Hi! My name is Lexie and I have no idea what I am doing!
BUT - I'm really really good at PRETENDING like I know what I am doing.
This semester, I am lucky enough to be participating in a study abroad exchange program in Bilbao, Spain. A few things about Bilbao:
- It's located in the northern part of Spain, in the famous Basque Region
- The language spoken here is Vasco (as well as Castellano/Spanish)
- Bilbao is notoriously rainy. I'm talking like, a consistent presence of clouds, mist, wind, and precipitation. There are, however, a handful of blessedly beautiful sunny days that make walking to class in the pouring rain worth it.
- Bilbao is a relatively small city. You can get just about anywhere in 15-20 minutes, walking.
I'm living in this beautiful place for sixth months!!
I've been in Spain for a little over a week now and the biggest thing that I've learned in such a small amount of time is that I. Have. No. Idea. What. I'm. Doing !!!! :) :) :) :)
Life in Spain is, of course, very different to what I'm used to in the U.S. and while we are all humans, just bee-boppin' around on Earth and living our lives, it is through these first few moments here in Bilbao that I have realized how very different cultures and food and language and customs and people in general can be.
Being in a foreign place is a big ol brain boggle, lemme tell ya. The street signs are all wonky, the food is new and fancy tasting (WHERE ARE MY ORANGE DUSTED CHIPS WITH ARTIFICIAL FLAVORING AND FOOD DYES?!?), and don't even get me started on the speed at which Spanish people talk, leaving me to just stand and nod along like I completely know what they're saying (I don't). I'm constantly in a state of confusion and trust me when I say that I truly have no idea what I'm doing.
[caption id="attachment_2226" align="aligncenter" width="287"] Exhibit A of I Have No Idea What I'm Doing - When I missed my connecting flight from Madrid to Bilbao and was alone and lost in the airport with no phone service and zero hours of sleep !!! Talk about dazed and confused. #crushin'it[/caption]
But guess what else I've learned during my time here?? That I'm actually really good at pretending like I know what I'm doing!!! And thank goodness for that. The way I see it, the transition into my life here in Spain will be a nice lil' mix of confusion, stress, frustration, excitement, newness, learning, and a huge amount of the false pretense that I have everything completely and totally under control. I'm a firm believer in the art of "speaking things into existence", so I figure that by putting myself out into this strange new world and telling myself and others that I know exactly what I'm doing, eventually, that'll be true. That's what cultural immersion is all about, right? RIGHT![caption id="attachment_2227" align="aligncenter" width="237"] Exhibit B of I Have No Idea What I'm Doing (But I Can Pretend!) - Frantically getting on an ALSA bus to Valladolid, where a sweet friend will house my tired and jet-lagged butt for the night and help me get to Bilbao the next day, where another sweet friend will welcome me to the city. World traveler on the move! (Huge thank you to Maria y Marola ❤️)[/caption]
The truth is, us humans are adaptable beings. For centuries, people have been learning, changing, and adapting their ways to be better with every passing day. I've experienced it many times in my own life, whether it be something as simple as the change of a daily schedule or something a bit bigger like moving away from home to go to college. And through all these changes, I learned to adapt. This move to Spain is really just an extension of this adaptability. By broadening my worldview a little bit and by placing myself in this whole new world💫, I'm able to learn so many cool and exciting new things from people who live a little differently than what I'm used to, and I think that's a pretty neat thing. And really, at the end of the day, the people who I perceive to be so different from me are honestly just fellow humans, searching for a life filled with meaning, love, and happiness.
So yeah. I don't really know what the heck I'm doing or how to do it, but I do know that with time and a constant mantra to be encouraged by bold determination and fearlessness, I'll eventually get there. So here I go - plunging right into the deep, unknown waters of this new and scary Spanish life of mine. I know exactly what I'm doing!!!!
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