Sunday, February 5, 2012

El Próximo Año

I thought it was about time I shared my plans for the next year (because you were all so curious, I know). I was a flip-flopper there for a while, one minute deciding I wanted to go home and the next that I wanted to stay. But I had an epiphany a few weeks ago while sitting in a café relaxing that I would be a fool to go home now and trade in this laid-back lifestyle for one of stress and misery. I had thought that I needed to go start my real life, but I now realize that this can BE my real life, if I so choose.

Plus I still have so much to learn! My Spanish has not improved as much as I'd like, and I still have a hard time understanding my coworkers when they talk amongst each other. I can't go home before I've fixed that problem! And I haven't made as many Spanish friends as I'd like, and I haven't traveled to all my dream destinations.

So now I've decided to stay for another year.

The next question (the one I've been ruminating on for weeks now) is WHERE exactly to go next year. I have three options: a) stay at my same school, b) stay in Galicia but move to another school (which I don't get any say in), or c) move to another region entirely.

At first I had thought it would be good to move to another region and learn about other parts of Spain, but then I thought about how much easier it would be to stay in Galicia. My bank would already be set up and I (hopefully) wouldn't have to reapply for a visa in America--I could just renew my foreigner card here in Spain. Plus staying would increase my feeling of being settled, because the first few weeks wouldn't be a blur of confusion and being lost all the time, and because I could build on the small friendships I've already made here.

So now the decision is whether to stay in my same school or not. There are advantages and disadvantages to both options, of course. If I were to stay, I'd already know the people who could give me rides to work, I could make better friends with my coworkers, I'd already know the school schedule and how things work there, and I'd already know the kids and could build on my relationships with them from this year.

However...if I were to move to another school, maybe I could get a schedule that wasn't biweekly and could therefore do private lessons because I'd be free at the same time every week, maybe I could be just in a primary school instead of in a primary and a secondary, maybe my commute to work would be way shorter (instead of the 45 minutes that it is now), and maybe I could make even better friends with coworkers because we'd actually live in the same city (almost all my coworkers who are around my age live in Ourense; I live in Vigo).

The unfortunate thing is that if I choose to move schools, I have no idea what I'm going to get. I can try to ask to be placed in Vigo, and I can ask for a primary school, but there's no guarantees. I could end up with something worse than I have now or way better than I have now.

So I just keep on deliberating, back and forth and back and forth. Does anyone have any good advice that will help me make a decision?

Here is an unrelated awesome picture that my friend took for me last weekend in the Playa de las Catedrales, a cool beach in the north of Galicia.

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