Today is my last day in Madrid. Again I’ve come to some sort of an end with a long stay in Madrid. It always ends the same: Painfully. I was excited to go home and see my friends, family, etc. and I still am, but now that I’m spending my last few moments here, it makes me incredibly nostalgic and reminiscent. The usual streets I’ve walked for the past year no longer are just sidewalks that get me from one part of the city to the other, but now they seem to all take on some other kind of meaning, something more powerful. I didn’t expect to feel so overwhelmed but I do. I’m glad I get to comeback here soon. The strange part is that now that the end has come, I don’t want to go. I’m ready to come back here already, and I still haven’t even gone home yet. Marta said not to overwhelm myself yet. I’ll feel better once I get home. But leaving isn’t just painful because I’m leaving Madrid and my friends, but it’s the fact that it symbolizes some sort of an end to this journey.
I guess it’s time to close the best chapter of my life and open a new one.
This year has been extraordinary. I’ve made life-long friends that I couldn’t even begin to describe how incredible they all are. I’ve created a “family” here. Needless to say, we are a rare bunch, but a great one at that.
I have now said goodbye to almost everyone. This past week I said goodbye to my students at my schools. Although they might not realize it and they probably won’t even remember me by now, but they’ve really made a great impact on me. I now understand why almost all my teachers cried on the last day of school. I didn’t cry, perse, but I did feel overwhelming proud of them all, almost as if they were my own in some way.
I also had to say farewell to all the students I’ve been giving private lessons to. I think those were the hardest to say goodbye to since I’ve been able to see them grow as students all year.
**Currently missing photos of Robert, Lucia, and Alvaro because I forgot to bring my camera to their house’s and they’ve all already gone on vacation. Muy mal, I know. :/
However, as far as goodbyes go, the most painful has been saying goodbye to friends. I’ve seen them all go one-by-one and now I’m the last one to remain in Madrid (other than those that are permanent, but there are few of those. Most of my friends came from other countries).
This weekend I needed to get out of Madrid for a bit because I was feeling a bit small and lonely now that everyone had gone. Fortunately, Jose Luis called me on Friday three hours before he, Luis, and Anibal all rented a car to go to Murcia in the south of Spain to enjoy the beach. I was so relieved that they not only had one room in the car to take me, but also another to bring Tristan along, who is currently visiting. We drove the five hours on South and once we arrived, it was perfection. Luis’ father has a gorgeous penthouse flat right on the beach in a small town called La Manga and he gave us full access to it. This place included an enormous terrace and an outside shower, totally de lujo (luxury). We spent all Saturday in the sun drinking beers, and swimming in crystal-clear water that was warmer than that of a bath’s. At night we went out to some fun club that we still aren’t in agreement with its name (Mamas Locas, Las Mamadas, Mamellas…?). Anibal played the harmonica the entire time, including inside the club, Tristan kept saying his usual hysterical phrases, Jose Luis was endless laughs, and Luis was our reserved leader. It was a perfect escape.
So as for now, I will spend my last day here saying a few more goodbyes, packing, and sulking in the fact that this whole year is now behind me and it will fade into something surreal in my memory, like a dream. Sometimes I’m still not sure that I was actually living all these events and meeting all these people and going to all these incredible places.
Last night, Kevin asked me what my favorite country was apart from the obvious answer, Spain. I thought about it and realized it’s an impossible question to answer. First, I’ve loved every place I’ve been to. But the place didn’t matter. It’s all about the adventures of each city I’ve visited and the people I went with. I don’t think I could ever sum up how fun it was when the entire “family” went to stay with Carlo’s family in Brescia, or how great it was seeing Erin Berg in beautiful Lyon, or how amazing the concert was in London, or how exciting it was causing all kinds of trouble in Port. It’s all incomparable.
So I will log off this blog now as my last time writing in it from this incredible year in Madrid. I take my last chupito, my last brindis, and I give it to my friends, the adventures, and to the world’s most amazing city, Madrid.