“Some people pass through our lives in a shorter time frame than we had hoped to teach us things they never could have taught if they stayed.” – Anonymous
A friend who reads my blogs tells me to write like how I speak and think in person, so here it goes. I am sitting here planning my trip home for the holidays while listening to the Killers new Christmas album. I can’t help but think about how 2016 has flown by. So many wonderful events have happened in my life and I have been blessed to meet many new friends. I am thankful!
This past week, I came across a great quote at the right moment, “Some people pass through our lives in a shorter time frame than we had hoped to teach us things they never could have taught if they stayed.”
A friend of mine recently moved back to the United States from Spain. After seeing her to say goodbye, I thought about my first interactions with her and our time in Madrid together. It was not a very long period of time, but we connected instantly. Looking back, I realized that she taught me a lot about myself within a few weeks. Before my arrival to Spain, I had never shared a room with anyone. She taught me the value in going through tough times with a buddy. Our first weeks in Madrid were great, however, like any transition or change in life, it took some time to get adjusted. She was with me and I was with her through those challenges. We did not know it at the time, but we conquered the initial culture shock with each other. We did this by talking through things that at the time were our topic of the day. Looking back, we were going through some tough, tough adjustments. We did not realize it at the time because we were in our routine and day to day life in Spain became our new reality.
Time passes and we move on with our lives. Even when you live abroad! I have been so busy going through the motions of my new routine (post summer) that when I saw her to say goodbye, I did not realize over two months had passed since we last saw one another. For me, a flood of emotions surfaced and memories came back so clearly to my mind. My purpose and reason for being here flashed before my eyes. It was as if I had been in a time warp and all of the sudden reality hit me in the face again. It was my roommate, my friend. She was leaving. Where had the time gone? She was my friend that gave me the idea to write and blog about my grandmother. She was with me when I had hit a moment of despair and homesickness after a phone call with my grandmother two weeks into the journey. She knew what I was going through having a grandmother with dementia since she had just lost hers to the same illness. I am forever grateful for my friend who not only encouraged me to write but also, assisted with the creation of my blog called Teacher Connection.
I looked at my friend one last time and knew that both our journeys have just begun. She went back to the states for personal reasons that have only created the driving force inside me to want to push harder and do better. My time in Madrid has just started and I intend to make it just as impactful as the first weeks we shared.
Over the course of 2016, I realized that I was afraid to say goodbye to friends and family. I always had a fear of saying goodbye because it always seemed so permanent. But, after I saw her one last time, I knew that things were going to be ok. As I get older, I realize that each person I meet comes into my life to teach me something. I consider them and what they teach me to be a valuable lesson. In this instance, my lesson was that it is ok to say goodbye and sometimes we need to in order for our journey to continue the way it is intended.
I have met many people throughout my journey but what I find so interesting is the reflection part that happens after you meet them. Whether you want to think that a person had an impact on you, in a good or bad way, usually they do. It is how you use that interaction to influence that is important. For example, I met someone who encouraged me to start writing about my grandmother while in Spain to help me better harness those feelings of missing her. The writing has helped me and in turn, it’s made me meet a variety of other teachers. My grandmother’s always remembered each time I write a blog. My roommate taught me things that I could not have learned if she had stayed. She has an iron will and she is someone I will consider a friend for life.
This blog is dedicated to the CIEE 4 week immersion group that arrived in August. We have been in Madrid for four months. Wherever you are, take a moment to reflect on all that you have accomplished and think about all the opportunity that lies ahead of you. Be proud.
Photo credits: Nicole Geist
Ciao for now,
Leesa with two EE's