Sometimes I feel like no matter what I do, no matter where I turn, I am somehow wrong.  I buy the wrong food, I say the wrong thing, I wear the wrong clothes.  I felt out of place when I arrived here in Spain over a year ago and you would think by now I would be comfortable, but it seems like everyday is yet another struggle to get my life in order.  I love my daughter more than you can imagine and I hate anytime I am away from my wife, but aside from the two of them, I have nothing here in Spain and I desperately want to return to the United States.  Perhaps if I had found a job immediately or if I found myself speaking Spanish with ease I wouldn’t feel this way but when I think about spending several more years here my heart sinks.  I want nothing but the best for my family and I feel like the only way I can provide that is to be back in the U.S. where I feel like I fit in.  I am always lost here.  I have always been a timid person, and being in situations like this hasn’t helped.  I thought my new job would ease my worries, but in reality it has only made me feel worse.  For the most part, the people have been nice to me, but I am constantly making mistakes and there are a few employees who have made me feel very bad about myself.  I am doing the best I can, but between the language barrier and the fact they do things very differently than I am used to, it has been almost impossible to adjust.  I know I shouldn’t take the job any more seriously than I take anything else, but once again I feel like no matter what I do, something goes wrong.  I needed to request a day off, and thankfully they granted it, but I am convinced when I go in today I will discover instead of just giving me a day off, they will have switched me to another day that I already know I can’t work.  I need to take my daughter to the doctor on Monday and I am almost certain they will have changed my day off from Monday to Friday to grant me the day off I requested.  I don’t want to have to explain the situation to them, as I know it’s going to further complicate things, but I don’t know what else to do if they did in fact schedule me to work Monday in place of Friday, as I need both of those days off.

Every second that ticks by as I wait to leave for work increases my anxiety.  I know it’s foolish to be so stressed out but I can’t help it.  I dread going to work and I race to leave as soon as my time is up.  I wish at least it were more similar to my work back home.  At least then I would feel I had a place.  No matter where I go I feel lost.  I try to be happy at home with my family, but I just stress out about the next day.  I only find solace when I go to bed, but I dread waking up to face another day here.  We’ve talked about going home in November to spend a week with my family and it’s all I am looking forward to, but I know it’s going to be near impossible to return to Spain afterwards.  My daughter won’t be making the trip to the U.S. and she will be the only reason I will want to return.  I don’t hate Spain and I have nothing bad to say about the people.  It’s just not my home.  I know it’s unfair to ask my wife to give up her life here so that I can be happy in the United States, but she has said time and time again she would go wherever I wanted to go.  Obviously she wants our daughter to experience the culture of Spain and have time to know her family here, but given how far away all her relatives in Spain are, living in the U.S. won’t be that much different.  I know it will be hard for my wife to be far from home, but we have already talked about having her parents come visit us in the U.S.

I’ll never say I regret the decisions I have made.  It crushes me to think of my wife in Spain alone or not having my daughter.  I love them both intensely and hate to imagine any sadness falling into their lives, but sometimes I think about the life I left behind and I have to tell myself no matter what happens, I can never go back to that, even if we move back to the U.S. I miss being able to go grab a coffee or order a pizza whenever the mood struck me.  I liked the idea of going to the movies alone on a Thursday afternoon when the rest of the world was at work. I liked my trips to the laundromat or sitting at Starbucks for hours scribbling in my notebook. It many ways, it was a lonely life, but it was also the life I had created for myself.  This life is nothing like anything I ever predicted.  Sure, it some ways it’s incredible.  The guy who packed up and left everything behind to marry the woman of his dreams in a foreign country.  It’s the stuff for movies I guess, but unfortunately, it’s not playing out the way it should.  Life is hard, I know this.  I didn’t have to move to Spain to know that things will always be tough, but I guess I thought maybe finally I was going to catch a break.  I’m 35 and I’ll be 36 in just over a month.  I’d like to say I have a lot of life ahead of me and this is only one chapter of a very long book.  I plan to see my daughter off to college someday, which means I have to go on living at least 18 more years or so.  The first 18 years of my life weren’t so terrible.  I struggled a bit during the next 18, but maybe the 18 I have ahead of me will be a little better.  I’m not going to try to live my life through my daughter but as long as I can see happiness in her eyes, I will be OK.  Her happiness is my only priority from now on.

I try to say that someday I will look back on my time in Spain and laugh about it.  Right now I feel trapped here.  I want to go home but it’s just not possible.  I can’t tell my wife that I feel trapped, she will think I don’t want to be with her, and that’s not the case.  I just want to continue this chapter of my life in the United States.  Of course that will be another challenge in itself.  Being married will help, but there will still be a lot of forms to fill out and fees to pay before she can come with me to the U.S.  My daughter will have no problem, as she is considered a U.S. citizen, but I won’t leave here without my wife.

This has been the hardest thing I have ever had to do and I know it won’t get any easier, but I just want the chance to live my life with my wife and daughter in the place where I grew up.  For now, I have to get ready for work and hope that things go smoothly for the rest of the day.  Until next time.


~ by James on March 8, 2017.

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