In the last few days I have become closer with my already close Spanish friends. I have had deep talks over Spanish snails and listened to my favorite music from the semester while browsing the Alcazar castle. Friends said goodbye behind teary eyes at CC-CS’s goodbye party, and gloomy hugs were accompanied with gifts when I said “Hasta luego” to my host family for the last time.
I spent a day walking slowly through every single one of my favorite places in Sevilla, and I couldn’t push away all the love I’ve grown for this place. Ivy and I always say we want to feel the places we go to in this world, not just see them. So, how has Sevilla made me feel?
It’s made me feel inspired. Seeing castels and churches carved with detail unimaginable to me before has give me reason to believe in everything great in us as people. There are artists, in the past centuries and today, who see past efficiency. They see beauty and life. They see a reason to spend their lives creating beautiful things.
It makes me feel humble. I am just one, normal person in the midst of this crazy world and for the first time in my life I’m content with that – because I know the right people will see value in me alone. We’re all more than simply the efficiency and things we can bring others. And I can feel the same about others now – I want quality over quantity in every relationship I have. I’ll take a café solo and a long talk over a red carpet event in Los Angeles any day. I hope to show the love I saw in people like Abdhul and Ibrihim from Morocco, the humor of my good Italian friend, the patience of my host family, the easy-going spirit of my favorite cafe waiters, the instant friendliness of our new French friends, and the amazing thirst for knowledge of Ivy’s art gallery boss, to others. They have now all become pieces of me, and because of this I have never loved myself more.
It makes me feel thankful. The first week I was here, my host mom Toni told me <<Nos disfrutamos la fruta de la vida más que dinero>>. I watched the dynamic of her family. They all love eachother so much, and Juan is gold in their eyes. Wow.. my mom did all of that for me. Every family has their problems, Toni told me. And you know what, I understand that completely now. Our family is the only one we have, and there is a certain part of our hearts that can only be fulfilled by loving them. We can’t change our families (not that I’d ever want to) but only accept eachother for what we are.
It makes me excited. I’ve met so many wonderful people, and I only want to know what else is out there in the world. After Sevilla, I am traveling to Vienna to live with my cousin and aunt for the summer. I will be writing for a science company there, and I couldn’t be more excited. I want to see all the concealed treasure I know is waiting for us out there.
So now, as I realize it’s time to leave Sevilla, I feel absolutely terrified. I’m terrified I will lose everything I’ve learned, or that the pieces of this fairy tale will dissolve into the black spaces of my memory. I’m scared I will melt back into the habits that now seem so ridiculous to me. I’m scared I will look back on all of this and it will seem far away and hazy, or that I’ll just consider everything I’ve felt the whimsical thoughts of a study abroad student getting swept away by the moment. I fear I’ll deny this was the real world as I’m enveloped by my life at home. Will the family and friends I’ve become so close to here in Spain become has-beens in my life? Is this a life-changing semester, or just a college-changing semester? I don’t want to lose this.
My last few hours in Sevilla I went to Plaza de España and made a wish in that beautiful fountain I’ve seen so many times. I have never wished for something so strong, or so truthfully, in my life. I told myself not to forget.
Now as I’m sitting in this plane that will rip me away from everything good I’ve seen on this trip, I blink back tears. I feel almost panicked that it’s all going to be gone. Yet then I remember one of the first things I learned on this trip… the Sevillan city slogan.
NO8D0 – The city has not abadnoned me.
And I truly believe that it never will.