No One Said This Would Be Easy

I’ve been in Spain for 26 days now.  It’s incredibly difficult to describe how I feel, but I felt I should give it a shot, as I haven’t written anything in English since my third day here.  This is not to say I am having tremendous success in speaking Spanish, just that when I sit down to write, Spanish is what comes out.  It’s hard to put into words the emotions I am feeling, so perhaps it’s better I just write and let my phrases reveal my feelings.

I spend a lot of my days alone, which really isn’t helping me adjust.  Vero works during the day, so unless I take the bus and then the train into Madrid, I am alone in the house Monday through Friday.  On the days I choose to stay here, I walk to the supermarket, which can be more frustrating than it should be, and sometimes I just randomly walk around the neighborhood to get a little exercise.  I watch a lot more TV than I did in Wallingford, and despite it being in Spanish, it’s a lot of crap I’d rather not waste my time on.  If I decide to take the bus into the city to meet Veronica when she gets out of work, I have to time it just right.  It takes almost two hours from the time I get on the bus to the time I get off the train in Madrid.  It gives me time to think and I try my best to go over things in my head in Spanish as all too often I find myself thinking in English, something I am working hard to avoid.  Except for right now of course.  I know my way around the Puerta Del Sol a little bit now, so I can walk around or browse various stores, but typically I end up in Starbucks or Dunkin Coffee (Donuts) writing in my notebook as I wait for Vero to get out of work at 7:30.

Once we are together, I am happy.  She is genuinely happy when I come meet her in Madrid and we ride home together.  At first it was difficult, as I struggled to talk in the car on the ride home, but I have been forcing myself to make conversation, even if it’s foolish topics.  She asks me about my day and while it’s hard to chronicle nothing, I do my best to make it sound interesting.  Once home, we make dinner.  Well, I watch her make dinner and I set the table.  We eat while watching more crappy television, clean up, and head upstairs where we cuddle in bed, again with the TV on, until she falls asleep in my arms.  I suppose all the boredom I experience during the day without her is a fair price to pay when we get to fall asleep together every night.  I just wish right now I didn’t have to spend so much of my time alone.  I had plenty of time to be alone in Connecticut. I want to be with people.  I want to do things.  OK, before I go too far, it should be pointed out that right now, I can’t really do anything to change the current situation.  We are not yet legally married, which means I can not work, which means I have to sit here and wait basically.  She sees how bored I am and she feels bad, but we both know I just have to be patient.  Hopefully, it will only be a few more weeks before I can finally get out and look for a job.

I did find a group that meets at the library just around the corner from our house.  It’s a small group of adults that meets every Tuesday to practice speaking English.  I was welcomed to the group as I can both help them with their English and work on my Spanish at the same time.  It’s only once a week, but it’s a start.  I also had the notion of suggesting a book club that could possibly also meet once a week which would be another wonderful opportunity for me to focus on my Spanish.

I don’t want anyone to think I am not happy here, that is far from the truth.  I just get frustrated feeling trapped in this one spot.  Hopefully a job will get me going and I would very much like to have a car.  I know driving here is a bit different, but I miss the freedom of getting in my car and just driving for the sake of driving.  That may never happen here, but who knows?  Of course I miss the better parts of my life back home, and it’s hard not to think of it, but at the same time, when I think about the aggravation I experienced in my job or the loneliness I felt each night when I went to bed, I know I made the right choice in coming here.  It’s just going to take me a long time to adjust to being here, and I may never fully integrate myself as I would like to.

I think about  living in the United States with Veronica, and even she has suggested we consider moving there at some point, but I don’t know if it’s as easy as she would like it to be.  I honestly can’t imagine never going back there, but it is not something that will happen anytime soon.  Sure, we will visit and I can’t wait to see my family in person again, but in order for me to be with Veronica, to have a life of my own, I had to sacrifice quite a bit of what I had in the United States.  Again, I do not regret my choice, but that doesn’t make saying good-bye to all I knew any easier.

In a few minutes I’m going to have a Skype conversation with a guy from Bilbao. He wants to practice English and he says he will help me with my Spanish.  I’m a little nervous, but I know this is the kind of thing I should be doing to make myself more comfortable.  In any case, I better go prepare.  I’ll try to keep up here a little more frequently, as it is good to clear my head once and a while.  OK, we’ll talk soon.  Adios.


~ by James on March 11, 2016.

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