Parting is such sweet sorrow… or is it just sweet?
Before you read this, you SHOULD read “Why I left”
So plainly, my program is over. At this stage I get to decide what I do next.
There’s something that draws me to stay in Europe a little longer, but I’m also longing for the stability that everyone is creating for themselves at home. With me moving in the coming weeks I feel kind of guilty for wanting to go back…
Honestly, I’d love to continue to live abroad, keep learning about cultures on a local level, learning languages, and even continue to learn who I am in these different circumstances and positions… but I’m over doing it alone. I’m tired of missing birthdays, and graduations, housewarmings and weddings, tired of being the “Fabulous Aunty who visits once a year” it’s ONLY been 2 years but I could write a post on things I’ve missed in people who are important to me lives and things I feel like I’m behind in my own life for, by not being in the states or a more metropolitan area (for lack of a better term).
I feel like Barcelona is a city trapped in rose colored glasses. It’s a great city, fun, international, you meet new people constantly, but it’s not a place I can see myself growing with, in any sense besides self-discovery; and now pushing late 20’s I think I can self-discover on my own anywhere. I feel like if I stay it’d stunt my growth.
Work wise: 1st its not super easy to find a job here, especially jobs specific to my field that would sponsor a visa. Also, let’s say I did find a job that suited me, I can’t live off of the salaries in Spain. Yes compared to the cost of living sure, the wages make sense, but as a global citizen there are too many things I’d need to pay for outside of a Spanish economy that require higher salaries (for instance: one month of my student loans = some peoples one month salary here).
Meeting People: both professionally and personally Barcelona is a great city to meet people, my network has expanded tremendously, the downfall comes in when you question for how long you’ll know them. My first year here I literally wouldn’t befriend a person if they were here less than a year. Most of the people you meet here are either 1. on holiday and leaving 2. doing a semester or internship abroad and leaving 3. “winging it” and probably staying for awhile, but then leaving. Yes I made residential friends, and by residential I mean from the expat community, I’ve met maybe 2 people actually from Spain that I would consider a friend. It’s not enough for me; I want to live in a space where I can continue to build genuine lasting relationships with people. Thats goes romantically as well. As I spoke more about in Dating Abroad , it’s kind of been a drag for me dating here and not really the speed in which I want. So for someone who does wants to meet someone special, I realized my someone special is NOT here.
Diversity: I spoke more in depth about this topic in Being Black in Barcelona, in short, I’ve always lived in area that were very diverse, that’s not Barcelona. I had to search for community, and I was lucky enough to get a very solid group. The fact I stick out like an anomaly is annoying to me. (maybe not an anomaly – but I sure am not a dime a dozen, and where I’m sure seeming rare in theory looks like a cool thing, in reality, its just a lot of stupid conversations)
Barcelona is great… for some reasons… for some people.
But I know now it’s not for me.
Not to compare – but friends are getting promotions, hosting events, opening businesses, buying property, getting engaged… and I feel like my only accomplishment of last summer was going to Ibiza and not ending up in the hospital…
(I joke, I joke… kind of…)
But in all seriousness, these are some of the things I want to do that I just don’t see myself getting the opportunity to accomplish here.
There was so much empowerment behind me leaving, and as much as I’ve gained through this experience I’ve also lost something, and I’m hoping to regain that.
In my post about why I was leaving NY, I said it was the first decision I remembered making that was for myself, this’ll be my second to go back. I got what I came here for, academics, to learn more about myself, learn more about the world, put distance between myself and the toxic people/situations I had in my life, etc.
I will say this… I don’t want to go back to NY, my aim is Washington D.C…. and to be honest, it’s not even to stay in DC. I know now I am in fact a Global Citizen, and I want to travel within my profession. And within my profession (public health) it’s super possible.
So thats my aim… I’ll check back in 2 years tell ya how this decision held.