Vale la Pena

I am not a trust-fund baby. My family is not going to inherit oil money, and will most likely never win the lottery. Growing up I was oblivious as to how hard both of my parents worked to give me the world, and even today I am still learning just how much effort they put forth on a daily basis to help me make my life easier, and for that I will forever love, support and thank them. So as I entered college and the economy took a turn for the worst, I was put into a scary position: I was going to have to become an adult and find out a way to pay off my student debt while still being able to put a roof over my head and food into my stomach. The thought still instantly puts panic into my heart as I think about the zeros and dollars signs that lay ahead of me, yet after this past year I know that I will be able to find a way. It was the quarter before I was supposed to leave for my year abroad in Spain, and I had so many things to do.Book a ticket. Get a Visa. Pass anatomy. The entire year had flown by and I had been working two, sometimes three, jobs while taking a full school load and I was starting to feel the exhaustion in my bones. I sometimes I would be at work late, yet again, on the verge of crying as the only thing I wanted was sleep, yet I had a term paper waiting for me back home demanding my full nights attention, and would not permit as much as a wink of sleep. I pushed myself hard this past year because I knew that I could do it and that all of my suffering, in the end, would be more than worth it. Vale la pena. During my time in Spain I have experienced these moments where I remember all of those late nights, the endless cups of coffee, all of the homework and studying, all of the social outings I missed out on, and I instantly get the urge to laugh or giggle out loud as now it all seems so trivial. I worked to touch, to smell, to see, to feel, to live, to be… here. I worked to touch the rough catedral stone with my fingertips. I worked for the smell of tortillas de patatas. I worked for the sight of Puerta Elviera as I walked to class every morning. I worked for the feeling of accomplishment that surged in my chest as I sat gazing at the snow-capped Sierra Nevadas. The fact that I gave up so much effort and so much time all means nothing now as I reap and enjoy the benefits of my labor, and finally I am able to relax, tranquilarme, and enjoy this extraordinary moment in my life.

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