Today’s been a lazy, hazy day for me here in Santiago, and I decided it was finally time for a little reflection for me and a wee update for you my dear reader!
I’ve been in Santiago a pretty long time now, 49 days if my finger counting capabilities haven’t failed me, and I’ve been having a blast! It feels like ages since I was frantically packing my one suitcase and ensuring it weighed less than 23kg, before travelling endless hours through the sky. Since then I’ve lived in a hotel, spent a night in the house of a crazy woman and found the house of dreams in a bohemian area called Barrio Brasil. There have been highs and lows as always in life (the mad woman’s was definitely a low) but the highs definitely out weigh the lows. Some highlights have been my 21st birthday, a trip to Valparaiso, the celebration of translator’s day at my university, and a 4 hour bike ride (though the downside of that was a very sore bum!). Though I’ve definitely been enjoying myself I must admit I’m not sure I’ve been quite making the most of my time and doing everything that I should be.
Saying that, it’s difficult to know what I should be doing as I literally knew nothing about Chile before I arrived here! My housemates however, are very good at helping me stay aware of what I’m doing, achieving my aims and soon, realising my successes.
While laying in the couch my Chilean housemate Mery asked me a very important question,
¿Tienes sueños Lauren?
At first, I began to explain that I had indeed had a very weird dream but that I couldn’t recount it, but Mery wanted to know what my dream was in life. And she said, whatever it was, that I had to fulfill it here in Chile this year. We then had a little discussion about what things I liked to do in my spare time and how I would try to find a way to do them here, as after all, ¡La vida es para disfrutar!
This discussion also made me think about how much I’ve changed in the last few years. I’m pretty sure between the ages of ten and seventeen I was dead certain on what I wanted to do with my life, and it was all planned out til about age 27 if I remember rightly! And while I haven’t thrown those ideas away, I don’t think I’d be so unhappy if my life went a completely different way. In fact, I think I’d be glad! I think my perception of success and the value of life experience are what have changed the way I think about my future, and the life I’m living.
Mery’s question reminded me a little of what Matilda (my Welsh housemate) had asked me at midnight on my birthday.
What did you achieve in the last year, and what would you like to do in the coming year?
In the last year I have not only worked my ass off gaining incredible work experience, travelled to Italy and Germany (twice), run three half marathons and been a carnival queen. I’ve also passed my second year at Uni, not with flying colours as I might have hoped, but whilst overcoming ridiculous student finance woes and an incredible amount of stress. I’ve come to realise that in life you just can’t plan everything. Rarely ever do things go as I’ve hoped, but never have I been truly dissatisfied. For this I’m hugely thankful and remain ever faithful.
I know that my year abroad is to going to be filled with incredible, unpredictable experiences, all from which I will learn and grow immensely, and inevitably change some more. So while I’ve not done what I should be, I think I’m doing all I can to have a truly wonderful adventure and hopefully I’ll be able to share it here with you.