Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Oooh Yeah, Life Goes On

I have officially (or as of 7:30pm at least) been back in Tennessee for a month. In this month I have worked, had a lot of coffee/breakfast dates with friends, and tried to see my family as much as possible. The beautiful thing is that I've missed out on a few things (like the major flood that tried its hardest to wash away my favorite city), but it's like I never left. People are just as easy to talk to, conversation comes easily, and life here is just like I remember it, up to the obnoxious parents of incoming freshmen that call our office to complain. I'm enjoying what could be my last Nashville summer.

Among the diehard friends that never let me down, the public library has demonstrated its continued fidelity. I quickly updated my list of holds and have been taking advantage of the on-line requests and delivery to my preferred branch. Plus there are several books in Spanish, so while I don't have the beautiful bookstores of Spain with their abundance of Spanish chick lit, I can read Garcia Marquez in the original without the hassle of ordering it on Amazon and having to pay for it.

It's curious how life just continues with or without us. While that can be somewhat depressing and make us wonder what we contribute to a place with our physical presence, it's also comforting to know that things aren't going to fall apart if we step away to do something else. That makes me hopeful for the end of May, when the only thing I know for sure is that I'll be done with school. Where I will live and what I will do is up in the air (and depends heavily on who wants to give me a job), but even if I leave the people who are a huge part of my life we'll all continue living and I don't lose them.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Fully Understanding the Weekend

After living in the eternal weekend known as study abroad going to work has been a challenge. That's old news from my last post, but the contrast of the work day with the weekend makes the weekend so sweet.

I think I had forgotten what it was like to actually need to have time to chill until this past weekend, and when I got that time it was so sweet. I had some quality roommate time with the long-lost (but not forgotten) Kristen who has this thing called homework that I can only interrupt so much during the week as well as a short day of work at the mansion.

I'm hoping this week will be better than last. I would like to attribute my difficulty to the intense relaxation I experienced in Spain, and I think once I Americanize myself a little more (but not too much) I'll hate my life less after an 8-hour work day.

I've been in America for two full weeks. Spain seems like a dream that I had to wake up from, but it's given me things to think about in my future and priorities to change as I inevitably get dragged into living like a real American. Overall I've learned to appreciate my weekends, and I plan to take advantage of every single one.

Friday, June 11, 2010

The 9 to 5

If I were to name one thing as the hardest adjustment I've had to make since I arrived in America I would have to say it's the 40-hour work week. I spent the last five months on a semi-vacation with no job and very little to study, so coming back to angry parents on the phone and entitled incoming freshmen with their housing complaints has been trying.

Like every summer I'm starting off feeling a little exhausted, but I'm sure like every summer I'll get over it and learn to overcome the slight depression caused by my work schedule. Until then I'm just riding out the bajón.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

A Taste of Toni

I'm currently reading Song of Solomon by Toni Morrison. I've heard great things about her writing, but this is my first taste, and so far she's living up to her reputation. This description of a man's indifference to a woman he's been sleeping with over a long period of time is an example of her ability to relate one feeling to another to help the reader understand better how one character relates to another:
She was the third beer. Not the first one, which the throat receives with almost tearful gratitude; nor the second, that confirms and extends the pleasure of the first. But the third, the one you drink because it's there, because it can't hurt, and because what difference does it make?
So far so good.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

I'm Back in America!

I have officially been stateside for a full week, without a chance to sit down and think about the implications of that until today.

I spent last Sunday at home with my family trying to wrap my head around the fact that the previous day I had been in Santiago, living what feels now like a completely different life. The next day I ate a delicious grandmother-cooked breakfast and headed to Nashville with all my stuff (which had been sitting in boxes in my bedroom at home since I moved out of my last apartment). I got everything inside the new apartment, but until Saturday was incapable of putting it all away; however, this was no bother considering I was back in Nashville and living with Kristen!

Tuesday the real world hit hard; it was time to go back to work. But I do like my office, and it was nice to be back to a normal routine. At least the routine was normal after Wednesday, the day I had to go to court and pay my speeding ticket from the Textravaganza in January. I got to do some birthday celebrating that I'd been looking forward to since before I left, and then on Friday Sarah came to spend the night.

Saturday I was planning to cook dinner with Heather and Sarah, but they tricked me and took me to The Old Spaghetti Factory where a group of friends from home was waiting for me. It was a lovely surprise, and I was caught completely off guard.

Today I slept late and tried to catch up a little. This week has been crazy, but I think I'm settled now for the most part and ready to spend what might be my last summer in Nashville. I make the comment about the last summer because I bought a new planner and while copying the dates from the 2010-2011 academic calendar I realized I actually needed to write down the date of graduation because (unless something goes horribly wrong) it's my graduation date! But I don't want to wish away the next year, so I'm not focusing on that. Instead I'm thinking about the things America will continue to surprise me with right now and the exciting things in my near future.

My writing has suffered in the last semester of Spanish-speaking, and my mental organization has been hit hard by the cascade of recent changes, which is all to apologize for the scattered nature of this post.