As my time studying abroad in Spain is coming to an end, I'm beginning to reflect on how I've grown throughout this experience.
As I sit down outside of Starbucks (surprise, surprise) in the middle of Madrid eating breakfast by myself with no phone signal or anyone knowing where I am, I realize I have grown to be more confident in my own abilities. Growing up in the city, I've always been comfortable wandering the streets alone, knowing that I could always find my way back no matter how far I ventured. It's different though when I'm in a country by myself, with no one for hours to give me a schedule, or rules, or help me if I come across an issue.
I realize I am now comfortable with myself enough to sit at a table alone in the middle of a foreign country, and eat a meal, completely content. I am more confident in my language abilities to ensure that if I were to ever come across a problem, I can communicate my way through it. I am proud of how at ease I can be sitting down doing absolutely nothing for a period of time - when doing this before would've given me anxiety for feeling unproductive.
I've learned to balance. I've learned to breathe. I've learned that not everything has to be controlled to be perfect. I now know that there is real perfection in the imperfect or the unplanned. Gradually, I have grown more into the person I aim to be.
As I continue to write this outside of Starbucks, I am more and more proud of myself when thinking about how I've changed. I feel comfortable here, and I am thankful beyond belief that I've experienced all that I have in the past six weeks. These six weeks, though short, were enough time for me to noticeably grow and become sure of my own abilities. I am grateful for all that this adventure has allowed me to do and see, and I know that through all that I've done here, the only changes in myself can be positive.
I feel confident to go back to the United States and start my internship with a strong head on my shoulders. Confident that even if I do make mistakes in whatever tasks come my way (both at work and personally), I have the skills to learn and grow from them. I feel confident in asking questions when things get difficult or confusing. I feel confident in being a strong voice and not second guessing myself. I am a more independent version of who I was just six weeks ago.
I am happy with every part of my life - even the not so perfect parts. I have truly learned that things that may appear or feel challenging at first, can always be overcome when you hustle through and stay positive. I will never let a hill or a wall keep me from reaching my fullest potential in life. I have learned that I want to always be blooming - growing, prospering, and becoming my true self. And for these lessons, I have Spain to thank. I am proud. I am confident. I am sure of myself. I am blessed.
Here are a few photos from my weekend: