Thursday, September 5, 2013

A look back: 11 months in Madison

Over a year ago, in June of 2012, I had some sleepless nights.  I was living in Madrid, Spain; but my 9-month teaching contract was coming to an end, and I hadn't renewed with the Ministry of Education to teach English the following school year.  That deadline had passed back in March, back when I certainly didn't want to renew.

So what do I do?  Should I try to renew late, and live in Madrid for my third year since 2009?  Should I go back to Madison, WI and try to work at my old job?  Should I HelpX around Europe until I only have enough money for a plane ticket home?  Should I try to get a different job in Madrid?

Sleepless, sleepless nights I had. Back and forth, back and forth I went.  Reading The Alchemist helped calm me down, and in the end I did some traveling that summer, played in a few ultimate tournaments, ran my first 10K, then returned to Wisconsin at the end of September.

Hannah stayed in Madrid for her third year, which was her second year teaching English.  A few times during this past year I have caught myself wondering what would have happened had I stayed in Spain like she did.  Would I be able to throw a hammer?  How much better would my backhands be?  How strong would my Spanish be?  But then I remind myself of all of the things I was able to do while living in Madison, and know that it's pointless to have any lingering what ifs.  You're always going to miss out on something going on somewhere, so it's best to make the most of where you are now and the people you're around.

So here are some of the things I was able to do during the past 11 months while I was living in Madison:
And now I'm in South Korea.  Although it was hard to leave my friends and family from Wisconsin again, knowing I won't see them for a year (again), I know I've got to make the most of my current surroundings.  A year from now I'll probably be making a similar list, reflecting on what I was able to do by being here this year.  And I hope that list rocks.

So I miss everyone, but thank you for letting me leave and learn!
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