Friday, November 4, 2011

When life gives you lemons, make sangria

Update from the Andalucia region in Southern Spain:

First of all, Spain is INCREDIBLE. Beautiful weather, mouthwatering tapas, the best mojitos and sangria I have ever tasted (especially the local Seville version of sangria, tinto de verrano), stunning Moorish architecture, and scenery that literally just makes your jaw drop.

So, my whole "pack up and explore Spain with two random guys" thing has actually turned out brilliantly.

But, other things going on right now in my life haven't been that great. Basically, I was told the night before I flew to Spain that my job as an au-pair was, essentially, over and that they didn't want me any longer. Part of me really, really wants to defend myself right now, because I feel like anyone reading this would be like, "well, what was WRONG with you? You must have done something awful." To be honest, I'm not sure what it was I did or failed to do, but I won't get into details here because I certainly don't want to be a mud-slinger and I'm trying to approach the whole situation with grace and dignity. There's no point in being passive-aggressive or accusatory, nor do I really want to victimize myself or villainize the family I was working for. So all I'll say for now is that it obviously is throwing quite the wrench into my plans not only for the next year, but even just for the next week. I have nowhere to go and I have to survive for a week before my flight back to Canada.

Right now I'm looking into hostels and couch-surfing, and trying really hard not to panic. On top of the immediate need to resolve where I'm going to be sleeping for the next week, there's the emotions of "I feel like a failure" that I'm trying to deal with. But I need to look at this next little while like another opportunity to seize and to grow from. Spending this past week in Spain has helped my attitude immeasurably - maybe its something of this Spanish "joie de vivre" and laidback approach! Or it could be the weather - how can one stay depressed when you're surrounded by palm trees? Or it could be the glasses of tinto de verrano I've been downing in Marbella, Seville, Cadiz, Granada... :)

Either way, I just wanted to take this time right now to say that yep, I'm alive, I'm healthy, I've got a place to call home and return to, and wonderful family and friends who have supported me throughout this ordeal wholeheartedly. I flash back to my first night in Russia (one of the scariest nights of my life!) and I think, "Ok, if I survived that, and I survived three weeks of no heat or hot water in my flight in December," I can survive this. Its not ideal, its not what I planned or dreamed about in my preparations for England, but its okay.

When life gives us lemons, use them to make some really nice sangria (or, if you're in Seville, you can be all cultured and call it the local version, the aforementioned tinto de verrano that is so, so bueno)!


  1. Can't wait to share a whole massive pitcher of sangria with you! And some recreations of your favourite tapas too!

  2. Everything happens for a reason! You're kind, intelligent, loyal, generous, honest, patient, and yes, very gracious. Your friends and family definitely know this about you :) Can't wait to see my bestie!! Email me details about what time you fly in and when I can see you!!!!

  3. oh wait till I show you the pics of the tapas we had...! I am drooling right now (attractive, I know) at the memory of this insane baked zucchini/cheese one we had in Sevilla!

    Aww Heather! <3 I know its hard when we're an ocean apart but I've really felt your support this past week!

  4. Katie: Zucchini is a fruit. :)

  5. I agree with everything Heather said. And I think you made it quite clear that you are exactly that type of person by the grace and tact with which you've handled this situation in your blog.

    While this unfortunate event may not have happened for a *particular* reason, I definitely believe that we need to look at life as being a series of events, some good, some bad, but nonethless an experience which reminds us that we are living and what we are lucky to have. Even the bad experiences often have good sides too--like lessons learned or people we've met along the way.

    I'm sorry things didn't work out, but onwards to the next adventure!