Hi - so I’m being Tumblr challenged and can’t figure out how to default to my oliviarz.tumblr.com (actually, I think I may not be able to change that since I first set-up as “tresmeses”…though taking advice if anyone has it). Anyways, Tres Meses was just a fun experiment and log of my time in Spain, but I’ve continued my day-to-day blogging over on Oliviarz. Hope you can join me there :)
blast the volume and give into the urge to dance. this is one of my all-time faves!!
miike snow - black & blue
buy the whole album here.
I read this column in the Chicago Tribune twelve years ago when it first ran, in June of 1997.
I was a sophomore in high school then …
“Enjoy the power and beauty of your youth. Oh, never mind. You will not understand the power and beauty of your youth until they’ve faded. But trust me, in 20 years, you’ll look back at photos of yourself and recall in a way you can’t grasp now how much possibility lay before you and how fabulous you really looked. You are not as fat as you imagine.”
Even after all these years, I still get chills listening to this song.
I suppose it’s the kind of advice which accumulates shades and depth of meaning as you grow older.
I forgot how much I love this. And listening to it almost 10 years later than the first time, I can’t belive how much of it is true. I don’t want to get any older!
Back in early May I made a HUGE decision - I was going to take 3 months off work and move to Spain. I wasn’t myself and I needed a major change. I had dreamed of this since I first stepped foot in Spain, in May of 2003. And with a little nudge from my friends, approval from my parents and an acceptable amount of money in savings…it came true. It took 6 years, but it came true. It didn’t become real until I stepped foot in hot and humid Barcelona with my three over-sized bags packed with enough sun dresses, jewelry and shoes to last three summers. But I did it - I WAS IN SPAIN!!!
When I left NYC for Spain, I had already made up my mind about post-summer: I’d get Europe out of my system, come back to a new job, move downtown and fall in love with NYC again. Simple as that.
Although I’d been working/networking/hoping/praying for a transfer to Europe over the last 4 years, it just didn’t seem possible. But it was okay…I had justified/talked myself out of it. If it’s not meant to be, it’s not meant to be. That is until one unsuspecting July afternoon, when I received an email from an Ogilvy International HR team member. This woman had spoken with me more times than I’m sure she wanted to over the past few years, and although a few interesting leads came around at times, they never amounted to much. But this time, the job seemed real and it seemed suspiciously similar to job descriptions I’d dreamed up as “the perfect job.” But I treaded cautiously; I’d been burned my fair share of times… and I had a enough sun burns to deal with this summer.
I told Shan I wanted to move forward with interviewing for the position, and then one phone interview and one trip to London later…I had an offer. An offer for my dream job in London!! It all seemed to happen so quickly…that is, until I thought about everything I had done over the past 4 years to make this happen. Suddenly the 70+ hour work weeks seemed (at least) semi-justified; the social-life compromises seemed worth it. And at last I had answered (for myself) the first question I ever posed to someone from Ogilvy - “Do you have offices in Europe and what would it take to get a job there?” I’m not sure I would have stuck around if they had told me the truth back then.
To be honest, the decision was much harder than I imagined. I had made up my mind about what I wanted to do after my summer off, and packing my life up and leaving my boyfriend and great friends to move to London were not on the agenda. It was like a bittersweet victory at this point. But, it was a victory, and an opportunity that I had to take.
As I wait for the visa gods to grant me access to London, I’m starting my “dream job” from NYC tomorrow. I’m excited, nervous, anxious and ready. I’m ready to start a new role. I’m ready to be challenged. I’m ready to grow. And I’m almost ready to move. Again, I think it won’t hit me til I arrive in London, but I’ve got a whirlwind ahead of me.
Lesson one of the experience - dreams do come true.
Wish me luck :)
Here are a few songs that pretty much sum up my last three months. A little bit of Euro pop, lots of dance, and the always necessary rock-pop love ballady types. Enjoy!
I love this!!! I must get a leisure bike wherever I live next. I can’t believe how much I’ve loved it this summer….the breeze in your hair, a semi-workout and you get places so much faster! Now if only other pedestrians would start to mind the bikers…
Thank you to the designer of Ouma, moniquemartinez, for this pretty little inspirational quote.
Reminds me of my Sprinkles! Or Strawberry Shortcake. I’m still sort of torn on the name.
Those infamous first words of a break-up. I guess it’s a little dramatic, because I’m not exactly breaking up with Spain, but I definitely needed a break last week. Luckily, London was on the agenda, so I got 4 days away to speak English, eat some food I had been craving, and to catch up with some great friends.
Here’s the thing about Spain -
- No one knows how to queue. EVER.
- Customer service is not a known or understood concept. ( I think this is the case in most of Europe, too.) Sometimes you just want to be thanked. And not looked at as a burden because you want to purchase something….forgive me!
- Everything is slooooow. Good when you are on vaca, but as an NYCer the past 4 years, you often just wish things could happen a little more quickly.
