29 November, 2006

tienes suerte

Life, ahhhh isn't it interesting? Back in September I had applied for about 20 jobs all over the world. I was undecided whether to go back to Spain or just what to do. It felt good to basically have the ability to go anywhere...well, since I didn't hear back from an organization with a paying position, I figured I would go back to Spain and teach English.

I have been doing that and relatively content, although I would not want to make a career out of it. I am just getting into the swing of things and am doing really well in learning Spanish..and then...I received an email from the NYCLU (New York Civil Liberties Union)
http://www.nyclu.org/ wanting a phone interview with me regarding the Exec. Assistant job I applied for back in Sept. My mind went crazy of course (anyone who knows me can predict what happened next)...I started thinking non-stop about that job. Should I have the interview? Do I want to move back to the US? Could I make enough to pay off my student loans? blah blah blah. I google mapped their office to see where it was in NY and even emailed my NewYorker cousins, John and Helena and asked about cost of living, wages, etc. I was overwhelmed with thoughts: Was this job right for me? Will I be happy in NY in the winter? Do I want to be an executive assistant again??

I let it totally occupy my mind for 4 days! It's all I could think about and I finally had to make up my mind not to think about it and just to breathe and "feel" the situation. Yesterday I went to work and when I came out of the train station lo and behold, my bike seat was stolen again! Yes, the soft cushie seat I just bought and was so proud of was gone. I just stared in disbelief and semi-controlled the rage boiling up in me. When I got back to my apt. (after riding the seatless bike home) I remembered the extra seat my friends had given me when they moved back to the US. I then got to work trying to figure out how to put it on my bike and then how to lock it so it will never be stolen again. (I know I am getting off the subject, but that is how my mind works, so bear with me). I took a shorter cable lock and rigged it through the seat and around the frame of the bike. Basically it looks hilarious (according to my roommates) but it's secure and I didn't have to buy a new one.

This morning I woke up and thought about NY (I had not emailed my reply back yet). I thought about how much I want to learn Spanish and how that would not happen there but then pushed it out of my mind and got ready for work. I arrived at the train station at 9:27 and saw that the train was still there although it was supposed to leave at 9:25. I leisurely walked down to the train since I did not have to be at work until 10:30 and I could always catch the next one. I approached the ticket man, who always makes me smile for some reason. I said "Buenos Dias" and he said "Buenos Dias, tienes suerte". I said "si" (although I had no idea what he said) and walked down to the train. I found my seat and sat there controlling this huge urge to giggle and then I took out my dictionary to look up what suerte means. Suerte means luck (and tienes means have), so he had told me that I have luck (since the train happened to be delayed & I didn't miss it). As I sat there I was overcome with a feeling of belonging and I couldn't stop smiling. It then hit me: I am very very happy here and do not want to leave. I am still open to a job somewhere else if it feels right but for now, I am staying.

Buenas noches little train ticket collector man, you will never know your unintentional contribution to my future.

Hello...are you listening?

What is it that pulls me to do one thing instead of another? That little an inner "voice" that guides me through so much of my life. I listen to it all the time now. The other day I was walking home and felt the urge to turn down a road I had not been on before. When I did I came upon a little park that was filled with bouganville flowers. It was so beautiful and I stopped and sat for awhile. It was such an unexpected surprise.

On Saturday, I had to work at 10. One of my English students is an artist and he had told me about an art contest. On Saturday any and all artists were to show up at 9AM with a blank large canvas. They then have 5 hours to paint a picture of the main square in town, like the church, the street, or something like that. At 2PM the finished paintings were to be judged.

I took the early train because I wanted to see them get started and to wish Paco good luck. I arrived at the square at 8:30 and wandered around hoping to run into the painters. Because I had watched a dumb romantic comedy the night before, meeting someone unexpectedly was on my mind when I saw a cute guy going the opposite direction. I turned a corner and circled back hoping to "run" into him. After I ended back up at the square and didn't see him, I realized that I was being stupid since meeting someone "unexpectedly" did not mean me hunting him down! It was 9:00 and I was getting tired of trying to find the painters so I walked towards a cafe I frequent during the week. My inner instinct told me to keep going past the cafe and onto the main street. I figured that I will go along with the urge since I can have a coffee in a cafe there (and maybe the cute guy will walk past, ha ha). I took couple of side streets and ended up on the main road and directly in front of me was the art thing that I was looking for. People were coming from all directions carrying large blank canvas'.

