Friday, February 17, 2012

Madrid is my home now

These pictures are from last weekend, but the days have been flying by here, and there has been no time to post. 

(Photos in the post are from my travels today, and really have nothing to do with the text of my post, other then to serves as visual intrest).

Last Saturday I had lunch with the DH and on the walk to his work I stopped in at the Taste of America store to uy my Jiffy peanut butter.

This very nice walk takes you buy the Plaza de Republic de Argentina where there is a very nice fountains with jumping Dolphins. As I was walking I finally felt it..."I am finally comfortable here, this is my home now". 

The first two months I thought that living in Madrid was a grand adventure. 

Then something happened, I do not know what, but Sapin suddenly became a place I was very scared of. I do not know why I admitting this on a public forum, but I would find reasons not to go out of the house. Going to the grocery store was one of the most intimidating things that I have ever done. I have no idea what happened, but I was suddenly scared, shy and miserable.

Fast forward to November when I got my residency and my job. Suddenly I was forced to interact with people. I was forced to meet new people and navigate by myself around the city. My job is very hard, and I am still not sure that it is a good fit, but I will always be a little grateful that it  has helped break me out of my rut.

Part of why I am more comfortable is of course that I feel like I have a good enough grasp on the language now that I feel confident that I will understand most situations/conversations. Not knowing the language is very debilitating, even in this day and age of information. I have no idea how my immigrant ancestors coped with it all back in the day.

Another part of of the reason that Madrid feels like home  now is the amount of people that I know. I do not mean just friends, but acquaintances. I have noticed that It always takes at least 3-6 months to feel at home in a brand new city (in the US) and that has a lot to do with finding a sense of community, putting faces and personalities with to the great unknown masses.

It has taken longer here to feel that sense of belonging. I was beginning to think that I never would belong, and that being scared was going to be a lifestyle for me.

Luckily now I am fairly sure that the reason that it took so long to "fit in" was the fact that so many things are different. I am still getting used to living here, and it will probably take me years to truly "fit in" (if ever). For example, my mind still shies away from thinking that I have to learn all new laws, in Spanish. Shudder. 

I can find my way around the city fairly easily, and if I get lost, I can ask for directions.

Sometimes (not often)  when I am speaking in Spanish I can even forget that I am speaking in a foreign language.

Life is not ideal. I am overworked, underpaid, and most often stressed out. However, this has to do mostly with a job  that I will either get better at or leave for another. The underlying feeling of belonging is there.

The foundation of my new life has been laid, and I am beginning to see my future, and it's potential before me.


  1. Wow ! I mean it ... wow. I had sensed that you were feeling trapped in a bubble, but you have found perhaps meaningful ways to interact in your community, and look at the difference it has made.

  2. Hi Kaystir, I noticed you joined my site, Thanks! This was an interesting post. I'm not at all surprised it took you a while to feel comfortable there. I have lived in France and get along okay in France. I feel comfortable there, but I can't say it feels like home. Of course I don't live there permanently. We will be heading back to Normandy in 3 weeks for a visit of one month. It's not the same as living and working there, though, not at all.

    Best of luck to you.