Monday, August 3, 2015

I Swear I lived... Final reflections and a mix of emotions

Last day August 1: Calle Estafeta
As I was on a train the other week, the One Republic song "I Lived" came on my ipod and as I listened to the words I felt a sinking realization that my time in Europe was coming to end and as I sit here in the ATL airport I feel the same as I did in that moment listening to that song. The end may be here and I am sad to be gone, but I am so content with my experience because I did do it all. I took the jump and never once felt the fall.

1st day Jan 21st: Calle Estafeta 
The last 6 and a half months have filled me, have changed me, and have opened my eyes to a new world and a new handful of things that I can do that I never before knew or understood. Its hard to describe these things, hard to express my gratitude and growth. And even harder to decide if I am happy or not to be back in the U.S. Don't get me wrong, I am trilled about the year ahead of me. Senior year will come with a new set of adventures shared with my East TN family who I have missed with all of my heart. I'm neither happy nor sad to be back. I feel like I'm floating in and out of emotions: longing for what I have left and eager for all that lies ahead of me. For months, my mentors in Pamplona, my rocks, and my life lines this semester, have warned me about the terrible thing called "post erasmus depression". I don't quite feel it yet, but I am also not settled back into my Maryville routine.

La plaza in all its glory 
I spent my last hours in Pamplona perfectly. Although the city was a bit sad without all of "my people" in it, it was nice to still feel at home there. Many people have asked me about my favorite places in Europe and I always think, this or that place was nice but I can't include Spain. Spain is different, its my second country, it holds part of my heart. The culture, the people, and the language captivate me and I hold them dear and close. Walking through the streets, going to the regular bars for final pinxos, a last night in my piso and with Nele and meeting up with Pablo Simpatico one last time filled me with happy last memories, and for that I am incredibly grateful.
One last Plaza selfie 

I have been contemplating the words for this final blog for a while as my departure creeped up on me. It's difficult though. Nothing seems right or to do justice to all that I have done, seen, learned and felt, but it is my hope that all if anything, everyone can see how great this experience has been for me and that all of the people who I have grown to love these 6 and a half months feel my love and understand how truly important they all are to me. There may be some people that I will never see again, there are some people that I know I will actively seek out in the future, and I hope that as I have learned that the world really is small that there are people that fate will cross my paths with again in the future.

I feel full. I feel blessed. I feel thankful. I feel love and I feel so loved.

I just feel things ;)

My people: My Erasmus Family