I stood there feeling proud for listening to myself as I watched the scene. I didn't see Paco and after they signed in, the artists headed around the city to start to paint and I headed to work. After work I walked around the square to see the artists at work and I was quite amazed at the creativity and skill they had. It was a good day.

20 November, 2006

Los Palmes

Since I now have a new seat on my bike (really cushie and soft!), R and I decided we wanted to ride our bikes somewhere besides to the train station and back. We had heard that there was this really cool place called Los Palmes that you can hike around. We knew which general direction it was in as you could see part of it on the side of a mountain in the distance, but really didn't know how to get there. R's girlfriend, A joined us and we headed out. After minor repairs on A's bike and a stop at the gas station to pump up all the tires, we were on our way. All was good until we came to this big highway that we had no idea how to cross. We would have to pull our bikes up a steep hill and then dash across the busy highway hopefully safely.
After thinking about it for a bit, we decided that there must be a road leading over the highway, so we took off again. Soon we were riding along a dirt track between the highway and orange groves. We passed a huge culvert and kept going, then I stopped and backed up. The culvert looked big enough for our bikes to fit. We stopped again to discuss whether we should go through it or not. A finally just started pushing her bike through it. I looked at R and he said, well, I guess we better follow. I went last figuring that the two of them will have knocked down all the spider webs before I pass by.

We made it safely to the other side, found Los Palmes and rode for a couple hours in the mountains. On the way back home we were looking for "our" culvert and passed others along the way. We started commenting on "oh that's a nice one" or "oh that culvert is clean". We ended up going back a different way...through one a little bigger with no standing water. I now seem to notice culverts all over the place and secretly imagine what (or who) is lurking about inside...

Hiking...


Here's a shot of the Castell de Xivert where a group of us went with a NGO here in Castellon.
AlcalĂ  de Xivert is a town in the eastern part of Spain, north of Castellon (where I live) on the coast. Below is a website about information on the area and castle. It was such a beautiful area and for some reason I have a passion for Castle's..not sure why but whenever I am near one, I get this really weird feeling like I belong there or something. I think I lived in a castle in a past life, but not like I was a princess or something, I have the feeling I worked in one, maybe I was a knight or something...


http://www.costamediterranea.com/touristguide/castellon/alcossebre/

12 November, 2006

I'm "nesting" again...

Help. Help. Help me please...I cannot stop "nesting". But wait...do I need help? The phrase "you are nesting again" was commented to me last year by my friend and former roommate Steve. At the time I was in what I call my "organizing mood". I didn't really think about it much at the time, because I was getting ready for my sister's arrival and was just getting the house ready for a visitor, which consisted of cleaning it in its entirety fulfilling some deep embedded theory that a clean house is a happy house, or maybe it was a "what will the neighbors think" mentality.

This "nesting" thought has entered my mind more often lately though because my current roommate has commented on my constant cleaning and rearranging/organizing habits. I mentioned that Steve had called it nesting and it was then agreed that "nesting" was the perfect name for it. I then pondered as to why I nest. It's not ALL the time, but it happens more often than not and it comes in waves during certain times of the month. When I am ovulating maybe the need to prepare for some unforseen arrival of a child from my body overtakes me. When I am feeling down, maybe it's a need to gain back control of my life and this is my way of ensuring that I am on top of things. Maybe I just like things in order? Looking back at my childhood, my mother was always rearranging the furniture and changing things much to the dismay of my father who would prefer it if nothing in his life ever changed, so is it a maternal genetic drive?

What ever the reason, I have accepted the fact that I am a nester and am now proud of it. I realize that there is no reason to fight my strong instinct to control my surroundings when possible. Realizing that my future is unsure and somewhat uncontrollable at this point, being able to control where my tea bags reside and having the option to change their habitat at any given point is comforting. And taking the rice out of it's unattractice plastic package and putting it in an easily accessable jar is not abnormal, no matter what anyone in my household says...