Building a Home

Hola amigos,

This past week my family came out to visit me for Christmas. The time flew by, but it was wonderful to be together and show them around. On Christmas day, we had lunch at my place and my señora prepared an authentic Spanish feast: bread, cheese, shrimp, tortilla de patatas, ham, a mango dessert, and Spanish candies called turrón. In addition to exploring the neighborhoods and sites in Madrid, we also went on day trips to Cuenca, Segovia, and Toledo. And of course we ate a ton of food too…They were astounded by the amount of food that comes with the menu del día option and we definitely experienced our fair share of food comas but it was worth it! One thing that my brother pointed out that I hadn’t noticed before is the prevalence of street art and graffiti around the city of Madrid. They also loved how great public transportation is here, the charming streets, and the rich history of Spain, but I think they’re ready to go back to the warm weather in SoCal. Until next time!

One thing about growing up and post grad life is the shifting configuration of home. In most cases, we live somewhere with our family until we graduate high school, then we leave the nest for university, and after that we might go back home or venture somewhere new, or a mix of both. Something shifted for me my junior year of university. I came home for Thanksgiving break and my childhood home didn’t feel like home anymore. Not necessarily in a bad way; things just felt different. Maybe I felt my world expanding and knew that I had popped the Orange County bubble? Graduating university and moving to Spain gave me that similar expanded feeling…where is home now?

I’ve talked about this idea with my good friend Megan and what we’ve come to realize is that “home” is within yourself. Home is wherever you are in the world. It is not a physical place, but something you create wherever you are. I love this idea because it gives you full freedom and responsibility to create your joy and comfort no matter where you are or what circumstances you are in. Its on you to build your home. You can paint it and decorate it however you like…and remember that you hold the paint brush and the canvas is within you.

Feliz año nuevo!

Love,

Manders

P.S. Thank you Mommy, Daddy, and Ezra for coming out here..come and visit anytime:)

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