A year of big changes

Feliz ano nuevo! Happy New Year! I hope 2014 proves to be a great one for us all!

I feel very blessed because 2013 was an incredible year for me. I have been very lucky to live in two completely different places: Anchorage and now Madrid. In my wildest dreams I never dreamt that I would live in either of these cities. Making both these moves has challenged me and has forced me to live outside my comfort zone! Here’s a quote that I found quite fitting:

“We cannot expect to grow if we are too afraid or unwilling to change and face challenges. When we exit our everyday, mundane lifestyles to do something different we can experience growth, undiscovered strength, and new abilities within ourselves.”
― Ashley Ormon

When deciding to move to Alaska, I thought to myself, “Porque no?” Why not? My friends encouraged me, along with my sister, to take the leap! The idea of it all seemed so easy…Besides I was no longer a college student….no longer a K-state cheerleader. I was back at the bottom of the totem pole after graduating from college. I prayed about it a lot and it seemed like the right thing to do.

After moving in October (2012) I easily found a job and made new friends. Then winter set in….and not just winter, but a very very looooooong winter. Luckily I was able to endure the cold, dark days and even a snow in May! :/ Then summer came (I swear there are only two seasons, winter and summer). Summer was amazing! Camping every weekend, traveling to nearby towns, and having sunlight for most of the day. I love looking back at pictures because Alaska is truly an amazing place, with breathtaking sights! Glaciers, bears, fresh fish, mountains, waterfalls, and mucho mas!!

Working in Anchorage challenged me in new ways as well. I was put into situations that I had never been in before. I was able to gain experience and discover new things about myself.

Then I decided to move to Madrid! I applied to a program through the Spanish government in January (with lots of help from Xiu) to be a language assistant in Madrid. After waiting and waiting to hear back from the government, I finally found out that I had been accepted to the program. I was so excited that Xicu and I would not only be in the same country, same time zone, but in the same city!

Once again, the idea of it all seemed so easy to me. I took a spanish class while still in Anchorage, because I thought it’d be a good idea to brush up, since I hadn’t had Spanish since h.s. But in all honestly, moving here has been the easiest/hardest way of learning spanish. It’s been the easiest because I have been forced to speak in spanish and hardest because I’d be lying if I said the spanish language has been a piece of cake for me. Overall I know I have made a significant amount of improvement. I recently watched a video of myself before christmas (courtesy of Xicu) when I was still living in Alaska, and I couldn’t even say “Los dias de la semana” (the days of the week). After watching the video I thought, okay okay I have come a long ways.

Being a teacher is also something different for me. Once again outside of my comfort zone. Although, I’ve come to really enjoy it. I’ve even had thoughts of going back to school to be a teacher. Vamos a ver!

Whether it be taking classes, starting a family, learning a new language, living in a different place, eating/making a new food, changing jobs, traveling to a foreign country, introducing yourself to faith, etc. Do something different this year. Live outside your comfort zone, even if it’s only for a week. It may not be easy, it maybe scary–I know it has been for me–but who doesn’t want to learn and experience new and exciting things? Who knows what this next year will bring for me? Every day presents a new challenge and opens my eyes to new experiences. Right now I feel very content and happy. I need to count my blessings more often! God has blessed me with an amazing life, great friends all over the world, an incredible family and boyfriend, and I have my health!

Cheers to a new year! Salud!

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