Welcome to my scattered thoughts
WARNING: This is not written well. It has no plot and no real excitement. It’s honest, raw, and completely all over the place like my feelings have been. I wanted to document how I was feeling, so I will never forget that good things do not come easy. I really felt the challenge my first week, and I know there are many more challenges to come. I have been too comfortable my entire life, feeling lucky for always having everything workout in my favor. I was able to control everything around me back at home, but coming here made me relinquish that control. It’s definitely the experience I needed to learn how to cope when things don’t go how I planned.
So here goes nothing…
Day 1: The Flights
3:21 PM This feels like the hardest day of my life. This is the first time I’m truly doing something on my own, which is so empowering and frightening at the same time. I know I have this amazing opportunity that I am so excited for, yet I can’t stop crying at the airport. Leaving my cat yesterday felt so hard, but leaving Nick and my parents today took the cake. I’ve never liked being too far from home, and I can’t get much further now. I haven’t even boarded my first flight… we’ll see if things start to look up.
4:26 PM I’m 8 minutes into my new audio book, Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert, and I already feel better. I couldn’t have picked a better book to read right now. So many reassuring messages about how bravery is needed for creative living… thank you to a friend of mine Gabby for the suggestion. I am going to find my hidden gem inside me as Elizabeth says!
7:27 PM I am now on ATL time… waiting to board my flight to Amsterdam. I feel a lot calmer. I’m just going with the flow and not in any kind of mood. Maybe in the mood for a Bloody Mary? But that’s always my mood. I’m also a little hungry now that I’m calmer.
12:00 PM Made my way into Amsterdam! I didn’t sleep much on my 8 hour flight, but it wasn’t bad either. I loved the airplane food, and I got my Bloody Mary! I’m feeling excited now… only 3 more hours until I land in Alicante. Can’t believe it…
6:51 PM I finally settled into my apartment, and it’s amazing! I couldn’t have been happier… until the sun went down. Now I’m just crying again. I can’t even explain how I feel.
2:25 AM I woke up around 1am and facetimed my parents and Nick because I couldn’t sleep. It’s pretty quiet and lonely in here tonight, so it’s been a rough night. I am excited for the sun to rise and start venturing out tomorrow.
Day 2: My First Full Day
5:17 PM I didn’t sleep a regular schedule last night. I slept from about 8pm-1am, stayed up from 1-5am, and then slept until 11am. Odd, but it worked out because I got to FaceTime with my parents and Nick! [I’m 7 hours ahead.] I started my morning with a walk up the Castillo de Santa Barbara- what a workout!! It’s also unusually hot today for the winter. After hiking, my boss Manna took me to lunch with his family. They kindly walked me around the city and even drove me down to their part of town.
I saw the business school I’m attending and my office building. It’s gorgeous everywhere here! It was nice getting to see everything. It also definitely put me in a better mood! I feel less homesick now, but randomly I get an urge to cry which is weird lol. I also still find it hard to eat and just feel off. But anyway!! Now I’m watching Friends in Spanish since I feel more motivated to learn quickly. 😁
1:53 AM I woke up around 12:30 and couldn’t go back to sleep. My internet stopped working, and I can’t FaceTime my family or friends. This makes me feel lonely and sad, so I find it hard to fall back asleep. Without distractions, all I want to do is cry from being homesick. I haven’t yet though because I can still text on WhatsApp. I hope I fall back asleep soon since I start work in the morning. Now, I’m watching The Great Gatsby on iTunes to distract me.
3:30 AM I still haven’t fallen asleep, and now the tears are rolling. I’m questioning what I’m doing here. It’s so intimidating on top of the fact that I miss home. I am beyond out of my comfort zone, and it’s more painful than I expected. I try to remind myself that good things in life don’t come easy, but it doesn’t really make me feel better.
Day 3: The Office
10:00 AM So bottom line, I feel like shit. I finally fell asleep closer to 5 AM, and I woke up around 8:45 AM. I got to the office at 9:30, and now I’m sitting here unable to think. I met everyone at the office, which was cool though! Still, I can’t believe how terrible I feel. I want to cry again… ugh. I feel sick and exhausted and sad. I can’t even eat.
12:06 AM So I’ve actually had a long, good, productive day! This jet lag has definitely been messing with me, but I forget about it when I’m out and busy. I love my work, and I think I’ll be a great asset to this company! One of my coworkers Rosa took me around the city center, and we went shopping for some essentials. Zara (aka my favorite store) also has a store called Zara Home!!! Yes it’s as amazing as it sounds. So I bought two picture frames. 🙂
I also used Spanish in public for the first time and ordered some food. I ordered “cafe con leche y un crepe con mermelada.” Rosa has been teaching me all day. I’ll be fluent in no time. Hopefully no tears tonight!
