Monday, April 28, 2014

hey guys, I'm 18

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I'm making a habit of spending birthdays out of home, out of Canada. But it's cool. Because I always seem to spend it with my mom. It's late, we have to get to the airport early tomorrow for her flight ... but it's been a great 2 weeks. But hey, we can't in a vacation all the time. Now's the time to focus, to do some work. Many thanks to all the friends, loved ones who've sent the most lovely birthday wishes. Will write more later, but yeah, it's been the best birthday of my 18 years yet.


Sunday, April 27, 2014

back and forth, push and pull ...

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Sorry for my absence. I've been busy. Not feeling up to it, lots of things on my mind, whatever - those are all excuses.

So my mom's been in Barcelona for the past 2 weeks. When she came, she brought me multi-vitamins. Strength for the body. But what she also brought was fortification for the spirit. As it turns out, I needed more of that. Life has been fantastic here, it really has ... but I really needed some time with my mom.

We spent just under a week in Madrid, and have been going all over Barcelona these past few days. Not easy to attend classes (on minimal sleep already) and then muster some energy to go out at night. But what are we going to do ... stay at home to rest? What will we talk about in 10 years - how I was able to rest well while she was here and do all my cases, or all the adventures we had that one week in Barcelona? Easy choice here.

I wanted to just say one thing, these last few hours of being 27. It's been an incredible year, but this birthday seems extra special. I feel like coming here has taught me so much, and above all, despite all the talk about the need for me to be more selfish, I'm more capable of caring for others. I've learned that happiness - true happiness - comes from my ability, through actions small and seemingly insignificant, to make those I care about feel loved, appreciated, and cared for. That's where my happiness comes from. So now, before my birthday, and before my mother goes back home, I feel a bit sentimental, a bit melancholy, a bit, dare I say, sad. But all that is temporary, because I know why I'm here, that this is exactly where I need to be.

Pushing and pulling, a constant back and forth ... but as long as we stay true to ourselves, we'll find the way.


Monday, April 14, 2014

Mi mama is here!!

We talk nearly everyday, but FaceTime or WeChat is never the same as being in person. I've been waiting for this for a long time. Just lots of stuff happening here, that I'm finding it hard to share with other people. But my mom understands. My mom always understands. Arriving Sunday afternoon, I got to El Prat early. If you want to see humanity at its best, see the arrivals gate of any major airport. Pure joy is what it is. As soon as she saw me, mi mama started crying all the way over. But she's here, and I can finally show her my home for the past 8 months, this life I've built for myself here. And it's great, because she's the only person who truly feels the excitement I feel, can see the happiness I'm experiencing here. And please, coming from Toronto, this weather and sun is paradise.

A first day of visiting IESE, and doing a quick walk around of Barcelona. Cool. In need of a good night's sleep - tomorrow's going to be a great day. Brunch in the morning, a stroll through Passeig de Gracia ... and then back to El Prat to catch a flight to Madrid. Let's go!!


Friday, April 11, 2014

and a week passes

What a week. So many things going on, my brain is shot. And I still made it to Spanish class - a newly minted módulo 6 student(!). Undeserving? Perhaps. But we reviewed the exam results today, and the number's don't lie. I'm exhausted. And why am I still up? Because instead of going out with the Japanese guys to the beer fiesta at Drassanes, I stayed in to finish up an assignment for our Quantitative Methods class. Due just before we return to class from Semana Santa, but let's be honest, I'm not touching schoolwork in between. So let's get this wrapped up and submitted, and free our minds to worry about other things.

Lots of uncertainty man, lots of things I need to figure out still. But I'm getting better at it. 


Thursday, April 10, 2014

that long, rocky road

It's been a long week. Fun and exciting, lots of stuff going on ... but long. Had meetings, of all kinds, with MBA committees, professors, clubs ... had my final Spanish exams for módulo 5. Tried to squeeze in some time with friends, some social events, including today's Fun Run 2014 up Tibidabo. By all means, in the top 3 of the busiest weeks I've had here so far. But I've survived. So far. One more day to go tomorrow, but really, really ... let me rest. Three more days until my mom arrives to Barca.


Tuesday, April 8, 2014

no rest out in the wild

Yeah. We like it like that. Frosty, with a drop of Angostura bitters on top. Outside of (of course) all the incredible Spanish and Catalan food (see what I did there) I've been learning about here, another new experience has been Peruvian food. Man. That stuff is good. Ceviche. Lomo saltado. Tacu tacu. And of course, the Pisco Sour. Apologies to Chile. Balanced, with great extract from the lime juice, spiciness from the pisco, texture from the egg white ... delicious.

So apparently there's a sizeable Peruvian population in Barcelona. And yes, I'm pretty determined to visit every single Peruvian restaurant in town. Good, honest, unfussy food.


Sunday, April 6, 2014

high and lonesome

What is bluegrass? Songs of sorrow, of weariness ... songs of salvation to salve the soul. A high and lonesome sound. That good old-timey music.

How's all, son?

Not too good. 3rd term's starting off on a rough note. Beat down after 8 months here. Still no internship.

Can't be all that bad. 

No it can't. We are, after all, in Barcelona. It's 23°C outside. The sun is shining, the birds are singing, and runs on the beach clear the head and lift the spirit. But man, my ribs are getting sore. I don't know how much more punishment I can keep taking.

We're doers, son. Stop bitching and just get on with it. We do the best with what we have.

Big weekend here. School event and all, for business schools across Europe. Partied hard for 3 nights now. What a waste of time. It's all the same, no, no matter where you are?  How many drinks am I going to have? How late am I staying? How come the music is so bad? Who am I (trying to) taking home tonight?

Focus is key.

Right. So a big week ahead. Lots to deal with before Easter.

Take a minute, take a breathe. And then get to it.

Easier said than done. But yeah. Yeah. At least we have bluegrass.

At least we have bluegrass.