This week marked the triple celebration of Halloween, All Saints’ Day, and All Souls’ Day in Spain. Halloween isn’t quite as widespread in Spain as it is in the U.S., but some have adopted our tradition of dressing up and going trick or treating. I noticed that Spanish people have a slightly different take on dressing up though. In the U.S., people dress sexy, playful, or funny, but all the costumes I saw in Spain involved blood, scary masks, and horror. They really embrace the dark side of Halloween. On Halloween night I went to a Rosalía concert with my friend Elin in the city center of Madrid. It was a free, outdoor event sponsored by Red Bull in Plaza de Colón. I had no idea who this singer was beforehand, but she was incredible. I would describe her music as a blend of pop and the Spanish style of flamenco-emotional, expressive, and vibrant. Her stage presence resembled Beyoncé’s strong female aura and at one point she even rode a quad on stage.
One thing that I feel really happy about this week is that I joined a gym. This might seem like a miniscule detail, but I have terribly missed exercising. Working out is part of my self-care routine and I really don’t feel the same without regular exercise and that cleansing feeling of sweating. In addition to the physical benefits, exercise is amazing for your mental and emotional wellbeing too. I look at it as a mental vacation from all the details of life and the endorphins aren’t bad either. Feeling healthy and strong translates to feeling more confident and capable in handling whatever life throws your way. Whatever form of exercise you enjoy, do it!
I also had the pleasure of exploring the city of Alcalá de Henares this weekend. It is a charming university town and the birthplace of Miguel de Cervantes, who is the author of Don Quixote de la Mancha. Elin and I went to his house, which has now been turned into a museum. In typical Spanish fashion, we meandered through art galleries, beautiful plazas, churches, and convents.
I have always been a very introspective and philosophical person, but there is something about graduating college that has stimulated my desire to understand my path and where I’m going in life. This week I came across this Chinese proverb called The Red Thread and it says that “an invisible red thread connects those who are destined to meet, regardless of time, place, or circumstance. The thread may stretch or tangle, but will never break.” I found this idea to be so beautiful and comforting- the people who come into our lives are meant to be, whether they be a friend, family member, or lover. Each person we meet, even if only for a brief moment in passing, is in our destiny for our utmost personal growth. There is a purpose for every encounter, experience, and person we meet along our journey. The red thread idea has inspired me to be more grateful for the people along my path, especially the difficult people who push my buttons. If you’re interested in learning more about this legend, I encourage you to check out the resources below.