Spain: a new Self

I’ve been living in Spain for nearly four weeks now. And it has been a rollercoaster of an experience so far. I have seen more fascinating sights than I could’ve expected, and I’m nowhere near done. These ups have not been without their downs. Seemingly everything is different than life in my small midwest town. My senses constantly overwhelmed. As of yet, there have been a few really bad episodes of culture shock. At a certain point you become physically done with the novelty. For me, it usually centers around my lack of language skills and the necessity to rely on other people. The reality of vulnerability. It has been painful at times.

One thought that is comforting is the vast new perspective I’m gaining of myself. It reminds me of a quote from Doctor Who,

“We all change when you think about it. We’re all different people all throughout our lives. And that’s ok; that’s good. You gotta keep moving so long as you remember all the people you used to be.” –The Doctor

There’s no doubt in my mind that I’m leaving bits and pieces of who I was all over Spain. This semester is taking from me, and that is the best situation I can hope for. It allows for a new mindset, gives me a chance to fill in those holes with what I need to carry me forward.

Soon I’ll find myself back at that beautiful, familiar farm where I grew up. Will it recognize me? I know that I’ll be a different person. I know that everyday here, all the way to the end, will be a struggle. When I return to Missouri it will also be a struggle. I’ve learned there is no such thing as normal, and that is what I wake up every morning to face. Knowing that I am constantly recreating myself for the better.

Peace, Love, and Happiness… blogdoctorwho

–Joe

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a short note to self

Beyond what you know lies a whole new world. Beyond one’s comfort zone is the realm of infinite possibility. It is ours for the taking, all that is required is that we agree to take each step anew.

Comfort is an illusion. What is there if we do not push the boundaries? Where we sit offers nothing but decay and more of the same. Now full disclosure, pushing the envelope will hurt. It’ll push back, and you’ll discover pain. Always the best we can do is simply keep trying.

travelpretty

Your journeys will earn you scars. Pieces of you left behind, and experiences carried onward. Sometimes it’ll be tangible changes; a face worn by the sun, or a tongue with a hint of another language. Often they are less apparent and yet more powerful. Perhaps you’ll have a new perspective, or maybe you’ll encounter an entire paradigm shift. With certainty, travel makes you a different person.

Change is important. It helps us understand better who we are. Change allows us to discard that which pollutes us, and is the lens through which we may focus on that which remains important. It is easy to become dismayed by the anxiety and hurt we feel, exposed as we are. It’s in these moments that I strive to remember why I do this. It is not for myself now, rather I continue to Bemore for the person I will be tomorrow. Always tomorrow.

Peace, Love, and Happiness…

–Joe

Each moment

Think about yesterday. What do you remember? I remember pouring my coffee; I remember jamming out to my favorite song; I remember speaking to that one awful customer that nobody really wants to deal with. What I don’t remember is yesterday as one whole memory, rather yesterday is a slightly disjointed sequence of smaller memories. Because we don’t remember entire experiences, just moments within them.

I went and saw the movie Deadpool with a couple friends a few weeks ago. I’ll admit it was probably one of the best comic book to movie adaptations I’ve ever seen. Though it was morally offensive so I’m not actually going to suggest you watch it. Towards the end of the movie a member of the X-Men by the name of Colossus tries to instill in Deadpool (and the movie) with just a hint of morality. Colossus explains that to be a super hero is not a constant job. It’s not something you do 24/7 365 for your entire life. He says that a person only has 4 or 5 opportunities in their life to prove who they really are. And it’s what they do in these moments that determines whether or not you are a hero.

Matthew Kelly once said that the saints did not live holy lives. The saints became saints by living holy moments. They chose to make the most of the moments that presented themselves. We can all apply this to our entire lives. We need to recognize the power within each moment and ask ourselves, am I making the most of the opportunities that present themselves?

Peace, Love, and Happiness…

–Joe