cava and sweet treats from the parador de san francisco in granada.

Every once in a while, I look around at my life and I wonder if this is all real. Is this actually happening to me? Right now, on the first day of 2012, I can’t believe that I’ve been this lucky. This is a post I wrote on December 31 while drinking a cafe con leche at one of my favorite bars, essentially waiting for the year to end. I’ve chosen to add in a few images of my Christmas break traveling with my family.

my mom, sister, and i wandering the alhambra on christmas day.

It’s the last few hours of maybe the most transitional and eventful year of my life to date and I’m more in limbo now than I’ve ever been. The majority of the students in my program, many of them good friends, have returned to the States for good. Christmas has come and gone and with it, my mom and sister, who I probably won’t be seeing until I get back home. I’ve packed up my room in Asa’s house and will only be going back to pick everything up on my way to my new apartment. I’m only ten hours away from 2012, but I’m completely at a loss to picture what this next year will look like. It’s almost as daunting as stepping onto that first leg of my flight to Sevilla almost four months ago.

shoppers in madrid admire the turrón (nougat) offerings.

With all this change coming in the next month, I’ve been thinking a lot about resolutions. I make a lot of them, and not just around New Year’s. As evidenced by my (rather extensive) list of goals I wrote for my year abroad, I tend to think ahead. And right now, I’m feeling the need to spend a little time thinking about what I want from this experience. After all, even though I’ve finished up the first half of my schoolwork, I still have at least six months of time left here, and I want to make sure I’m really taking advantage of this incredible opportunity.

poinsettias and christmas lights in the mercado de san miguel, madrid.

See how I did on my goals from 2011 as well as my new goals for 2012, after the jump.

  • Take the photo: Well, I’m working on it. I’ve become very comfortable having my camera out, which used to embarrass me (who knows why), and photographing the world around me, but human subjects still make me nervous. See: the million photos I have of people’s backs.
  • Move into an apartment with a Spanish student for the second semester: I’m definitely moving into an apartment of my own (TOMORROW!), but the students aren’t Spaniards (French and Lithuanian, actually). But they are flamenco guitarists, so that’s a bonus.
  • Cook one meal every week and document it for a weekly recipe post: Mmm, not so much. I cook about once a week but recipe posts have been thin on the ground. This should be a bit easier with my own kitchen.
  • Put in the effort – in terms of style, language, friendship, everything: Generally, I’m happy with how I’ve done on this front. I have a small but expanding group of Spanish friends and I’m really getting into the groove of the Andalusian accent.
  • Make all elective courses the second semester direct enrollment classes: Taking five classes, with two in the Facultad de Comunicación, Chalk this up as a success.
  • Become a regular at a cafe, bar, or market stall: The guy at the frutería by my apartment knows me by sight, so that’s a start, but this turned out to be less of a priority for me than I thought.

So what does my little self-evaluation mean for my next term here? ‘Tis the season, I suppose: resolutions.

  • Take at least one street style and one good candid street photo every week.
  • Make an effort to befriend my new roommates on a more than superficial level (I have a feeling baking will be involved!)
  • Write my article on illegal African immigrants crossing the Strait of Gibraltar into Spain (more on this later!)
  • Take full advantage of the journalistic connections I’m making here (this too…just to give you a teaser, I’m working on setting up an internship/independent project with a famous journalist as my advisor!)
  • Aim for 2 recipe posts a month.
  • Learn to dance sevillanas – Feria’s coming up, people, I gotta be ready!

What are your 2012 resolutions?

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2 thoughts on “nochevieja

  1. Janice says:

    Honored to be pictured on your blog and now I am inspired to write my OWN resolutions!
    Love, Mom

  2. brooksholly says:

    The transition from farewell with newly made friends can be difficult. In the lull of absence, however, you move deeper into the marrow of your experience.

    Sevillanas…I loved learning to dance Sevillanas. And living with a couple of flamenco guitarists would rank pretty high on my bucket list, if I had one.

    May 2012 bring you un sinnúmero of joys and cataclysmic moments of astounding beauty. Warmly, H

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