Finding Calm in the Storm

“Siempre habrá problemas, pero tienes que pensar que también siempre habrá soluciones” -Pepa

I’m beginning to feel like time is never going to slow down here. Every day there’s something new to do, a new challenge to overcome or  a new place to explore, and while I have loved it to say that it has felt like a constant hurricane of information whipping around me for the last couple of weeks would be an understatement. Especially, the past couple of days in which I’ve had to navigate matriculation into the University and picking of classes. (Side note: the process makes picking classes at Penn look like a lazy southern afternoon, glass of sweet tea included) Not to mention trying to see if any of the classes I will be taking here will count for my majors or general requirements is an added stress. But before I came to Spain I resolved not to let the stresses get to me, as Pepa (my host mom) says, “Para tener problemas es un indico que estás vivienda, si no tienes problemas, seguramente estás muerta y luego nada te preocupa”. Translation: If you have problems it’s a sign that you’re living, if you don’t have problems, you’re probably dead and then there’s nothing to worry about. So as I’ve been running around in the storm these words have stayed with me and it has helped tremendously. But what has allowed me to find calm in the storm (and not just weather the storm) was returning to the principles I’ve always known.

I think two of the best things (among many) that my parents  have done for me is that they generally speaking always let me work through things on my own, and they always made sure I was being active in someway. Possibly part of this comes from the fact that I’m generally a stubborn person and usually wait until all my ideas have failed before taking their advice, but I digress. Through this I’ve found that there are always things I know I can come back to when the going gets tough, and for me exercise is at the top of that list. So i’ve joined a gym here, and not only has it helped in that I’m hopefully working off some of the potatoes and bread that seemingly accompanies every meal, but I actually feel more like this is going to by my home for the next few months instead of a just a place I will be for the next few months.

Of course I know that the time I spend in the gym doesn’t stop the problems from arising but it does prepare me to better solve them. Furthermore, it gives me a time to decompress without many of the distractions the outside world brings. As I said, the days seem to run together, especially when the nights often turn into day before you get back and in some ways I feel like it’s not that much different from the long nights at Penn. But it’s nice to have a space where time slows down; where I can appreciate how incredibly amazing it is for me to have the ability to be here.

Two weeks it took to find the calm in the storm and I’m not expecting the storm to decrease at all, if anything it’ll increase more as I begin to travel around to see a small portion of what Europe and Spain have to offer.  But I’m starting to feel a little more comfortable, a little more at easy, and maybe, just maybe a little more sevillana. 

-Victoria

P.S. I’ve been taking a TRX class and I love it, seriously considering getting one [or you know my birthday is in November/Christmas is in December :)] for my dorm since the last time I was at Pottruck they didn’t have them.

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