Turning Point

Transitioning here has been challenging. I have encountered a desire to give up, which is a somewhat alien concept to me. I believe the turning point was when I let the lump exist in my throat–when I realized with acceptance the reality of living in a foreign country is that you will always be a foreigner. No matter how many roots I grow or how well I speak the language or understand the culture I am still not from round here. Maybe the day will come when I don’t jump when someone stops me in the street to ask for directions, or I manage a cheery “Hola” to the elderly lady who  greets me in my apartment building. I think there has been a fear that I would be dismissed with the stereotypes of my nationality. While that fear isn’t unfounded, and people will choose their behavior regardless, the reality is and always will be I am a foreigner. Even if I moved back to my hometown, I will still go through the process of trying to blend my experiences. I find that there is an incompatibility of me with the world and try as I may to fit in, I never can. I’m loud and I have red hair. Fitting in has never really been an option. Although, I have certainly tried and worn myself thin giving it a go. So there is one of my lessons from this Spain thing: You are a Foreigner (and that doesn’t mean a rock star). You are a in a strange land, and no amount of disguise or clever speech will cover with any sufficiency that fact.  And so we (me and my fellow American teammates) live as awkward, bumbling, little creatures with truth spilling out as well, and I suppose that makes it all worth it…to see that the light can creeps out of us as accented and different we are.

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