Every time in the last three months that I've sat down in front of this blog to write something, my mind just has gone blank. The crazy thing is that I'll be out and about on the train and something, some detail will happen and I think "Man, I gotta write about this gorgeous moment..." but then the memory passes and I can't, or I start to write and nothing seems to do the memory justice.
This time of traveling has been, I believe, more formative in many ways than before. Every once in a while in life I feel like a hamster on a metal wheel, learning some of the same lessons over and over again, with the same feelings attached to the experiences. At the moment, I suppose my wheel should be more exciting than most, being tinged with bravas sauce and chocolate and all.
There are more ups and downs here, lots of vulnerability--which is positive in that it seems to bring out the creativity in me, and it forces me to evolve as a person, even though I sometimes feel stagnant. I read the other day in part of Gail Sheehy's book "Passages", which my mom recommended to me, an analogy she gives about stages of life being comparable to a lobster whose shell is re-growing. She says with each stage in life you become more vulnerable, but you are also ready for evolution. I realize that I do feel saturated in life, a part of it, when I'm feeling a bit melancholy. I guess that's what draws most of us to drama, especially those "creative types". The challenge lies in not wallowing in it, and not creating my own drama for the sake of feeling like a participant.
Life here in Madrid is okay. That's such a blah word because on the whole, that's how I've felt here. It's a feeling compartmentalized as something separate from the city itself, which is gorgeous and amazing and full of life and cultural intrigue. Most days I feel guilty for neglecting to explore each and every Sainted street there is, and when I do I feel even more guilty. The moments that the feelings of love for the life around me overwhelm me are unfortunately far too seldom, but when they do they are powerful (to say the least). The majority of the time, however, I still feel like I'm floating around, bumping into people and things, half-committed to doing what I'm doing here and not highly interested in any of it. I'm grateful to have a nice roof over my head, I'm grateful to have some friends here, grateful to have enough money to live and enough food to eat and that I have finally learnt how to cook vegetables. I'm grateful to have learnt enough Spanish at the moment to "get by", even if I do have many moments that still get lost during wild gesticulation. I'm grateful to have all that I need in order to live.
I suppose the rub is that I'm still not really feeling, well... joyful. I mean, seriously Anna, you have everything else, why do you need to feel JOYFUL?? Or, more importantly, why can't you quit your bitchin' and just feel that way?!! Both of these questions are still within my well-seasoned ego's direct line of questioning, believe me. They bore into me like a hot spotlight on the brain.
I know it seems horribly ungrateful for me to be just feeling "okay" in this fantastic place, where so many people I know have felt immense joy and wish they could be right now. Yet still, this feeling of "meh," *shrug* remains. As my mom says, I'm allowed to feel how I feel. I honestly haven't felt joyful in a while...in fact, I'm trying to remember the last time I truly felt joyful. Let's see, this comes to heart: I remember hanging out with my friend Kate on a blanket in Forest Park in St. Louis on a warm, sunny Spring day, eating fruit and talking about life. I felt calm, secure, totally comfortable, un-judged, loved and accepted. This is my happy place.
Entonces, pues, de todos modos...I am going home in a few weeks, and I'm really curious to see how I'll feel there. Maybe it'll help put things in perspective. Maybe it'll just make me realize I need to take anti-depressants again after all and quit my whining. Maybe, just maybe, I'll re-encounter some small missing piece of myself that I can use to repair this little heart and move forward in my adventures, as the fearless, ever-loving Anita. I am praying it's the latter.
If you stay tuned, I promise (at some point) I'll let you know how it all goes. ;)