Thursday, November 26, 2009


Shift your focus from what your life lacks and dwell on the abundance that is present. Too many times I have decided to, instead of be grateful, mope around in some type of self-pity, when all the while all around me are so many blessings. They go unnoticed far too much, and the sad thing is, it´s so easy to just change you thinking to up your mood.
With that being said, I want to list some things I am grateful for. Since it is one of the best exercises for mood-upping. And it is also Thanksgiving.
I have the most amazing parents in the world. They work so hard at everything they do, without complaining, without fail, with unconditional love. They are my heroes. My mother has the qualities I hope to have soon, and my father is the model of a man I will be looking to marry someday.
ve been blessed with the opportunity to be away this year, to be put in difficult situations, fun situations, and just strange situations.
Scenery is incredible. There´s not much grass here, but I sure can see the sea and sky.
Music is alive. And it enchants me.
The sun always shines here.
My host dad makes me laugh.
My brother is fighting for American freedom, in this very moment.
I´m halfway to being bilingual.
I´m never going to view my world the same.
I´ll always laugh at myself when I mess up. I´ll get back up and try again.
And I´m completely happy with that.
Nothing but gratitude. And love.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Lady in Spain

Gratitude is the memory of the heart. Jean Baptiste Massieu

Spain is where I am. It is my home this year, and now I am really starting to feel it. My days are normal and I go about my life pretty comfortably. I can speak to more people in my host language, I can understand far more that is said in school, and I can read bits and pieces of magazines.
Alicante is my city. I don´t get lost any more, I give strangers directions. I don´t mind walking anymore, as it provides me with endless places to see. You cannot take the car out on the rocks and cliffs on the Mediterranean, you must walk. It is fantastic. I have been here nearly 2 1/2 months, and life is good. I have such an appreciation for life, more than I ever imagined I would have. I thought I was observant before, but now it seems as though I notice every little thing. The world is so much bigger, I don´t think I will ever stop saying that. And I think more than I ever have (now in Spanish and English), about EVERYTHING. My brain is processing much, as is my heart and my spirit. Every situation I go through is a learning process. I laugh, I stress, I cry, I breath, I grow.
And this life is my life that I love.

Monday, November 2, 2009

don´t worry, be happy.

It really is hard for me to grasp that the month on the calendar actually is November. Sunny with a high of 7osomething isn´t exactly what I expected for this time of year. But no complaints here. So next week I will have been here two whole months, with approximately 8 more left. Crazy. Still cannot believe I´m living my dream.

Casi dos meses y he aprendido mucho. Me encanta Alicante.

I feel as though every week marks some sort of improvement. While I cannot always see the improvement in my Spanish speaking, I do always notice something, like my relationship with my host family growing or I seem to be fitting in better at school, or a general boost of confidence--always something. I am nothing but grateful. I´ve noticed I smile more lately. Life here is beginning to feel almost normal. The routine is becoming quite natural, and easier than before.

So the my Physical Education class here actually is the real deal. At my old school we would do a lot of walking and maybe some basketball, but here we run. Corriendo. Lunes-15 minutos. Martes-25 minutos. Jueves-35. Viernes-todo tiempo en clase. Mas o menos 45-50 minutos. Thus, my calves are beasts. We run a lot. And I also swim a few days a week. Planning on being in pristine shape upon my return to the states. Or just to compensate for all of the eating I am doing here..
There are some little quotes I have either read, heard from friends or family, or come up with which have helped me a lot lately. When I need to get on track and focus on my task at hand, or just chill out and de-stress, there are some things I like to dwell on:
"doubt restricts dreams from becoming reality",
"take advantage of your opportunities",
"imagine a life brimming with spontaneity",
"always be true to yourself", and
"live one day at a time".
And my favorite, spoken from a true Spaniard, in purest form (strong accent which makes me laugh always): "don´t worry, be happy". Happiness in Spanish is a completely new feeling. Laughter is universal, but takes new form and provides new feeling when another language spoken evokes it.