Today is a holiday in Valencia though I'm not entirely sure for which Saint. It is not a national holiday, just a holiday for those in Valencia province, which means that everything is pretty much closed here including my school.
Knowing that I had a 3-day weekend, I didn't feel compelled to force a bunch of sightseeing in this weekend and I've relaxed a little.
Saturday I went to the grocery and in the evening went on a Ruta Vegano--a tour of a few supermarkets to help new vegans (or old vegans new to Valencia) find items. There were 4 of us, plus the guide, that attended and the other 3 all knew each other. The whole situation was a bit awkward, and to top it off, I only caught about every 10th word. While the social aspect was weird, the tour itself was interesting, and I found a bunch of small, international markets which will be useful to know when I am making family dinners again. Afterwards, I found a bar that also served delicious food and walked back to the apartment at about 10pm.
With nothing on the schedule, I took the day yesterday (that was Sunday, right?) to walk to the beach and put my toes & @$$ in the sand.
For me, there has always been something cathartic about the ocean. I don't swim in it (I was 9 when I saw Jaws and that scar runs deep), but the vast horizon and the sound of the waves usually restores my balance. It makes sense then that any emotions that I need to deal with come rushing up and out when I am at the beach.
The beach here is deep; there is a lot of sand from the boardwalk area to the water's edge. About 10 minutes into the walk towards the water, I noticed my eyes welling up, and all the fears and doubts about what we are undertaking just came pouring out through my tears. I thought about the family and friends and familiarity of all that we are leaving in Atlanta. I thought about how my oldest is leaving the nest, and that I don't understand what is being said to me 95% of the time. I thought about my house, and my stuff, and my routine. And, I sat on the beach and wept and watched the wind blow the sand.
I don't know how long I was on the beach, but at some point the tears stopped and I decided that it would be a good time to head back to the apartment. I hadn't resolved anything, but just the release of letting those emotions out was liberating. I put on Google Maps and some music and enjoyed the stroll in the beautiful weather. A woman stopped me and asked the name of the street we were on, and I understood what she asked and was able to reply (after looking at Google Maps) in Spanish.
I made it back to the apartment, and I noticed that I had a pounding headache. I'm not sure why I hadn't noticed before then, but I took a few Tylenol and slept.
For 18 hours.
I woke up this morning feeling better both physically and emotionally. Yesterday's cry and sleep helped restore my equilibrium.
With the rest of the day ahead of me, I'm off for a walk to the barrio where we want to rent...can't wait to see what it looks like.
#vegan #friends #family #expatlife #kids #moving #emotions #expat