Ok, So I Was Wrong

Karie on Jul 27th 2008 02:49 pm

Since I was about 15 I’ve always felt like wherever I am in life is the best.  “Life can’t possibly get any better than where I am right now.”  I’ve thought that now for 15 years straight, and continue to prove myself wrong at every turn.

I remember the stress I felt when I graduated from high school.  I had attended the same school my entire life – Kindergarten through my Senior year. Wore the same plaid uniform, and hung out with the same kids, whose parents were my teachers.  I absolutely loved my high school years, and leaving that comfort zone was a big deal.

I then went to college, and behold, I loved that too.  I met Scott, made new friends, learned some stuff, and didn’t really want to leave, so I went back for graduate school.  For the next several years I worked for a company I loved, amongst great friends.  Scott and I got married, added Penny Lane to the family, moved a few times, relocated to San Diego, and our careers continued to advance… it just kept getting better and better and better.  Just when I thought life couldn’t be improved upon, we moved to Spain.  A full year of the most amazing adventures that I still can’t believe I actually experienced.

When I look back, I feel like it was all easy.  In reality, we worked extremely hard to get where we are, and there were definitely some challenging times along the way… and that’s when my dad reminds me that I had the same struggle at each one of my previous transitions between my “best phases.”  There’s always the fear, stress and anxiety, but once I get through that, I forget about it.  I guess it’s good to have both perspectives.  I love feeling like life can’t get any better than this very moment, but when I forget the growing pains I start to take the growth for granted… or worse, actually start to believe that life really can’t get any better, and that’s just absurd.

If it had not been for all the other times that I consciously thought “This is the best phase of my life… No, wait, now THIS is the best…”, I would probably be depressed that our year in Spain is almost over, and we will be going home in about six weeks.  The good news is that I love home too, and I know our best days are ahead of us.

So I guess my rambling is more or less in response to a comment that my good friend Sarah left on our guestbook a few weeks ago. In typical Sarah fashion, there were more questions that followed, but for now I’m only attempting to answer the first few:

# sarah on 22 Jun 2008 at 6:27 pm
“Hey Guys! (I think this one is for Karie, with Scott’s valuable input, of course.) As if you don’t have enough to do, I was thinking maybe you should write a blog about what you are feeling right now. Trip winding down, ready to go home, still haven’t done (blank), whatever…” (con’t)

When I received her comment we were traveling through the region of Andalucía in southern Spain.  Her questions stuck in my mind as we were on the train to Ronda, and when I turned my iPod on, the first song that played summed up how I felt at the moment:

Did you listen to it?  I know, I know, I’m embarrassed at my own cheesiness, but it’s so true!  I feel good about it!  For once in my life, I’m even (mostly) ok with the unknown.  Right now, I can honestly say that I have no clue where I’ll be in 2 months.  Job, cars, house… No tengo nada!!!  But I think I’ve finally learned that God has a plan for us that’s so much better than anything I could ever come up with on my own, and I’m at peace with that.  I’m feeling good.  Birds flying high, you know how it is.

(Dad, you can remind me about this when we move home and I’m upset that we have no furniture.)

To further answer Sarah’s questions, I could always come up with more that I could’ve or should’ve done with my time here.  For example, I do regret not working harder to become fluent in Spanish this year… but then I give myself the advice I used to give my clients:

“Stop should-ing all over yourself.”

As far as new experiences go, we’ve done everything we set out to do this year, and more.  We just have a few short trips to squeeze in (which I will certainly blog about), but for the most part our last six weeks will be in Barcelona, spending as much time as possible with the friends that we’ve made here.  I’ve written a ton of new goals for things I want to see and do later in life (we’re definitely not done traveling!), but my more immediate focus is to wrap up the best phase of my life, in preparation for our new best phase.

Filed in Spain,Travels | Comments (9)

9 Responses to “Ok, So I Was Wrong”

  1. LACon 27 Jul 2008 at 5:12 pm

    I am glad to hear that, cause your father has told me to bug you to come home and face this world and get on with the real life, so the sooner the better.