2:30 AM I have such bad jet lag. I can’t sleep. I’m so nauseous I barely ate all day. I love it here, but I can’t get used to sleeping alone here. I get so homesick that I can’t force myself to sleep when I’m not tired because all I think about is home. Not to mention Nick’s dog is dying, and I can’t be there for him. So yeah I’m crying again.
Day 4: Settling In
3:00 AM Okay so last night sucked when I couldn’t sleep. I fell asleep around 4am, but I slept in until 10am! My boss took me and my coworker out to lunch at Lizzaran to try “pinchos.” They’re pretty much h’ourderves served on bread. They’re passed around by a waiter, and you get to pick up the ones you want. You pay per toothpick that comes with each pincho. I tried ones that resembled a hash brown and a chicken nugget [BLESS] as well as a chimichurri pork and a chorizo/sausage pincho. I also had what I would call a traditional Spanish cookie “cake pop,” and it was delicious! But more surprisingly, we finished the meal off with a limoncello shot. All together, it was a great meal! [Side note: I learned that McDonald’s serves beer in Spain.] Alas, after work I went to sleep from 8pm-1am, and now I can’t go back to sleep lol. Of course.
Day 5: No Tears
Another normal day at work, but I have big news! I didn’t cry last night for the first time!! And I got sushi for lunch. 🙂 I was hoping to find sushi here! For 12€ I got a 12 piece roll, edamame, and vegetable sakiyoba. P.S. the wasabi wasn’t even spicy!!! Spaniards do not like spicy foods.
Day 6: Grocery Shopping
I went to the grocery by myself! I had to tell the cashier I didn’t speak Spanish, but it all worked out. I was surprised by how cheap the food is here… I got about 6 pieces of chicken for 1,79€, 3 bell peppers for 1,29€, and 3 avocados for about the same price. I also bought some Spanish cheetos which are not the best flavor, so I won’t be buying them again. And I found sour cream and onion pringles– score. I then walked my happy butt home with all of my groceries because I now walk everywhere! This was also the first night I cooked myself dinner. I would like to start cooking good meals but baby steps. Tonight was just chicken and bell pepper.
Day 7: First Day of IMBA
I had a normal work day, but I left early to head to my first day of business school. I met a lot of new people here! They seem pretty cool, and I look forward to getting to know them better. As far as my classes went, I am totally lost!! But I have a feeling I’ll catch up soon. I just need to find out when I’m graduating! My biggest accomplishment of today was taking the TRAM alone, and I didn’t get lost. The TRAM is an extremely efficient bus system. (Take notes Los Angeles.)
Day 8: One full week in Spain
I had the pleasure of attending school again this morning for 5 hours. I got the hang of things more with my classes. After, Rosa and I went to grab lunch where we enjoyed traditional Spanish tapas with some drinks. I tried salmorejo, croquetas, and one other thing like was like a shrimp fritter. It was all delicious! We even got a cheese board that paired nicely with my vino tinto. 🙂
Rosa has been challenging me to speak Spanish in public which has helped a lot! Once I got a buzz going, we headed to the shops– yay for tipsy shopping! I bought a shirt and dress from Zara. 😍 We then got gelato from Heladería Borgonesse. Pistachio is my absolute favorite flavor, and they did it justice!
The night is still young folks! We grabbed another drink after the ice cream right before Rosa’s boyfriend came and met us. They walked me around the city, and then I headed home on the TRAM. Now, I’m home relaxin after this insane week. I FaceTimed my parents and cooked dinner, and now I get to catch up on Grey’s Anatomy!! What a week you guys.
I just want to say THANK YOU for all the love and support. So many of you reached out to me to check on me, and it made a huge difference in lifting my spirit. That’s why I wanted to share this journal with you. I feel pretty lame but hey, when in Rome [sub: Alicante]. I am hoping I only continue to meet more people, travel to beautiful places, improve my skills at work, learn a new language, and graduate with an IMBA.
If I don’t reach out enough, it’s only because I am extremely busy. I work 40 hours a week, and I go to school about 15 hours a week. I want to stay in touch, so please send me a message anytime! And if you are ever near by, let me know. 🙂
My Vlog Diary
Originally posted individually on Twitter (@jewelry_journey)