¡Hoy es el día! Estoy en el avión y voy a a Barcelona. Después de meses de planificación, ha llegado el momento. No me lo puedo creer.
Ok ok, voy a escribir en inglés para mis amigos americanos.
Today is the day! I'm on the airplane and headed to Barcelona. After months of planning, the moment has arrived. I can't believe it.
After a hectic first semester of junior year, I couldn't have asked for a better gift than a semester in Spain. Thanks to God, my parents, and Butler University, I am able to embark on this journey before my final year as a Bulldog.
Andri, fellow BU student and Alpha Phi (more importantly, my travel companion), and I left O'Hare at 4:40 p.m., and after a connecting flight, we'll land in Barcelona at 10:25 a.m.
While I have no firsthand knowledge of Europe, I've read numerous articles and blog posts as well as spoken with previous study-abroad students about the continent. In addition, I made sure to watch "Eat, Pray, Love" over winter break to find inspiration. Apparently, Europeans tend to think we Americans are workaholics who don't know how to let ourselves enjoy life.
Crazy, right? Who would've thought?
When I entered junior year in August, I vowed to myself to become more career-oriented, as I plan to start the hunt for a full-time post-grad job this fall. After a semester of coffee dates, job shadows, and other network-expanding activities, I have become more confident in my abilities as a young professional and more well-versed on what the city of Indianapolis has to offer.
Though my future career is extremely important to me and most definitely worth investing in, I want to refrain from losing sight of who I am aside from my professional goals. That is why I've made a few of my own resolutions for myself throughout this journey to another continent (in addition to improving my Spanish skills, of course).
1. Slow down and enjoy.
This will be hard, but I'm looking forward to it. I think it's extremely important to remind myself that I don't always need to accomplish these major goals or work myself half to death before "earning" a break. It's OK to just take one sometimes.
2. Learn as much from other people as possible.
The world is a pretty empty place without other people to keep you company. There are 7 billion to choose from, each with a different story. I only have a limited time on this earth. I want to learn as much about the people who inhabit it as possible.
3. Find out what matters to me, not just what matters to me because it matters to everyone else around me.
This is my overarching main goal for my semester abroad. Being such a great distance from home, I won't be as surrounded by the noise that tends to drown out my own desires. There's an Oscar Wilde quote I found in high school that I still think about often. It goes like this:
"Most people are other people. Their thoughts are someone else's opinions, their lives a mimicry, their passions a quotation."
This quote gives me the drive to be unique. To search for and cling onto my passions. To pursue something that sets my soul on fire.
I want to find out what I want out of life, and I want to pursue what God has planned for me. What a shame it would be to waste my life following other peoples' dreams.
4. Draw nearer to God. Thank Him more.
I love my dad. A lot. He's my best friend, music partner, and biggest supporter. He makes it a priority to provide for my family. Still, I know that it is God, my Heavenly Father, who gave me my dad, along with all my other blessings.
While I have to wait to hug my dad until he and my mom visit me at the end of March, God is always with me. He will never leave me or forsake me. He protects me. He loves me. He knows me inside and out. Not to mention, God is the one who provided my dad with the financial means needed to send me on this trip.
The most important thing I can do in this life is pursue a close relationship with God. I want to show His love to others. I want to experience what He has in store for me.
I hope that this trip halfway around the world teaches me to rely on Him. In the quiet moments when I feel alone, I want to draw near to Him. When I feel afraid, I want to cry out to Him. When I feel overwhelmed with gratitude, I want to thank Him. When I look out on His beautiful creation, I want to remember His love for me.
5. Be courageous.
My "word" for 2019 is courage. As my Instagram story said, this is:
Courage to move to another continent. Courage to apply for that internship. Courage to talk to that boy. Courage to stick up for myself (and others). Courage to walk in love, despite the fact that others may not. Courage to make the right choice, even when it isn't the easy choice. Courage to live out my faith, unashamed. Courage to swallow my pride and say "sorry." Courage to forgive myself for the mistakes I've made. Courage to keep moving forward. Courage to be the most "me" I've ever been.
I hope that this trip gives me opportunities to be courageous. More than that, I hope I courageously take those opportunities.
I can't wait to see where this adventure takes me, and I am so grateful to the people who made it possible.
No puedo esperar para ver a dónde me lleva esta aventura, y estoy muy agradecido por las personas que hicieron posible esta oportunidad.