Wednesday, October 12, 2011

On: Spain, the Importance of Travel and the Finding of Purpose in Changing. Part One

Mom & I in Madrid
Last month, my mother and I spent two weeks in Spain. We spent a few days seeing sights in Madrid, then visited Toledo, Segovia, Cordova and it's Grand Mosque, Granada and The Alhambra and I managed to see Bilbao & its Guggenheim, before returning to The States.

Of course, the trip was amazing. The rich culture, the amazing history & sights, the language, the food, the absurdly good looking men, they all combined into an unbelievable, humbling experience that was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. And being able to see and share it all with my mom added an entire level of awe to these experiences. We met in Madrid and spent most of the trip together, exploring, getting lost, squabbling, but still enjoying every minute together. My obsessive research was often crucial and my mother's simple charm was just as useful as we navigated transit, winding medieval streets and foreign customs.

But, after two weeks, I was anxious to get back to Chicago, to this amazing, magical city I call home. I was anxious and, this is an aside, but I felt like I was was living the scene in "Inception" where the dream-people started to turn against you - suddenly everyone around me was always angry and those last few days alone while my mom began her linguistic conference in Logrono became a surreal experience.
Almost getting stuck in Bilbao was worth this view.

But. I came back, and although everything was exactly as I left it - right away, it also felt completely different. Within hours of being back at work, I felt itchy and uneasy. It may have been the remnants of jetlag at first, but the sensation continued the next day and for several days after my return. It was an acute sort of uncomfort, where my limbs felt lanky and odd, and every thought was incomplete - in a way, there suddenly appeared massive gaps between the shell that is my body and whatever it is that occupies that shell. In those days, my body was an outfit two sizes two big.

By the week's end, the sensation has dissipated, but a change has come. Now, weeks later my routine and situation is largely the same, I have the same job and friends and yet I feel and AM different. It is inexplicable, and I am in no rush to quantify the change. It is a new road that has showed itself to me and is tempting me. It is not an easy road, but it is paved with fulfillment and self-realization.

So this is a beginning. I will write more when more becomes clear. But now: courage, ambition and hard work.

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