While I know that blogging rule number one is to never apologize for not writing when life gets in the way, I’m just gonna go ahead and break that rule and explain myself. Here’s why I haven’t written a single word on this blog in more than ten months.
The last post I wrote on May 22 (aka the day before my 28th birthday) touched a hot topic that sparked a lot of chatter on the webs that I honestly was not expecting. I have no problem sharing my opinions on the complex issue of race, but I soon realized that when I decided to share my thoughts on my blog and then subsequently on various Facebook groups that were filled with folks of all colors that had lived in Madrid and Spain much longer than I had, I saw that my views were SO skewed. While I’m glad that my post sparked a conversation, I also was a bit embarrassed that my views on race were limited by the fact that I’m African-American and that the issue of race in America is completely different from race issues anywhere else in the world. It was a weird feeling seeing all these comments directed my way and wanting to respond, while also realizing I didn’t know as much as I thought I did. Not to mention the fact that when you take on an issue like race, there is no such thing as a blanket statement because everyone’s experience is different. The whole experience left me very enlightened, but the combination of all the attention, the stress of getting older (jk I love my age) AND moving home in about a month made me want to crawl into a hole and not come out until it was time for my flight back to America. I took about two weeks to respond to residual commentary from the race post but after that, I shut down all things related to the blog…which leads me to….
Life. Got. Buck. Wild.
As if packing up my life and moving back home for an unknown amount of time weren’t enough of a distraction, I decided to start dating a lovely Spaniard almost exactly a month before I fled Madrid. Also, might I mention that I met this guy the day after breaking up with another guy that I had been dating for the past six months. Sweet timing! So to present more of a time frame, I spent the end of May and the majority of June packing up and shipping out all of my belongings, saying goodbye to all of my friends, running around Madrid with a new boy and I threw in a quick trip to Stockholm for good measure. You know, just keeping things calm (not at all).
As soon as I landed in Washington D.C. and saw my Mom, I knew it was a wrap for Madrid. The idea of returning to Spain seemed less appealing than ever, but I still allowed that little lying shit of a voice inside my head to convince me that I’d only stay in the states if I had a job offer before my return ticket to Madrid on September 11.
Two days after landing, I went on Shayla’s American Tour of the Southeast, visiting family and friends and further cementing the idea that I wanted to stay home for the long haul. I hit the ground running and applied for every writing/editing job under the sun, only to have one interview job for a PR position that I didn’t want in the first place. By August I hit a crossroads. I really wanted to stay home, but I was so fearful that I wouldn’t be able to survive without a job, especially when there was a steady paying job waiting for me in Madrid. I needed to have more of a reason to stay in the states, right? I needed to have a sense of security and a plan and ways to make dollar dollar bills, right? Then, I remembered something I’ve spoken about on this blog many times: I don’t make fear-based decisions. The fact is, simply not wanting to do something is reason enough to not do it, regardless of what I think the outcome may or may not be. I sent an email to my school on August 19 telling them I wasn’t returning as an auxiliar and there was no turning back.
The job offer
As they say, when it rains it pours. After turning down a second year in the auxiliar program, I pretty much hit “oh shit” mode. Although it was unbelievably freeing to realize that I didn’t need to come up with some damn excuse not to return to Madrid other than “I don’t want to go back”, homegirl still had bills to pay and no major source of income. Although I was feeling desperate, all my attempts to force something to happen on the job front weren’t working so I figured now was the time to sit back and chill (ed note: Summertime is the worst time to apply for job, period. If you’re looking for employment during the summer that isn’t a seasonal job, don’t take it personally when people don’t respond. No one gives a shit about your employment when they’re tryna hit the beach.) so I decided to use the other half of my round trip ticket to visit my boyfriend back in Spain. About a week before I left, I noticed a job post looking for a food and travel editor for a content marketing agency in North Carolina. Hmmm? It sounded right up my alley. I shot over my resume and within minutes had an interview scheduled, which led to a skype interview the morning I left for Madrid and another phone interview while I was on the beach in Alicante. I returned from my holiday and had one last in-person interview in NC, and returned home as the new digital editor for Four Seasons Magazine.
What. In. The. World? Even as I write that mini life recap, I still can’t believe how fast everything happened. All of autumn was a whirlwind of packing up all my shit YET AGAIN to move from Maryland to North Carolina, but this time throw in finding an apartment alone, buying furniture, working American hours again and trying to find the energy to entertain my boyfriend who was now visiting me for 6 weeks during his first trip to America. Exhaustion doesn’t even begin to describe. A steady loop of someone crying themselves to sleep probably comes close to how I felt.
So many life changes! What does this mean for the blog?
No clue. This blog has been so many things since I started it and I’ve realized I have more fun with it when I don’t try to classify it or brand it in some way. When I lived in Madrid, I tried really hard to turn it into this massive “look at all the places I’ve been” travel blog but…I’m really not that girl. Here’s a shocking lesson. I learned that while I was doing all that traveling, I actually don’t like traveling! I love exploring new places and cultures, but the act of travel itself is kind of awful and I find airports to be hell on earth. I’m at the point in my life now where I need this blog to be something that I enjoy in order to keep doing it. I will continue to use it as a creative outlet; to flex my finger muscles and pretty much verbal vomit on a website, but I also want to use it to aid other people. I’ve done a lot, I know a lot and I want to share what I’ve done and what I know ONLY if it will help someone else. I might continue to share travel posts but I promise I’ll only do it if it’s interesting because no one gives a shit about a post called “I went to Paris for the weekend and here’s what I did.” BOOOOO HISS.
Finally, I will continue to write about the hot mess/awesome Auxiliares de Conversación program. Although it wasn’t a long-term life change for me, I’m 100% convinced that it is an amazing opportunity that anyone should take advantage of if they have the chance. I’m more than happy to address all of the questions and concerns that arise regarding the program and moving abroad in general, especially since I dove in with my eyes closed and learned from experience!
Ok so what do YOU all want to know about? Trust and believe that now that I’m “back” I have plenty to say, but I’m here to serve too! I received some questions from readers during my hiatus that I plan to address, but if there’s more you want to know, holla at me in the comments section! Hasta luego!