A nice lovely beautiful post on all the beautiful things about Feria is coming, never fear. But this needed to be written first, to get it out of my head, so that I can focus on happier things (At this point in time I would like to thank Adriana for apparently never sleeping and being my personal therapist at weird hours and giving me hard but good advice. You’re the greatest).
I’m struggling a lot these days with a lot of emotions, and surprisingly, Feria amplified those in ways I didn’t expect. Watching the fireworks on Sunday made me incredibly homesick as I realised that this year I won’t be home for the 4th of July to have a cook out with my family or wave sparklers around like an idiot.
But it also made me profoundly sad. Because since we arrived in January we have heard:
“Oh you’ll love Semana Santa!” “Where are you going for Semana Santa?”
“Oh you’ll love Feria!” “Where are you going for Feria?”
And now. Both weeks are over.
And now we have what?
Exams to look forward to. Goodbyes to places and people without a sure idea when we’ll see them again. And flights to countries that are home but don’t quite feel like it anymore.
I have been in Spain just over three months. And in two months I leave Sevilla for England. And almost a month later, I come back to Spain for precious little time to see a friend.
And then I am on a plane, returning to a country I love, a country that claims me as its own, a country I’ve grown up in, a country that holds familiar people, places, food, language, classes etc. in addition to 20 years of memories.
But I am also leaving a country I love, a country that has welcomed me, a country I’ve grown up in, not in years but in maturity and independence, a country that has grown to hold familiar people, places, food, language, classes etc.
I am leaving a place I’ve dreamed of visiting and I’ve lived out that dream. And maybe that’s the problem. Maybe I spent so long with Spain as my “final destination,” my one goal in life, that I failed to remember that there would be life after Spain, too. That regardless of what happens when I graduate or my plans to come back, I HAVE to go home for a year to get that precious piece of paper.
And so this is hard. Much harder than I thought it would be when I was crying and refusing to let Cali go with any less than five hugs (sorry Cali). When I was crying and hugging my parents at the airport. When I cried after my first week of classes because while they weren’t THAT bad, I was more overwhelmed than I’d been ever before.
I envisioned me being completely and 100% ecstatic to be coming home to friends and family I love to pieces. I’d be the girl who came home hot, tan, skinny (as I joked with several friends) and with a thousand fascinating stories of European adventures. I’d be a new person and Spain would be but a fairy tale that senior year would replace soon enough.
And I am ecstatic. But more than a small part of me is incredibly sad. Because senior year will never replace this as I once thought.
Senior year will never replace that first night with friends by the river drinking and sharing life stories. It will never replace seeing the Mezquita for the first time. It will never be enough to replace the boy I’ve grown to admire and like oh-so-much (if you hadn’t guessed by now). It will never be enough to take over the feelings of the weight of a feria dress, or the smell of churros at 2am, or the familiar sway of the metro (Indy–please get on the metro thing. Thanks).
Those friends and I will stay in contact. I have pictures to last a lifetime of the Mezquita. The boy and I also will continue, just with a few added difficulties. The feria dress might just be coming home. Churros can be found in other places. The metro I will grow to hate as soon as I visit NYC again.
It’s not all ending. Just changing. And changing in ways I didn’t envision or expect.
So now I spend these next three months in Europe living each moment because there are few of them left. I spend them taking mental snapshots of everything and everyone. I spend them preparing myself to leave, but not forgetting that July 31st is still three months away.
Here’s to the last three months and here’s to the next three, with all the mixed feelings they hold.