...it's official. After all of the angst and stress (to say nothing of the novel-length post) I will not, in the end, be anywhere in Spain next year.
Instead, I will be back here.
Today, I accepted a place in one of Mr. Jefferson's graduate schools, and in a few months I will begin pursuit of a master's in higher education.
It is, honestly, a weird feeling. Grad school, instead of another year frolicking around Spain, is the right decision for the place I am in my life. I'm excited about my program and the opportunities it will bring me; and the thought of moving back to my city, a place that I sincerely, deeply love, fills me with joy. I want to be close to my old friends, my family, the Blue Ridge Mountains, Chris Greene Lake, the Thomas Jefferson Parkway, Riverview Park, Bodo's Bagels, the Ragged Mountain Running Store, Satan's Pony Amber Ale, brunch at the Bluegrass Grill, cocktails on the Downtown Mall, the view from Carter Mountain. Even summer humidity that you can take a bite out of, and the book-tasting air of Alderman Library.
At the same time, I'm sad to give up that second year in Spain. There are a lot of things that I'll have to put off, like hiking the Camino de Santiago, and spending the summer in Italy remembering my favorite language. I won't be able to pop back over to Lugo to visit my friends, or have mushrooms in cream sauce at Cinco Vigas. I am unlikely to ever live in Spain again--I could see myself moving back to Europe, but probably not here--and it's kind of hard to wrap my mind around the fact that this period of my life has such a definite end date now.
But it does, and I'm ready.