- Ham, eggs, OIL, potatoes, and maybe some tomato, rice and seafood every once in a while. Yep, that’s about it. Enough to make virtually every Spanish meal :)
- August is dead! Literally almost every store and restaurant in my neighborhood is closed for August vacations. It’s good for them that they can take that time (we could all use more vaca), but I think what gets me is that as a society they are just willing to accept that basically nothing will get done in the entire month of August. What a waste!
Okay, okay, I know I shouldn’t be complaining, and they’re really not complaints, just observations of how different some things are here. Makes me realize that I really do love and miss home, which is exactly what I needed. So thanks, Spain, I’ve learned a lot, I still love you, and I will be back. But I am ready to go home!
2.5 weeks to soak up the sun.
This past Tuesday I went to my first Meetup.com meeting. (If you’ve never hear of meetup.com def check it out…you can find someone with mutual interests on just about any topic.) The meeting was an intercambio for people in Barcelona who want to learn Spanish or English. Basically, you go, join a group of 4-6 people and every 15 mins or so you switch back and forth between English and Spanish. There were a lot of “new to Barcelona” people there, but also a lot of native Barcelonians (?) there trying to learn English. It was great!
One of the guys in my group initially said he was an economist, but later when I asked him more, told me that he works in marketing. That didn’t really sound right to me, but after some digging I found out he basically does market research and lately has been doing tourism projects for locations around the world (which actually sounds cool…unlike economist..or even marketer). I asked him what Barcelona’s “tagline” is…like the “I love NY” or the “city that never sleeps.” He said he didn’t think they had one, but a few years ago, the tried to split up Barcelona into its three syllabels -
Bar - obviously
Cel - means sky in catalan (cielo in castilian)
Ona - means wave in catalan (ola in castilian)
I love this, most especially because my last three days have been this exactly.
Bar - went out on Tuesday night for the Madonna concert after party at a club on the beach called Opium. Madonna’s touring DJ, Paul Oakenfold, was playing there and we had a blast. He was just really getting going at 4am when we had to call it a night.
Cel - obvioulsy there have been lots of blue sky and fresh air that I’ve been enjoying all summer here, but I think sky also means architecture in Barcelona. When you look around you’re surrounded by beautiful, unique “sky” virtually everywhere you go. I enjoyed this especially when I went for a stroll around Gaudi park this week (after biking there…love the city bikes!) and when I went for a day trip yesterday up to Figueres to see the Teatre Museu Dali. This is an old theater in the town of Figueres that Dali completely restored and filled with his craziness. It was packed! - but very good to see.
Ona - the playa…the perfect place to literally “burn off” a late night of dancing, which is exactly what I did on Wednesday! (Speaking of burn - do NOT try Burn energy drink…it is killer!) Actually though, the Mediterranean is usually pretty still, but there have been some big waves here this summer. There’s also another type of wave that’s been passing through in the form of HEAT. It was 42 degrees celcius here yesterday (double that and add 30 for farenheit). YIKES. Not fun when you don’t have an AC…which is exactly why I’m planted in front of my fan right now :)
So, in summary, I think they should bring back Bar.cel.ona. It works!
The 411 on my roommates -
Berta - she’s 25, from Spain (northern part, Rioja), but has been living in Barcelona the last 2 years for architecture school. She “owns” the apartment, but left this past Sunday to head home to Rioja because her final project for school is a building there. She’s super energetic and I’ll totally miss having her here…especially because she was the best at making me pratice my Spanish (and correcting me).
Amy - she’s 22 and from Dublin and is going into her final year of university. She’s an art student, meaning she does a lot of it, but is also studying art history. She’s here this summer mostly hanging out, but also working on her thesis (which has something to do with feminism and art and perceptions…still trying to get it, but I think she is, too) and she may pick up a bartending job at one of the many irish bars here. She’s a little crazy, loves boys (and sometimes girls?), but (using a bit of her lingo) is just lovely. Lots of fun to hang out with. She also expresses her love of art in the form of tatoos - has them all on her back, stomach and down one leg. Mostly they are flowers and actually quite nice. We have post-its all over our apartment with Spanish vocab, which is Tatiana and mine’s attempt to make Amy learn Spanish (she’s knows almost none).
Tatiana - she’s 20 and from Paris and is very 20 and Parisian. She’s a fashionista, can’t really leave the house without buying some sort of jewelry or clothing, loves to do her (and your) hair and makeup and loves dancing. Her idea of being sporty is going to the beach :). She is a great girl and a very good roommate though - super friendly, likes to clean, loves to do things together, etc. She also speaks pretty good Spanish (and not as great English), so we’re always speaking in Spanish, which is great. Oh, and her boyfriend (also French, and doesn’t speak English or Spanish) just arrived last night and is staying here for 3 (!!) weeks. She’s here for an internship at a financial company, so she’s works from about 9-1:30 every day.
So that’s it, the 4 of us. I love the adventure! Pics to come.
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