So, back in February I made the decision to stay in Spain for a second year definitive. The way my program works is that you can renew as many years as you’d like, and it’s not uncommon for people to stay two years or even more. I knew about this once I was accepted into my program and it was always in the back of my mind. Last summer, I had a feeling I would stay more than one year but I knew I needed to wait until I got to Spain to see how I felt before making any decisions. It didn’t take very long for Spain to win me over again. By mid-October I was already starting to think about that second year- so early, I know! But as the year progressed and we got closer to the deadline when I had to renew with my program, I couldn’t stop freaking out. It was all I could think about and my mind flip-flopped back and forth literally 10 times a day. I wish I was exaggerating. Pro-con lists were made, long conversations with friends were had, and yet no decision was being made. Until one day, I finally made a decision that I for once felt 100 percent sure about. I was going to go back to the US. Well, I think making this decision final is what put everything into perspective and made me realize that that’s actually not what I want at all. So I changed my mind one last time and I haven’t looked back since.
Although I don’t need to justify my reasons for staying, I still feel some judgement and disapproval coming from some people, so I’ll try to give a quick layout of why I made this choice. For starters, it goes back to why I came here in the first place: I am young with absolutely nothing tying me down. I am so blessed to be young, healthy, and free, so why wouldn’t I take full advantage of that? Travel is so important to me and you really never know what can arise in the future, so it’s best to do as much as you can now. With that said, there is still so much more I want to see and do in Spain and Europe. I might as well do it now because I highly doubt a spontaneous weekend trip to Paris is in my future! Another big reason is because my Spanish still has a LOT of room for improvement. I hope after another year I will improve even more. Also, if I become a Speech Therapist one day, bilingual (especially in Spanish) SLPs are highly coveted and are paid much more, so that’s definitely an incentive to stay as well.
But most importantly, all I’m doing is following my heart and doing what makes me the happiest. It’s cheesy, but you really do only have one life to live, so why not live it exactly the way you want to? In my heart I know that I would be devastated to leave Spain right now. I put in so much time, effort, and money to get myself here in the first place, so I just want to enjoy it a little longer. I’m doing what’s right for me at this point in time. Grad school is still on the agenda for when I finally come home, but for now I am absolutely loving having a job that allows me to live and work in Spain. That was my dream the day I left Sevilla and I am so thankful that it all worked out.
So next year I will be at my same school and I am so excited! I love my students and I just can’t imagine saying goodbye to them just yet. I think next year will be even better because I have this first year under my belt and I’m more experienced this time around. I know all my kids and they all know me, so everything should run much smoother next year. Since the school year is starting to wrap up, I’m starting to realize that these are the last classes I’ll have with my students for the year. But since I’ll be back next year, it’s a great feeling being able to say, “Have a great summer, I’ll see you in September!” instead of having to say final goodbyes. God knows how difficult those final goodbyes will be when they actually do happen.
Obviously spending another year away from home, my family, and my friends will be difficult, but I fully intend on coming home for Christmas which should help split up the year and make it a little easier. And before then, I have an amazing 2 and a half months at home to look forward to this summer and I cannot wait!! 🙂