I have been living in another country for well over a year now, and I find my life is fuller. To be honest, it’s mostly because nearly everything has been difficult. When you go through times when you have to strive in even the smallest task, a certain toughness gets built in your bones. However, this widening and filling of my life also comes from listening to stories I cannot relate to. I am immersed in a culture that thinks differently from what I was taught growing up. My conception of humanity and how we can relate to one another is a new frontier of ideas that I love exploring. I could stop here – expressing gratitude for my experiences, how they have changed my worldview and made me stronger. Really, though, life does that anyway, or it does if you let it. The greatest gift is that somehow in combination of these things, I learned to dream. Just like the best kind of freedom comes with fences, the best kind of dreaming comes with pruning shears and special glasses so the future stays blurry and the present focused. I have found dreaming to be far more like building a super complicated and awesome Lego® castle than Lisa Frank® folders. Focus and decision are important tools in my dreaming. It is so easy to get lost in the doubts and the small steps, but a phrase here is Spain is “poco a poco” or “little by little”. Little by little, I learned the language and earned friendships, but I had to move here first. After a year, I look back and I am astounded at the changes in my life and those around me. Dreaming is big, but the steps are small. When you learn this, everything is possible. And to know that is the greatest gift.

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