    Take good care

  2. sarahon 27 Jul 2008 at 5:59 pm

    This blog IS the best…they take requests!
    My response: Tears!!

    I was bragging about you guys (as I often do) the other day, and this is the summation of that conversation. As cheesy (wink) as it sounds, you are inspiring to all of us who have become armchair travelers via your blog. Maybe not everyone will pursue this particular manifestation of a dream, but your hard work and sacrifice has proved that WHATEVER you want to do, it can be done. My dad always says that “if you really wanted to do it, you would have done it”. It is easy to sit back and think of all the reasons something wouldn’t work out, and then to reap disappointment. So every time I read your latest installment and do the obligatory sigh of jealousy, I think that somehow I can achieve many of my goals as well. (which DO include lots of travels!) So thanks again for taking a chance, and taking us with you. No doubt you have many more best phases ahead!

    Maybe you can now write your trip off as the necessary expenses of motivational speakers…

  3. Lilaon 27 Jul 2008 at 10:10 pm

    Can not wait too see you guys, but I can understand the sadness that goes along with leaving a place you called home for a year and all the wonderful friends you made. However i will be happy to have my friend back. Love you guys and have a safe 6 weeks until you get home. take care. The place across from me is sunset glen.


  4. Nomadic Matton 29 Jul 2008 at 6:34 pm

    I like that song. so you’re going home huh? how’s that make you feel?

    and remember, everyday should be as good or better than the last.

  5. Karieon 29 Jul 2008 at 7:57 pm

    @LAC: He’s a very persistent man… 🙂

    @Sarah: I miss you! Thanks so much for taking the time to write your questions, then to write such a kind response. Loving & supportive people like you are the reason we were able to do what we’re doing… and what makes coming home just as great. 🙂

    @Lila: Wish you could’ve made it out this year, but we have plenty of time for future fun and travels! See ya soon!

    @NM: Overall I’m looking forward to it, although I’m also sad to leave Spain at the same time. We really do love home, and I know that going back doesn’t mean the traveling is permanently over, so it’s all good. Maybe we’ll catch up with you half way around the world some day. 🙂

  6. hallieon 30 Jul 2008 at 1:33 am

    Drats! yet, Congrats!
    Just as you leave, my soon-to-be husband and i will be heading to spain for 3 weeks for our honeymoon. First stop — Barcelona’s La Merce fest! Any pointers on where to stay to be the closest to the main events would help us greatly.

    I have really enjoyed reading your first hand experience of the festival, along with every single post about Spain. Your love of Ronda has convinced me that we need to make it “must-see” city on our journey.

    And congrats – you were able to live a dream that so many of us have, but are too chicken to act upon. Hats off to you both and the best of luck your “next best phase” of life.

    Hallie & Rob

  7. Donna Isaacson 30 Jul 2008 at 11:19 pm

    I’m sure that I will spend many more hours in the future reading more of your blogs on your travels. I have no doubt that if you both want to do something you will figure a way to do it.

    You have always been able to have fun at whatever you doing at the moment and I’m delighted to see that you have enjoyed every minute of this experience. We have really appreciated the website with all the pictures and your writing; it has kept you close to us all year!

    We look forward to seeing you both and it will be interesting to see what the future holds for such a great couple.

    We love you,

  8. Karieon 31 Jul 2008 at 5:18 pm

    @Hallie: I sent you an email with a handful of recommendations, in case you haven’t seen it yet. Congrats on the upcoming wedding!

    @Mom: love you.

  9. Linda Luceroon 19 Aug 2008 at 3:14 am

    Have enjoyed all the blogs and the creative retelling of adventures. What a way for us to enjoy armchair traveling and gain insight for future travels. You two have had a magical year and we are very happy for you—sorry you will “just miss” the lake weekend.
    Linda and Bobby

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