I’ve been on a bit of hiatus from writing lately, albeit unintentional. Sometimes inspiration, or in my case just plain motivation, doesn’t come. In these instances I should force myself to but being the hedonist I am, I instead sink deeper under the covers and watch that next episode on Netflix.
To be fair, it hasn’t all been reruns of The IT Crowd and binging on serial killer series. Early last month I decided to start studying for a certification as a health coach. I finished the TEFL course, got my marks and certificate sent to me, and started looking for the next thing. Since I got my MPH, I haven’t done much relating to health but it is still a great interest of mine. Through the American Council on Exercise (ACE), I found a self-study course that covers nutrition, exercise, and behavior modification to reach health goals. The manual is around 600 pages and is surprisingly in-depth. I’m familiar with a lot of the information surrounding psychology and sociology through previous university study but since they’re applying it in different ways, I’m still finding it very interesting.
I’m the kind of person that isn’t very good at multi-tasking my hobbies. If I get on a reading kick, I burn through 5 books in a month. If my focus shifts to another subject, I go months without even finishing a chapter. Since I’ve been focusing on reading through this manual, I haven’t touched other books or done any writing for myself. It’s a problematic habit and though balance is possible, I just need to figure out how to do it.
Life has been fairly quiet since 2019 rolled around. Now that I’m feeling more comfortable with the kids and vice versa, there’s way more relaxed interaction which makes it more fun for everyone involved. I genuinely enjoy some of the classes and like the majority of my students. One of the 1st ESO classes I dreaded due to their bad behavior completely turned around. I don’t know when the scale tipped but they respect me now. If they’re not telling me they love me, they’re starting chants to the likes of, “yes! Yes! Andrea is the best!” as I leave the classroom. For my part, they have grown on me, so much so that I’m sad thinking about leaving them when the school year ends. Working with kids is truly an emotional rollercoaster.
At the beginning of January I decided I was going to knock out one of my resolutions, right off the bat. For the 11 day Easter break, I booked tickets to Luxembourg and Malta. I wanted to travel to two new countries (minimum) this year and knew if I fell into a comfortable routine, the time would slip away. I’m also flying back to Dublin for 3 days at the end of February. I do miss Ireland and my friends there and I think it will always been one of those places I return to over and over.
In another move toward a more proactive life, I went to a yoga class today with my friend Annie. The teacher, originally from Chicago, was fantastic and it was a really relaxed and comfortable atmosphere. There were four students in total. Annie, me, (funny enough) a girl from Dublin, and a girl from Ukraine. We all stuck around and chatted after the class and they’re people I could see myself forming friendships with; genuine people with interesting life stories and positive outlooks.
I find I’m drawn to people who teach or practice yoga because they have a calmness about them. I often struggle with reactive and strong emotions. In the moment, I can lash out or break down without thinking. Those feelings are always temporary, and once they blow over I’m fine, but it definitely affects the people around me. I’ve wanted to work on that part of myself but find it difficult. I try not to resign myself to the fact that I’m hot-headed and settle with that because I do believe it is something you can control. Needless to say, I’ll return to her Sunday classes and hope that will help with my self-improvement.
I’ve felt recently that I’m building a happy life in Spain. I enjoy a high quality of life here. The food is fresh and cheap, housing prices are reasonable, and the weather is great. Most importantly, I feel safe. As my Spanish improves, I’m engaging in more conversations with strangers and building my linguistic confidence. I know I’ll probably never stay in one place forever but for the time being, I’m content. And for me, that’s saying something.
J comes home from Argentina on Tuesday and when I get back from work that evening, I’ll be greeted by both him and his pup. I’ve been missing having a dog in my life and couldn’t be more excited for the new addition. Some days I need a reason to leave the house and Louie used to be that reason for me. Without him around, it has been hard. Dogs are therapy on so many levels. I’m looking forward to placing another piece into the messy jig-saw puzzle that is my life.
I’m determined to commit to writing with greater frequency from here out. Aside from the blog, I’ve wanted to write up some short stories from my travels. I’ve found inspiration all around me lately; things I’ve read, runaway trains of thought, passing conversations and observations of strangers. I may not always have the motivation to write but I certainly feel the guilt when I’m not doing it.
An email some months ago from NaNoWriMo hit me like a smack in the face. “What makes a writer?” the title read. Upon opening it, at the top, was one word. “Writing.”
Well, damn. No more hiatuses in my future.