I am back in Madrid now. My last day and a half in Holland was pure bliss in Apeldoorn with Karel, Roelfina, Egbert, Tsjalling, Caroline, and Hanna. We had lunch all together at their house and just spent the day together. I feel so grateful to have met them, as well as the rest of my family members, but this family in particular really made me feel like I was part of the family. I felt so at home and at ease in their presence. They reminded me so much of my family back in Anaheim Hills. How crazy is it that I didn’t even know these people existed two weeks ago? I miss Holland so much already. It feels like I left my heart there. But that is kind of true because I am completely in love with my family and everything about the Netherlands. So much love, so much family, so much connection. I felt so in sync with everything there, even though it’s not my home country. But maybe the U.S. was never my only home country? Despite the detours and many minutes spent being lost and feeling lost, Holland was marvelous! I guess that’s life though. Does anyone have life figured out or are we all just pretending like we actually know what we’re doing?
As you can imagine, coming back to Madrid after such a life-changing holiday to Holland has been difficult to say the least. Being in Holland for ten days with my family has made me realize how disconnected I feel in Spain. I feel so utterly alone, isolated, exhausted, incapable, and frustrated with myself. Maybe it’s too early to say that, especially since I haven’t started teaching yet or gotten into any sort of a routine here, but I’m struggling to feel comfortable. I am hoping that I will begin to feel more settled once I start teaching next week, but I have no idea how this is going to pan out. All I can really do now is take it day-by-day and make the most of my experience. The whole point of me coming to Spain was to get outside my comfort zone and learn how to navigate life by myself. But that has proven to be a lot more difficult than I initially expected. Whether I like it or not, being in Spain has brought all of my insecurities and fears to the surface and has forced me to either rise to the occasion with courage or retreat to my comfort zone. I have definitely done both, but personal growth is a mixture of taking steps forward and taking steps backwards. I guess right now I’m trying to figure out how to love myself during this adjustment period of foreignness, change, and uncertainty.
What helps me during times of sadness and self-doubt is looking to inspirational people for hope. I am a big fan of Lewis Howes and the work he does for the benefit of society. He is an author, speaker, and entrepreneur who is focused on personal growth and living wholeheartedly. I highly recommend checking him out on YouTube or social media if you’re interested in some inspiration and positivity.
“A reminder from the heart…You were made to reflect love. No matter what you are going through, who hurt you, how much frustration you are feeling…be love. Anything else only hurts the world inside you and keeps you from being of service to the world. Learn to respond with kindness to others, and most importantly to your heart.”
Sending you all lots of love and hugs from Spain! I hope this message finds you well:)
P.S. The above right picture is of my Oma rock climbing somewhere in the south of Spain and the left picture is from my visit with Johan to the dunes in Castricum.