Life, Thoughts, Uncategorized

Au Pair Visa – Preparations for Spain

1200px-Flag_of_Spain.svg.png

Over the past month or so I’ve been talking to family in Spain who wants me to be an au pair for them. I have been gathering paperwork in order to submit them to the Spanish Consulate on January 7th in San Francisco. This week I leave to submit the paperwork and then I have to wait a month to see whether or not it gets approved. After I find out if I get the visa in February, I make plans to leave the country by the beginning of March.

The family I have been talking to is really cool. Out of all the families I had talked to, this one seemed like the most appealing and understanding. I have been talking to the mother of the family mostly, M. Angeles, and she seems very kind. She has been helping me through this process the whole time. She even paid for the tuition for me to attend a Spanish University online in Madrid while I’m staying there. The children are all above the age of 13, which was ideal for me. The other families I had talked to had children that were around the ages of 2-8, which would have been difficult. I like that the children are older because they understand and speak more English, which is good since the only language I’ll be able to communicate with them while I’m there in is English. I also don’t have to actually watch and take care of them, I’m just another member of the family. I wanted to be able to focus on actually getting to know the family, the country, the culture, and the language, so being free from the responsibility of childcare was ideal for me.

I am both excited and nervous about the prospect of being in a Spanish-speaking country. I’m not the best at communicating in English, and my Spanish is really poor. I took Spanish for two years in high school and French for a year in college, but I don’t remember everything from the lessons. People have been telling me the best way to learn a language is to be immersed in it and the culture, so I guess this is the best way for me to learn. I also will be attending a Spanish University online, taking Spanish classes for 20 hours a week, so I’ll be learning the language both formally and informally throughout my stay there.

I have some fears about traveling with my mental health. My mental health has been up and down over the years, and although I have been pretty stable with my new medication, I still have worries that I’ll have another manic episode overseas. This is my greatest fear, because if I have an episode overseas in a country that doesn’t speak my language, I will be in very different and stressful circumstances than my last episode. ┬áMy family and I are hoping everything will turn out okay and that I’m healthy enough to travel. I wanted to do this opportunity because I don’t want to constantly be afraid of my mental illness, having it stop me from doing the things I want. I don’t want to be thinking throughout my life, “What if I had done this?” I want to be living in the moment and embracing what life has to offer despite what I’m suffering through.

All in all, I am excited for this trip. I think it will be a great opportunity for me to learn as much as I can in a new country with exciting people and experiences. I have always wanted to travel and explore the world, and this might be the first of many opportunities in the future.

Life, Thoughts

Nostalgic Dreams

During the school year I didn’t have any dreams at all. Ever since moving back home for the summer, I’ve been having really strange dreams.

Last night I woke up twice in the middle of two different dreams, both dealing with things I’ve been working through in my personal life. One of the dreams I don’t remember as clearly, but I’ll share the content of the other.

I had a dream that we were throwing a graduation party in my grandparents’ house, and two of my ex-childhood best friends were there. I haven’t talked to them in a very long time but know that they have graduated from their colleges through pictures on social media.

In the dream, I remember them sitting at a table with me. I was so happy they were back in my life. I remembered one of them was very skeptical about being there, and didn’t want to be celebrating with me. I told them that I had no expectations for our friendship and didn’t care what would result from their visit, just that I was happy to see them and have them in my life again. Then a different person, an old classmate from middle school, came into the room and tried to pick a fight with me. They ended up grabbing a keyboard that was sitting on a table and tried to hit me over the head with it, which is about the time I woke up.

I miss my old childhood friends a lot, but understand that they no longer want me in their lives. I was surprised that when I woke up, I didn’t feel sad. I felt like my dream was trying to tell me something – to cherish the memories that I had made with them, but to move on. The things I said in my dream about just being happy that they were in my life resonated with me. It doesn’t matter how long they were there, it’s the fact that the memories were made in the first place. I should have no expectations about how long people will be in my life. I should just be happy that they were there in the first place and remember that people will come and go.

I think I’ll make a habit of writing down my dreams again in a dream journal. My brother had asked me yesterday about lucid dreaming and whether or not I had ever had one. I have, but it was only once or twice and it was after religiously writing down my dreams every night and working towards the goal of having a lucid dream. I think it would be an interesting goal to have again, at least while I’m on vacation and have the time and ability to do it.