you’re sad – if you’re overwhelmed and the tears won’t stop – don’t stifle the flow. Leave the waterworks on. There is nothing more therapeutic than a good cry – all alone – walking down the street.
I love the openness and acceptance of emotions. I have seen all of the above scenarios here in Madrid. And yes, I’ve participated myself.
Life is not all sunshine and roses – and problems don’t always arise in the comfort of our own homes.
I say, get it out. Even if you’re all out in public.
What do you say? Okay to cry in public?
[Now let’s be clear – there is still a standard of self respect and tastefulness that must be kept. You can’t let all your mess hang out. At least I try to reign it in.]
January 23, 2012 § 26 Comments
When people ask – “why are you moving back to the States?” – my response is easy – “this has always been the plan.”
[the Spaniard and the American – newly in love – talking via skype from their respective countries – brainstorming plans for the coming years…]
“So I will move to Spain and then we will move back to the U.S.? What if I want to stay in Europe?” the blonde girl says.
“Well,” he replied “I want to move to the States. I want the opportunity to live in a new country too.”
“Okay, fair enough.”
And that was that. The plan that was made nearly 2 years ago is coming to fruition.
That’s right, we are moving west!
Duty calls and I will begin working in February.
The Spaniard will be finishing up necessary work in Spain for a few months – but before we know it we will be living la vida loca stateside.
I am excited beyond belief to move home. As it turns out I do not want to stay in Europe. There are so many things that I love about this life, but living here has been harder than I expected (or maybe just as hard as I anticipated?)
I am thrilled to be working again. When I moved, leaving my job was one of the hardest parts. To be surrounded by family and friends again will feel like a dream.
However, I am aware of the many many things I am going to miss about living in Europe. This experience has changed my life, but I don’t see that stopping now.
I envision our lives being very cross-continental. Months here – summers there – Thanksgiving stateside and New Years spainside. I know this will take time – to situate our careers and finances to support our country-hopping. But one thing is for sure – there are no borders – life is our oyster – and we will make it whatever we want!
Isn’t that exciting!? There are brief moments when I really see no limits. Because why should there be?
From the moment I stepped on the first plane to Spain my life has not been the norm… and I don’t see that changing any time soon. And I suppose that has always been the plan.