Balancing Life after 7 Sunny Years
Home is Where the Heart is
Has it really been 7 years since I waved goodbye to all my friends and family? I still walk through Valencia with the same sense of bewilderment.
What a beautiful city! It's 'home' to me just like I felt at home when I was a little girl. Even today I see the beauty of the City of Arts and Sciences and I still love to stroll around the old historic quarters. With its quiet streets and little squares to utterly enjoy the warm rays of sun while having my 'Tinto de Verano'. This city has everything I imagined and more.
I Did Well
To start with nothing was somewhat scary. I didn't know anyone in the beginning but I can genuinely say I DID WELL. I master the Spanish language with its 2000 irregular verbs. I found a ridiculously cheap 3-bedroom apartment in my beloved area and I invented Funtours Valencia to show newcomers around.
Thanks to the love and support of friends and family, I became a professional local guide and discovered my talents as a business woman. I wasn't aware of having any of these qualities, marking a new era in life.
Friends, Family and Changes
Over the years I developed several new friendships. Naturally some became closer than others. Just like some family bonds became closer over time, yet being much further apart.
I met my best friend at language school, when I started life in the middle of the unknown. We bonded during a seemingly endless and happy friendship. To my surprise things changed after 6 years.
My best friend turned against me and things got worse over time. When left with the mere shell of our bond long gone, I had to walk away, protecting myself from the damage that had been done. I tried my best but failed and then slowly restored my balance.
By now my truest friends live outside the city I call 'home'. We go back ages. They know me for who I really am. When we visit each other, we simply pick up life where we left off, as connectivity these days makes it possible to keep 'them close to heart'.
Very important friendships are still left throughout this storm. Though I realize real friendships take years to develop. As we age, it's harder to make new ones and 7 years isn't really that much at all.
My Latina heart feels very much at ease with the Spanish pace of life and its beautiful weather. My heart sings when opening my curtains to yet another bright blue sky.
My Dutch mindset and cultural standards however make it quite difficult to connect with the 'Valencian way of life'.
I settled down in the 'party-city' of Spain where you will find bars and clubs for all ages. This never seems to wear anyone down, always looking for another hook-up, moving to another 'party' some place, somewhere. I've always understood this to be a phase in life.
Then when you calm down, you open up for a serious connection with someone you feel truly compatible with. I'm 43 and single for many years. Early menopause helped me to massively calm down even though I still feel the passionate Latina inside.
Next to parties all year round, infidelity is part of the Valencian culture more than it is in other parts of Spain. Add the alcohol and drug abuse (mostly cocaine) to the high unemployment rate, next to grown-up men still living with their parents just because it's easier.
A real Spanish macho man isn't necessarily blown away by an independent Latina woman, who stands her ground and masters 5 languages. Who seeks for equality in a relationship and values monogamy over status. They are macho for a reason just like I probably have bigger balls. I'm just not the type to giggle my way through yet another unintelligent conversation on yet another Tinder date.
Intuition is Key
But to be honest, I became picky. Careful too and by now overly cautious. Men in general are masters in romancing you. Making you feel special and seemingly loved. I've been put on a pedestal more than once only to find out something was off. Words never really met their actions.
My brains keep me safe when my heart lets me down. My intuition is always right when I embrace reality over hope. Simply because I feel happier this way. Why worry if someone will come along instead of counting the endless blessings in my carefree life under the sun? To be carefree without having real worries is more than I could have wished for, after having suffered tremendously for having Bipolar Disorder.
Bipolar Disorder became my niche topic on Hubpages. I've published multiple Hubs on this serious mental illness which many people still get diagnosed with. Emigrating to Spain was a risk as much as it was my salvation.
It deepened my mental stability profoundly and I dared to travel even further on my own. Traveling became my new inspiration in life. It offers me personal growth and endless discoveries. Sometimes it hurts but most discoveries are little wonders, to be cherished long after my trips. Oddly enough I find it scarier now, to make new friends than to drive 2000 kilometers on my own through The States.
The Circle is Round
Curacao is next on my bucket list. A special trip I'm looking forward to, as I will reconnect with the child inside. Life once began at this Caribbean island. Now after more than 30 years I will be back and eager for the experience.
The shy little adopted girl from Colombia once left the island at age 11. What a simple and easy life I'd had.
I will drive around the island, revisit my old house, walk around my old school yard and reunite with friends I had. What do they remember and how much will have changed?
Adventure Always Appeals
My goal in life has been reached when I started my life from scratch. I made friends, found my home, got a job and live life the way I should.
It's been 7 amazing sunny years but it suits the adventurous Virgo that I am, to explore more and extend my boundaries.
I am comfortable at this point in time but eager for new and interesting life lessons. Expanding your comfortzone is never easy but always worth the peek into yourself.
To Fall in Love Again
Curacao might feel like home to me. If I can successfully emigrate once, I must be able to do it twice. I'd have to fall in love all over again, just like I did with this magical city. After all, home will always be where the heart is.