I have so many thoughts, ideas, pictures and moments that have accumulated over the last three+ months, coupled with my difficulty of sitting still long enough to process, edit and sort, that I didn’t know where to start sharing.
It is only in moments where I am occupied with something else, like taking a crowded bus home from work at 12:30a on a Tuesday night (why the heck was the bus so crowded at that time?), that I find it easy to write.
- A gypsy blessed me a few days after being here, and I’m pretty sure she took me for $10…
- I still don’t know how I feel about the fact that it’s not culturally acceptable to throw toilet paper in the toilet; there’s a separate trash can for that. I believe it’s to help the sewage lines, however, there’s something about a trash can full of used, toilet paper…
- The street art here is something else! I really must post photos soon.
- I love the fact that you can find people dancing all over the city. From the break dancing group that meets at Metro Baquedano to the little groups that form in the park and behind office buildings practicing their dance routines, this city loves to dance!
- Instant coffee isn’t so bad, and I can’t believe I don’t miss my Cinnabon coffee creamer.
- Even with my minimal to a slightly moderate effort I have made to learn and comprehend Spanish, I am amazed at how much I am learning!
See what I mean?
The biggest thing to make note of is that I am alive, well and enjoying my life here in Chile. It’s been a pretty awesome experience, indescribable really, yet not so much in the way I feel people typically think about going abroad.
Yes, I have done a little traveling and seen some beautiful places (with so many more to see), while meeting and connecting with great people along the way, however, this is not necessarily a vacation, as I am also here working.
The whole work thing was an interesting experience in my first couple of months in Santiago, especially since I hadn’t “worked” in the last two years, and had some major mental adjusting that took place to get back into a work routine.
All of this, though, has really contributed to this indescribable experience I’ve mentioned. Even as I sit here and write, I struggle to find the words to express how grateful I am for the thoughts that have opened up, the mental breakthroughs that have occurred (and continue to) with how I think, do, act, and operate, the emotional spectrum my body and mind has experienced, as well as any idea of what I thought this move would or should look like. As some of you may have already experienced, if you want to learn more about yourself, just move away from everything and everyone you know – it’s fascinating (#blogidea)!
In my first couple of months in Santiago, I wrestled with overwhelming anxiety, doubt and fear. This, coupled with stomach and shoulder pains (not to mention that I stopped having a period) left me to seriously consider going back home sooner than originally stated. I thought my body was trying to tell me I made a mistake. When trying to think of how to eloquently say that all of this was okay in the end, and great for that matter, this verse from James came to mind which sums up my feelings quite nicely:
“Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.” James 1:2-4
Ah yes…of course! In the middle of trying times it is so easy for me to forget that each trial endured not only ends, yet produces a stronger, wiser, more magnificent version of self. I have emerged on the other side lighter, more playful, peaceful, with more clarity about who I am – liberated – at least until the next trying round which inevitably will come.
I could keep going on and on, however, this would end up being a small book in no time…Instead, I have decided to start this blog to capture all this goodness in one space. I wrestled with the idea of starting a blog as there are mountains of blogs out there already, and really, does the world really need another one? After a lot of thinking it over, I came to the conclusion that the element of journaling would help me make sense of all the thoughts jumbling around in my mind, be a good way to update all of you on a more personal level, and create the possibility of leaving someone touched, moved or inspired by my sharing. The last reason was the tipping point, as the time I’ve had alone with myself has helped me realize just how much of a disservice not sharing me, solely out of fear of rejection and dislike, has been.
This also led to the name of my blog, which captures who I am and how I choose to interact with the world:
Amiga del Mundo (Friend of the World)
More on this later, of course 🙂
Lastly, I freakin’ miss you guys! While I had many moments where I craved being back home with you all, now I just want to figure out a way to bring you all here so we can take a trip somewhere beautiful! I am thankful for each of you and all that you add to my life. Even miles and miles away, I feel your love, well wishes and prayers. I look forward to sharing more with you over my time here in Chile and beyond. We have so much more to discuss!