Every year I put together a collection of my favorite songs. The list grows as I'm cruising Spotify, or if something really good comes up on Nashville. This practice started a few years ago and it's a fun tradition. We have just a few more days in 2015, and I think this list is ready to go with some songs for dancing, some for singing, and some for just enjoying life as it is at this moment.
Is it possible to completely enjoy the place you are while still missing some aspects of the place you were? I think it is. When I traveled in my early and mid-20's I associated nostalgia and missing home as some sort of failure. Like, I just wasn't as tough as other people who were out there exploring the world - those people who didn't seem to miss anything from home, who could seemingly fit into any new scenario without effort, who could sleep anywhere and didn't appear to have any ties to any place other than where they were at the moment. How glamorous to float around in such a way that everything was beautiful and perfect...that was me some of the time, but not all of the time. I deeply regretted not carrying a travel guitar with me, I knew this would have solved all of my image issues.
See look - nostalgia! It's happening at this exact second. Man, I loved living in Madrid. But not always. Sometimes I wanted pizza. And sometimes I wanted to not have to wait for 25 minutes for a cashier to finish her phone conversation so I could buy a bottle of water. But I don't really remember what any of that felt like now. I just remember how exciting it was to hang out in Retiro, and to learn how to order a Cafe Americano, and to travel to the beaches and the cities, and to become more comfortable speaking a different language.
Traveling for an extended period of time in my mid-30's has offered a little bit of a new perspective. There are a few things that haven't changed - the need to move, and to explore. This hasn't dulled at all, how could it? The world is so large and there is just too much to see to stay in one place. But the approach is a little different now, I've got two awesome new tools that I'm practicing these days. The first is patience and the second is not taking anything too seriously. Today is just one day, this is just one minute of that day. And if everything isn't perfect right now in this exact minute, that's totally ok. Nothing lasts forever - not the difficult and not the easy. One thing I do believe is that I'm so lucky to experience all of it, and I'm going to remember this view, not the time I had to sit on a bus that smelled like pee for an hour. And even that will be a good story, eventually.
I've mentioned before that in San Miguel there are often dogs wandering the streets who may or (more likely) may not be friendly. Being a "Lizzo" means three things:
1. You love ice cream
2. You love dancing
3. You love dogs
So it has been tough to see so many street pups around here and not be able to walk up to pet them, or give them the benefit of the doubt. If I could take every single one home, Spencer knows that I would. So instead we just name them. The one who aggressively barks at Monet through the fence at the top of the hill is Mitzy and she's always pissed off that Monet brought that shitty wine to book club. A bit further down our route we've got Mac who is a retired truck driver and part of the volunteer fire brigade. Then there's Sprocket, across the street - he's always looking for new gossip. Yeah, we have waaayyy too much time with just each other for conversation...Since we do have a lot of extra time on our hands in SMA, we decided that Saturdays would be our volunteer day. We started last week at the SPA (Sociedad Protectora de Animales) by walking dogs and playing with them.
Many of the older dogs here are paired up - a shy one with a brave one who gives the other confidence that they lost somewhere along the way. A lot of these dogs have been living at the shelter for up to 5 years, which is pretty heartbreaking. And no, we didn't adopt one, but if it was possible I would have adopted them all.