So many new thoughts have entered my overactive mind in the last few weeks. While I love my adventurous side (and still have a dozen more countries that I would like to see), I have this need to settle down. No, I don’t necessarily mean having kids, getting married, buying a house and investing in things. I mean, I want to find a place that I can call home. This has been all too difficult for the past few years because I’ve had to move apartments, countries and cities every 2-4 months for work or because of a lease that has ended. It’s left me somewhat bitter in that I have to pack up everything I own once again and try to make a new place “homey”. So once again, it’s been a total of 6 weeks in this new place and I have to move out. Just lovely.
When I heard the news 3 weeks ago, I frantically searched real estate websites in Barcelona and even went as far as looking at places in Cape Town and Berlin. I also thought perhaps I’d do a month-long travel through Europe. But moving cities and moving countries means yet again getting used to the area, learning the language and so on and so forth. While that is exciting, I am just not in the place right now.
I’ve been living in Barcelona now for 5 months… and I love it. I am quite sure that I am not convincing myself that I love it because I don’t feel like making a big move. When I think back on the places I have lived throughout my adult life, none feel like home… besides Barcelona. Just my luck though, that places available for March are either utterly shit or too expensive. So, in an attempt to get my ducks in a row, I’ve bought a return ticket to go home for 2 months. In this time, I hope to save my money, come back in May and get a one bedroom place. There’s just one problem with all of this…
Having broken away from life in my home country, people move on – much as the same as I have too. They’re different, I am different. And suddenly, I get the feeling as though they really couldn’t care less that I am coming home. Family and friends probably see me as a burden as I need to crash at their place and rely on them (or public transport) to get around. I hate been reverted back to the state where I rely on others. I’ve recently learned that this is the reason why I love living in a different country. I don’t want nor need the help of others. Additionally, I realised that I don’t really have any one in this entire world that gives a fuck where I am or what I am doing. Sad, but sort of freeing.
So while I will only be spending two months at home, it almost feels wrong. It feels like I’ve bought a one-way ticket to a place where I am “the baby” again, asking for help. I really should be excited but I’m just not.
I was clearly born to take the road less travelled. Where will it take me next? I have no fucking idea.
I am in need of guidance. While compulsively snapshotting the amazing view of Barcelona, I took a moment to sit quietly, look out and pray. I need something bigger than me to give me the answers. I hope that I find what I am looking for soon.
I am completely transformed back to a place in which I felt utterly hopeless. I lacked motivation and drive, I felt nothing and I hated it. The only difference now is – I have become somewhat of a recluse, spending all of my time inside my bedroom. I dread going outside. Everything outside seems like a chore – bumping into people, glancing at strangers’ faces, having to figure myself out in the city. I’m in beautiful Barcelona but it feels more like I am in a dark hole.
What is the point of traveling, living in new countries and cities when I can’t even get the energy to leave the house? What’s more frustrating, is that my friends tell me to snap out of it. They just don’t understand that there’s something weird and irrational happening in my overactive mind. I know that I need to get out more, and I fantasise about it constantly by Googling exciting places to see, cafes to work in, countries and hotels to visit – but all of those hours are put to waste when I wake up and cannot give myself a single reason to get out of bed.
I used to be a doer. I yearn for those days again. Now, I am back to that place where my anxiety is so high that I hope for wonderful things, plan them excessively and then – do nothing. Do I up the dose on my anti-depressants? Do I wait it out? Trying to push myself is just not working anymore. I don’t know what will work but this just can’t be how I live my life.
Yes, I’m lazy when it comes to some things – hiking up mountains, speed walking, getting up to find the TV remote (only kidding… kind of), but I’ve always kind of been a firm believer in working hard. When I was at school, we were looking at 50% pass marks – which, essentially, is still pretty low. Today, schools in South Africa require a 30% pass mark. Not only that, but kids are using ridiculously bad sources such as Wikipedia to copy and paste. Yeah, they have sites that detect plagiarism, but then you have companies that edit your work for you, so you can literally cheat sites like Turnitin.
Where does that leave us. the youth of today, who have hopes and dreams just like we did/do but are too lazy to get there? Students use Siri to get answers at record speed, they use calculators and Google to do their homework. Knowledge just isn’t knowledge anymore.
Am I bitter that I couldn’t make use of these services when I was at school? Kind of. Heck, the first camera phone only made a hit when I was in high school (yes, I feel kind of old). On the other hand, did we – the older generation – learn things that are actually useless today BECAUSE of the advancement of technology?
And lastly, and most importantly, why am I on a rant about today’s youth when it’s Friday night and I am in bed? Will I turn out to be one of those old woman who say, “When I was your age…”? God, I hope not.
That’s enough from me. Goodnight.
Hello, from Barcelona.
I’ve moved once again and before I go on an enormous rant about how I move cities/countries and/or jobs every one to six months, I’m going to stop myself. Yes, I feel like a flake and somewhat of a loser, but in my defence I am trying to find myself. I’ve experienced a job I love in a city I hate, and a job I hate in a city I love. Now, I’m finding the perfect fit so that I can continue to be inspired.
While I feel somewhat inspired right now (Barcelona is fucking fantastic. I look up at the architecture every day and feel utterly speechless at the beauty), I know that I haven’t found what I am looking for. It often leaves me feeling uneasy, incomplete, lonely, and or sad.
I went home to South Africa about a month ago and it was weird. I wasn’t bright eyed, I wasn’t like a tourist in my own city. In fact, I barely felt a thing… until I stood at the boarding gate with my brother. He could see something was missing. He felt something that I hide from the world.
What is it though?
After almost seven weeks in a brand new country, you would think that I would have a lot to say. In actuality, I’m struggling to find my words. The age old irony of the writer that has lost her words.
While I felt immense dread before coming to Spain, I naively had a thought that perhaps things would be different for me. Surely there is a place, a man, and a career out there in one or other country waiting for me to grab it? Sadly, Spain has proven to be quite a let down and truthfully… it’s all my fault.
I was silly to think that I could go back to ESL teaching after having experience a life as a professional writer. I fooled myself in believing that Spain would hold adventure and love for me, and that it wouldn’t matter what job I had if I was living in one of the most breathtaking countries in the world. This is one of many lies I have told myself.
I am living a lifeless life. I don’t speak the language. I have no friends. I am about to embark on a career that I don’t love while giving up on one that I do… and it’s all my fault.
I’ve taken a million steps backwards in my quest for happiness and I am overcome with guilt. I’m stuck and I don’t know how to get out without upsetting someone. Help.