A Month Later: A Few Reflections

Well, it’s been just over a month since I got back from Spain, so I figured I should write a blog.  I admit that I have been avoiding doing this, and I couldn’t figure out why at first, but I think it’s because I haven’t wanted to sit down and compare Spain to Erskine, because I love them both so dearly.

First, I had a wonderful, quick, ten day vacation at home with my family for the holidays, but even though I had the initial shock of being back in the United States and missing Spain, it wasn’t until coming back to Due West that I really felt the difference.  For one thing, I was ready to be home with my family for Christmas, because no matter how happy I was in Spain, I still felt the need to be back in Charleston to celebrate fully.  I also had so much going on – Christmas, New Year’s Eve, my birthday, a couple of meetings with friends, appointments, unpacking, packing back up again, etc. – that I was pretty focused and distracted.

So then it was time to go back to college.

We’ve got three days left of J-term, which means that and I’ve been back for three weeks, and it has gone by so quickly.  Although nothing major has changed about Erskine externally (besides some fixed sidewalks and rearranged furniture), a lot has changed in the semester of my absence: some faculty changes for me, an entirely new class of freshmen who I am slowly getting to know, people have changed. . . and I have changed.  A lot.

Although I didn’t feel like I had an entirely life-changing experience that turned me into a completely new person, I realize now how much I have changed internally.  More than anything, my perspective has changed a lot, in many ways.  I feel like I have a much clearer view of things in life – my priorities, and a healthy balance of everything.  For example, I really value the relationships in my life more now, as a combination of being away from everyone and seeing how much importance the Spanish place on the people in their lives.

I also find myself comparing people and culture here to Spain, which doesn’t help with missing it.  I like to think that I don’t miss Alicante as much – that I am happy and getting used to being back – though it can vary a lot by the day.  I suppose overall it is better, but there are some days when I just ache to be back over there.  But regardless, I still am very glad to be back in Due West, believe it or not, because the Erskine family is just something unique that I dearly missed in Spain.  Too bad I can’t just take all of my family and good friends over there with me.

For now I’m just looking forward to jumping into the regular spring semester, being involved in all of my music and theatre again, and remembering to be thankful for what time I did have in Spain, and everything that it taught me.