Friday, November 21, 2014

New Place, New People, New Patience

When the time came last year to decide what I wanted to do/where I wanted to go, I decided, after much internal debate, that I wanted to stay in Sevilla, but change from assisting in a high school, to assisting in a primary school. So, in great detail I put in my request and reasons, sent it off, and waited to find out what/where they would say.

A high school in a town an hour from Sevilla.


I'll admit, it was about as far from what I wanted that you could get, but I tried to be positive about it, and just focus on the fact that there was certainly a reason why God had decided to send me to this place that everyone called "La Sarten" (the frying pan). Literally, every single person I spoke to that learned I was placed in Ecija said, "You know what we call it, right? ....La Sarten." It was that or, "That's the hottest place in Andalucia!" (Making it the hottest place in Spain, since Andalucia is the hottest region of the country.) By the 10th, 15th, 20th person, I just said, "Yes, La Sarten." No emotion. 

All of the commentary from other people made it hard for me to be excited, because no one said anything about it other than that it was hot as hell! So I decided to take matters into my own hands (Google's). I looked it up, and saw that it actually looked quite beautiful and impressive -- loaded with towers, churches, and some landscape that wasn't half bad. But just to be sure, I had to do the Energy Test.

The Energy Test simply implies feeling out the energy of something/someone, and then allowing that to help whatever decision you might be in the midst of. I took a bus, went, walked, felt, and imagined myself living there for nine months. I kept asking myself, "Could I live here for nine months?" There were a lot of, "What would I do here for nine months?" moments, and also some, "I can't believe I'll be leaving Sevilla for this," thoughts, as well as the prominent, "If this was under any other circumstances, and I was just here for a weekend to explore, I'd be commenting on how charming it is and how amazing it would be to live here for some months." I just couldn't get past the sadness of leaving Sevilla, or the facts that I'd crossed the whole town on foot in 20 minutes and only encountered one park that did lack a bit of grass for sitting on (not to mention it's literally in the middle of a bunch of agriculture fields, which in early June were all very brown). 

Ecija has a bit more than 40,000 inhabitants, and I think I heard someone say 16 towers. It's next to a small river, it's a really historic place, and truly, a beautiful one. Oh yeah, and it's been my home for the last two months (almost). 

It's definitely been an up-and-down ride for me here, since I love Sevilla so, so, so, sooo much, but I've gotta admit, I love being able to walk from my house to either of my jobs in 3-7 minutes. That and being able to get anywhere in less than 15/not need a car or bike (especially good since mine was stolen). I now understand the draw to living in the city center! And, since it's a small town, people are pretty nice here. Most of us say hi to each other when we're walking down the street, and in my first week, two elderly women initiated conversations with me without me doing anything! (Old Spanish ladies are known for/can be known for being a bit, hmm, how do I say this... observant and judgmental (((human)))? Mostly in respects to outsiders, young people, and unfamiliar things. All of which I encompass.)

All in all, it's been a good experience so far. I'd always said I wanted to live in a town for some months, and yes, I'd been thinking 3-4 months living in a mountain or beach town, but hey, God delivered on the town part anyways! And truly, if the rest of this school year goes by as quickly as the last almost two months have gone, I'm not going to have any opportunity to think, "What the heck am I going to do here for ____ months?" Also, it's insanely easy to get to Sevilla and Cordoba, both amazingly beautiful cities, and that makes it easy for me to leave and travel for the weekend. As it is, I haven't spent more than three or four weekends here since I moved. Life is going at a crazy pace, one that yes, I set, but man, it's f l y i n g ! But really, it's good. I'm learning a lot, loving a ton, and just trying to sleep enough to keep up with everything I've got going on!

Between three jobs, Italian classes twice a week, horseback riding every once in a while, an Integrated Kinesiology class in Sevilla about once a month, a banjo waiting to be learned/played, and all the bureaucratic stuff I've been dealing with, I definitely am maxing out my last months living in Spain! It's a wild time to be alive -- changes are happening all around, in all our lives, and so many opportunities to practice, learn, and apply patience. All about finding the balance in working, relaxing, and devoting enough time to serve God, help others, and enhance myself. (Which if the first two are in order, then the rest lines right up without effort!)

I hope that whatever is going on in your life, you can find time to take to be with yourself, love yourself, and breath deeply and sweetly in this beautiful world that we're blessed to be living in! Sending you endless hugs that are therapeutically long, and wishing you the best weekend!

For your viewing pleasure, here are some pictures of my beautiful, current home...

Blessings, Love & Light my magical brothers & sisters

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