It has occurred to me that lately I seem to be moaning about a lot of things that get on my nerves. I hope you don’t think I’m ranting about everything and hating Barcelona because that really isn’t the case – it may seem that way, but it is just these little irritations that get to me after a long day at work, or that time of the month when my hormones turn me into a raging monster.
The truth is that I have realised the honeymoon period of my affair with Barcelona is sadly over. As the nights grow cooler & my one year anniversary approaches, my cynicism seems to be growing. What seemed like cute little foibles at first, I am swiftly realising, are a fact of life here, and I now have to decide if any of these niggles & irritations are deal-breakers; or if I will grow to love them (or at least put up with them). I hope it is the latter, I don’t feel like I’ve really made the most of Barcelona yet.
I suspect it is simply my itchy feet kicking in again – it is, in fact, the longest I have lived anywhere for four years now, and I can’t help wondering, like the proverbial billy goat, if the grass is greener on the other side of the Atlantic, or indeed the World. Facebook plays a part in this I am sure, having seen several of my friends posting pictures from glamorous places where they live around the world – Australia, Japan, USA, South & Central America, the Caribbean and more. I seem to have lots of friends in exotic places; damn you all for having more exciting lives than me!! That, coupled with hearing my friends here talk about their home towns Bogota, Sao Paulo, San Francisco, Calcutta, Tequila (it makes me happy) means I have to say my feet are definitely twitching….
Maybe one day I’ll earn enough money to take a round the world trip and visit all these places (and put the pictures on Facebook of course). Perhaps I really was born to live a nomadic life, moving around and seeing & experiencing as much of this world as I can. Or it could just be that my itchy feet need planting somewhere for a while & allowed to settle down. I’m not sure which it is yet – am I supposed to know by now?? Does anyone really plan their life & have it turn out just the way it was supposed to? As I see more of my friends settle down & get married, have cats, babies, dogs & houses (in no particular order) and ‘grow up’, that still terrifies me. Maybe I just haven’t met the right man yet. I didn’t think I was ever particularly fussy with what I’m looking for (no offence any past boyfriends!), but lately it seems even harder to find Mr Right, or even Mr You’ll Do For Now! But will I ever want to marry Mr Right (or whatever his name is), get a mortgage, babies and a menagerie, or do I want something else? That is the eternal question, to which I certainly have no answer at the moment. That isn’t to say I want to end up as a Bridget-Jones-a-like, worried about getting eaten by Alsatians; I’m just trying to get on with my life and see what happens – after all isn’t that what everyone does?
So in the meantime, I am concentrating on what makes me happy – simple things like eating good food & drinking nice wine (or at least cheap wine) with my friends, getting involved more with my local community, and visiting new places in the city. This seems to help every time I have a wobble and get annoyed with Barcelona – before I decide to jet off somewhere else there are so many other things to see and do!
Its funny, I started writing this post a couple of weeks ago – during one of my wobbles – and now reading it back, and bearing in mind how I feel this week, I am reassured by how much I do still love Barcelona. So far nothing bad I’ve found about my new home is a deal breaker; I just hope it will continue to win me over every time we have a fall-out. For example, this week I visited the Labyrinth park at Horta for the first time, which was beautiful. I caught up with old friends, went out with new ones, ate amazing food, wore a skirt and flip-flops in the middle of October, and started a new venture (more to follow on that soon!). In the weeks that I achieve something I feel far more satisfied and happy here than in the weeks when I just lounge about and do nothing!
So with that in mind I hope you all take it to heart, and let it be a lesson to us all – get off your backside and just get out there & do it! If there is something you are unhappy with, change it! If bored with your life, try something new! There is a whole world out there – and it starts right outside your front door. So take a deep breath, step outside, and do it! Dr Pepper might ask us ‘What’s the worst that could happen?’ but I ask you: ‘What’s the best that could happen??’ The possibilities are endless! I suddenly feel like I want to stop what I’m doing, run out the door and find something new to do! Normally I am the self-proclaimed Queen of Procrastination and faff around endlessly, but those impulsive decisions I make just to fecking do it usually turn out to be the most enjoyable! And if they don’t, I dust myself off, chalk it down to experience and move on. Life isn’t perfect, but I do believe it is what you make it; so make sure you make yours a good one! And don’t forget to ask yourself ‘what’s the best that could happen??’.
UPDATE: I wrote this post two years before I left for my epic trip to South America. I think even then I knew it was going to happen. I will always love Barcelona, but the call of the open road was just too strong. Even after being on the road for two years I am still not ready to settle down. We’ll see how long that lasts!