Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Almost Done

"The hours pass through my hands like grains in a sand-glass."
(I think that's from a poem I read, not sure.)

But yes, faithful readers, this chapter of my obviously thrilling life is sadly coming to a close. Barcelona has been enlightening, if not exactly a "blast." True, there were extremely fun moments, but those mostly happened in Madrid and Pamplona, not here. And there were valid reasons, financial limitations being a top one. Still, while this summer pales in 'collegiate' fun compared to Madrid last summer, I can say it was all worth it. Why? Because I can dream again, cheesy as that sounds. Harvard almost killed that in me. In high school, all I had were my dreams. Aspirations for my future, of college in the big East Coast city, of an actual gay community, real relationships. And those were all realized (except for the relationships). Plus, I met incredible people who I am so lucky to count as true friends.

But college isn't where life ends, and halfway through Harvard, I started losing my way, losing my dreams. I didn't know where to go from there; I didn't know what to do with my life and make of myself. But I rediscovered that in Barcelona. No, my internship was not perfect (there were a lot of days I had nothing to do). But 90% of my memories this summer are connected to my job. It was fun. I learned a lot: about Spanish politics, about living independently, and most importantly, I learned how to dream of my future again. I know I want to join the foreign service; I know I want to be a diplomat. And though I may demure when people ask me about my post-college plans (either because it remains only a possibility or because it may seem geeky), I am quite sure this is what I want to do. I can see a path now where before there were only abstract ideas (grad school! Capitol Hill! Wal-Mart!). So Barcelona will always be special to me, because it birthed a new me.

But, profound finding-myself moments can only last so long. So after walking out the consulate tomorrow evening for the last time, I will spend the weekend souvenir shopping, packing, and cleaning my room. Then Monday I catch the overnight train to Paris and from there its homeward bound. This summer has passed quickly, but it's not over yet.


Roger said...


Brian said...

I loved this post. I think more than anything, Harvard makes us grow up in some way. It's pretty amazing how well you've adjusted from the small-town to a metropolis. Can't wait until this year! :)