Open Book

Authored by:
Allison V.

Allison V.

Buenas tardes,

This week I’ve been exploring this magical country for 2 months already! It’s unexplainable to me how fast time moves when you are busy.
I am in my fourth week of teaching and I love my job more and more everyday. My students give me so much joy and every day they get better at English. Their interaction skills are improving so much throughout the last four weeks; it makes me excited for the future! The students are starting to open up to me and express themselves in English. I encourage them to try to explain the Spanish word in English and help them form connections to the English language and culture. This week, I taught my 2nd grade class about the 50 states. I explained to them how each state belongs in a region, and how each state is unique. While I was making this lesson, I realized how incredibly beautiful and diverse our country is. From the landscapes, to foods, to people, to traditions, there is so much to see throughout the United States. It made me anxious to start to travel around the United States more throughout my lifetime.
Since it is another milestone in my time of being here, today I want to talk about the ways I am changing and the feelings I am experiencing.
If I learn anything in Spain within this year, it will be patience. In the United States, we do everything so quick because its expected to be done quick. That is not the case in Spain. People understand that life happens and something the deadlines are not always met, and things may not be done right away. That is something for us Americans that does get frustrating in a foreign country, but is something that I can adjust to. Patience is something I struggle with personally so, it is a good experience and challenge for myself.
The most difficult concept for me is to fully be where I am in the present. It is something that is so easy to struggle with considering my life is back in the United States. Although, I have loved ones in the United States it has remained important to me to make sure I am still focused on what I am doing in Madrid. There is this constant pressure to be making a “check list” of your life and step by step. Constantly doing things but thinking about the next step, but I am trying to eliminate that concept from my life.  When I was in Barcelona, a orientation leader told me that there is a famous Spanish saying that is translated in English and it means “if you plan everything, you will worry yourself to death.” I am enjoying myself and trying to trust the path my life, as hard as that may be.
Patience and having faith in the timing of your life are two things I have always struggled with. This blog is an open book, because I want others to read it and be able to relate. Living in a foreign country does not make all your problems go away or be solved, but what it does do is open your eyes to ways to improve. Living in a foreign country as always proved to me what my values, morals, and goals are. When you set out of your comfort one, whatever that may be (The United States, a friend group, a job, a town), you see that you truly are capable of more than you think. 
With that, I want to leave everyone wtih some inspiration and challenge everyone reading this to do something new because you can.

Have a great week,

Allison Vote







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