Uh oh. It’s happened again. I’m miserable.
This weekend I went to Barcelona and I had an absolutely wonderful time. When I was leaving, I was actually sad that I’ll in all likelihood never get the chance to live there.
The trip would not have been as enjoyable if I hadn’t had Shara there. We had so much great stuff to talk about and it was also the first time I think that we’ve ever spent so much time together. She was a great host!
But, I also just loved Barca itself. There was so much to see, so much to do, interesting and diverse architecture, the Mediterranean, hills, forests, museums, etcetera etcetera etcetera. It was so international—I felt like I belonged there as much as I was an outsider. It was bustling and full of life and color. I still have so much of the city to explore and I’ve got to go back. I really believe that I could live there for an extended amount of time.
Its relationship to Madrid reminds me of New York’s relationship to Chicago. I think of New York as younger, more active, and more exploratory and Chicago as more stable, stoic, and classic. The 4 are all strong cities, but New York and Barcelona have an energy that Madrid and Chicago lack.
To give you an idea of just how much I enjoyed myself, on Saturday, I got drunk in the middle of the day off of 2 mojitos (the second of which we got on the house!) and didn’t feel a tinge of guilt or social reproach. It felt completely normal! Overall, an awesome vacation.*
And then, on my walk home yesterday from the train station in Miranda, I walked by an elementary school where I teach and got a sinking feeling. What crappy life have I returned to?? My vacation only made me realize (again) how much I don’t like teaching.
Today I woke up freezing, checked the weather, found out it was going to be just as shitty today as it is every other day, and took my sweet time in showing up to work. I actually showed up over 10 minutes late and didn’t even care. I almost didn’t go even though I was already up and ready. That’s how much I really don’t enjoy my job.
I realize there are worse jobs in the world and I am obviously very thankful for the position I have, as I am able to travel to sweet places like Barcelona…but when I return from my travels I remember that I’m stuck doing this for 4 more months. 4 more long months of waking up early (everyone knows I am NOT a morning person) every day to rude kids who dress badly, to teaching a subject I have no interest in, and to wasting everyone’s time pretending like my presence in the classroom is actually helping anyone.
I’ve already mentally run through all my upcoming events several times: my sister comes in 3 weeks, maybe a trip to Valencia, Semana Santa in Sevilla/Morocco/Portugal, another Barca trip, Galicia, maybe a trip to England, Jake comes, and then Andalucia with my mom.
All these things make this job worth it. When I think about 4 more months of this I just want to go home to the U.S….but then I remember how many cool places I am going to and how much my Spanish will continue to improve if I stay. I’m holding strong. Today I feel rather weak, though.
*As a side note, I’ve never been hit on more in my life than this weekend in Barcelona. Unfortunately the majority were lacking in attractiveness and tended to be homeless…