I’ve been remiss about blogging for a bit. Just trying to get my bearings in a very new language, new culture, new friends, new lifestyle. It’s all been a bit disorienting. And something about blogging needles one to be oriented, resolved, sure of oneself. And, truth to be told, I never am. I used to think that was a me thing, that I’m slow to figure things out. But I begin to suspect it’s a human thing...
Having weathered a lot of change over the past few years, I realize the thing that has most persistently bitten me in the ass is expectation. I expected certian things of a musical career, of Los Angeles, of marriage, for example, and was a bit boulversé (what a great anamatapoetic word!) when reality didn’t line up with fantasy. But a. the act of projection/fantasy/planning is a little bit self-deluding to begin with. Even IF our best laid plans come to fruition, b. we still have to deal with bills, and an overflowing toilet, being groped on the subway. Those things, inevitable parts of daily life, are rarely factored into one’s future fantasies.
So I’m trying to get more pragmatic about all that while still working for and planning for the best.
In all frankness, I feel ill-equipped to describe my experience of Spain so far. My impressions are so subjective. What claim do I have upon describing the city, this country? To blog, for that matter? Ah well, please take that as a disclaimer, and I’ll say what I can. Hopefully the friends and family that read this won’t hold it against me. Know that I’m trying to see things with as clear an eye as possible but aknowledge that my experience is privileged, biased, and limited.
First and foremost, I admit I probably left Los Angeles to soon. It was a really hard year, I wasn’t doing enough of what I really loved, and as is my wont, running away was easier. I’ll try to bear that in mind for the future, but for now I have to live with that decision.
And what did I expect of Spain? What rosy visions seduced me? I’ll admit, I did think osmosis would rapidly transform me into a fantastic dancer and deft improviser. This wasn’t entirely a conscious assumption, but I’m guilty of harboring it nonetheless. I expected Spanish to be easier. Learning especially the grammar of a new language is bloody hard. I’m not sure what I expected of Spanish culture – I’m probably guilty of not doing enough research. But it is infinitely more complex, more nuanced than I could’ve imagined.
And what am I doing? I’m teaching a little bit – both music and movement. But my teaching is handicapped by my not-quite-fluent Spanish. So I’m teaching English on the side as well. Though exhausting, this jack-of-all-trades lifestyle suits me well – nothing ever gets stale. I really do miss teaching movement more, but I have a Spanish language class now, so hopefully that’s in the works!
As I’ve always been warned, and have experienced, making performance connections takes a little bit longer. So I’m mostly just listening to musicians I’d like to play with, dancers I’d like to dance with, right now and, most importantly, doing the work, because that is what being a professional really is. I’ve never strayed so far from the idea of a five-year plan, and that’s a bit terrifying. But taking it one day at a time and I’ll try to keep you all in the loop!