Hello there, the best of friends, long time no post.

I’ve been busy letting school and work(s) suck the life out of me. No time to be self-reflecting, even though it is what I need to most.

I’m facing complications about graduating…I’ve been keeping quiet about it until today when a fellow co-worker at school asked about it. Well, the secret is out. I just need this professor to respond to my e-mail so I can have this situation fixed. He hasn’t replied despite promising that he would. So I have no choice but to invade his office tomorrow.

As if dealing with that isn’t enough, I am having to defend my decisions to move to Spain to my immediate family members. Although I have been telling them of my plans several times, they didn’t seem to retain the information until they saw that I am taking the necessary steps to make my dream come true. I guess it is becoming more ¨real¨ to them now.

Thank goodness the closest person is extremely supportive, but that’s not the case with the others. Last month, the conversation ended in a heated argument…and I cried for hours. All I wanted was for them to support my decision and nothing more. What I got for being honest and brave was having my dream belittled.

¨How are you even going to make money? The economy is so bad there. So many people are unemployed. If you go there you will be a second class citizen.’

Erm, hell no they didn’t.

First of all, it is my life.

Second of all, even my birth giver isn’t against my decision; and she gave me life.

Thirdly, I am going there legally to earn an honest living, not to become a prostitute (not that I have anything against legal and consensual prostitution, actually). I will have a Bachelor’s degree by then, with one of the double majors in Spanish; and I’m looking forward to make good use of it. I didn’t become literate in the language due to some fairy dust. It took hard work, practice, and a lot of courage to learn a new language – and a third one at that. Not to mention that I started studying Catalan. So now or never.

Also, I am deeply offended by the ¨second class¨ citizen comment. Hell, the Spanish people treated me nicely than my fellow countrymen back in Asia. And here in the US, I’m practically a fourth class citizen, so it won’t be anything new. I have found most people from Spain to be very cordial, even though I was expecting to run into some rude people just like anywhere else in the world. But when you take into account how beautiful the way of life, landscape, architecture, and infrastructure are, having to deal with the people really isn’t the number one concern. As if it doesn’t get any better, (most, to be politically correct because America) Spanish people are polite and welcoming enough…more than my compatriots here and there. When I had to leave a little Spanish town, I actually cried at the dinner table thinking about how unreal their hospitality had been.

I am not dreaming that everything there will be perfect. I’m really not. It wouldn’t be surprising that I might struggle to pay rent, think twice about buying food, be lonely as hell, have a tough time meeting the locals, fail to understand the language, face cultural shock, etc., etc. But I cannot pass the opportunity to live and travel in and out of this gorgeous country while I am young, willing,and able. I just can’t.

Their shoes haven’t clinked on the hundreds and hundreds of years old cobblestone streets. Their legs haven’t endured a bike ride that lasted hours under the blue summer sky. Their lungs have never inhaled the Mediterranean breeze. Their breaths haven’t been taken away by the cathedrals and castles. Their tongues have never been surprised by the Iberian flavors. Their cheeks never caressed by some sweet Spanish man…

They haven’t experienced it and they will never know.

These are my shoes; I will walk in them and stand by my dream.

~Brisa

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