*I didn’t want to infringe on anyone’s copyright or imply that I am remotely interested in trying to watch a basketball tournament.
I just changed my calendar to March! I know I’m a few days late, but it’s on the wall with sticky tack and it fell down a week or so ago (in the middle of the night so it woke me up and scared the crap out of me, of course). So anyway, it’s back up and it says March.
March is a big deal for so many reasons. First, Spring is coming! Spring means warm weather, sunshine, and outside activities. I can smell it. It’s almost here.
Also in March are some VACATION DAYS. Have I become super Spanish when I can’t even go a month without some days off? February was a nightmare! But now, as noted before, it is March and we have two four-day weeks at the end of the month, then an entire week off at the beginning of April, then another four-day week. Hooray!
I need some downtime for sure. Last week (and one of the reasons I didn’t post anything this weekend) I had a mini mental breakdown. It wasn’t that big of a deal, but I found myself in a position of not being able to control my emotions and that was, to me, a bad sign. So, aside from looking forward to having some time off, I decided to stop the “all work and no play” cycle I was going through.
I mean, it was good because I got a really good start on my thesis, I did a lot of work for my classes, and I was feeling on top of things, but I wasn’t happy. And in the end, that’s all that matters. So, I did less…ahem…no work last week and even didn’t go to my university classes one day and napped instead. I also have implemented a few life changes that I think will help. I don’t want to get into details but they involve getting more exercise, putting less pressure on myself, and increasing my opportunities to meet new people.
Back to March. As I mentioned, at the end of March/beginning of April, we have nice long vacation. And after we get back, I only have 12 weeks left in Spain! Crazy. And I just had a mini-heart attack as I remembered I’m trying to take that exam in May. Deep breaths. It will be fine. Of those 12 weeks, I only have to keep up this crazy schedule for 8 of them. Because, in June, we don’t have classes, our theses are (presumably) finished, and we only work half days! Then I go to Italy.
So, what am I going to do for that week we have off at the beginning of April? It’s a sore subject. See, knowing that this is my last Semana Santa (Easter week) in Europe ever, I really wanted to see some place awesome. I wrote about my goal of going to Greece, and I also thought about Berlin, Budapest, and Vienna. The problem is, no one else saves money like I do (I swear it’s like breathing to me) so they don’t have the funds to travel. Also, they plan on “going that way” after our program is over since most of them are staying all summer.
I looked in to traveling somewhere alone. I went to a travel agent who repeatedly told me (in Debbie Downer’s voice) that if I was to travel alone I would be paying double for the hotel. Repeatedly. Repeatedly. You get the idea. I wanted to say, “Look, lady. Do you think this is ANYTHING other than a last resort?! I mean, do you think there are all these people who want to come with me, but I say ‘Hey no thanks. I like paying more and eating meals alone and talking about interesting sights to myself and risking my safety.'” I mean, really.
So when it came down to brass tacks, I wondered why I was putting so much pressure on myself just to add to my “Cool places I’ve visited” list. And, what’s really important is just to be happy and have fun. So, in the end, I booked a 70Euro ticket to Mallorca (in the Balearic Islands) with my friend Stefanie.
Who doesn’t like to vacation on islands? I’m not sure it will be super beach weather but the ocean is good for my soul, and it’ll be the same type of weather as it would have been in Greece! Plus, with such a cheap flight (flights to any of the other places were at least 250 Euros) I can continue to save money for all the fun traveling I’ll be doing in June and July. I’m looking forward to seeing a few of the islands and just having an actual relaxing vacation instead of a “seeallthesightsasfastasyoucanthere’snotimeforsleepweareheretoseethesightsandwe’veonlygotafewdays” trip.
So that’s what’s going on with me. Summary: Lots of work, mental breakdown, no work, vacation planning.
I WILL get back into doing some work…eventually. Like, this weekend since I have a presentation due next week. But I think the small changes I’ve made will make a huge difference (I think they already are). And I think that what happened last week was inevitable from dealing with the pressures of school, work, bratty kids, cultural differences, and a hectic schedule. Sure, I’ll forever be known now as the “wussy American girl who cries” but I’m fine with that and I’ll still hold my head up high.