Spain, the mind, the heart and the gut

It’s remarkable how fast plans and life can change again. On one hand I’m pretty cool with it, because it feels right. On the other hand it’s still scary and confusing. From the idea to redesigning my house and garden, things I wanted to do/learn when I would be back in the Netherlands. To now, seeing myself living here in the South of Spain, building a life with this beautiful man, who has walked into my life.

Plaza de Espana in Sevilla during sunset, because you also have to do a bit of sightseeing…

Since we’ve met, we have spent most of our time together. We visited Sevilla for a weekend, where we stayed at Lely’s place, a friend of Charlie’s. She lost almost all her eyesight not too long ago, but through a lot of training has got quite some sight back. Still, she explained to me how her life had changed and how different and difficult her social life had gotten because of it. I never really realised how big the impact can be when your eyesight gets really poor. Mainly because my eyesight is and always has been really good. Nor did I realise that with eyes, as with so much in the body, with proper and dedicated training, there is so much to gain. It’s impressive!

And Torro de Oro, a 13th century built military watch tower (thank you google for the info), with the moon and illuminated by the sun.

We also joined a Feldenkrais workshop that Charlie had invited me to. It was great to join a movement practice again. Exploring movement and having someone tell me what to do, instead of my own practices running through my head. A weekend of hardcore Spanish practice. During the workshop everything was in Spanish, with a little bit of translation into English. Back at the house it was mostly Spanish too.

I never realised how exhausting learning a new language is. I had been practicing it on and off for years, but never spent enough time in a Spanish speaking country to practice proper conversations. When I moved to London, my English had been really good already. Besides feeling tired of a new living space and job there, everything was fine. But here, in Spain, being in a place where I understand half of what’s being said and can speak even less… Wow that’s intense!
Especially because I really want to be better at it. So I’m also coping with the frustration of being in a learning process. I always prefer to know things, instead of having to go through the whole process of learning. But apparently it still doesn’t work that way, and I still need to take the time I need to take… ‘Poquito a poco’ as Charlie always says. He has been really helpful with teaching me Spanish, always correcting me when I say things wrong. On one hand that’s annoys the crap out of me, because he has to correct me often, which makes me feel like I’m not good enough. I’m not too good with dealing with my imperfections and inabilities, but with his corrections I do learn a lot. That’s a whole process in itself. Being ok with where I am and not taking my frustration about me out on him, but instead appreciating the effort he is making to help me.

I guess that has been a big practice for me in the past weeks anyway. Between Charlie and me, life is going really easily. It sometimes feels too good to be true. We have quite some similar living habits, interests, curiosity for emotional growth, have worked on ourselves and share a willingness to practice compassionate and open communication. It feels really comfortable to spend time together and we’re already making plans for the future. There is this sense of relief, that I don’t have to feel anxious, restless or even jealous, because I just feel he’s there and we’re good. This is a fairly new feeling for me. Whenever I start to doubt my feelings, it’s something I remind myself of: ‘peaceful is a good thing!’

volkswagen repair
In the meantime, I finally got around to dealing with Lotje’s rust and damages. Pretty content with the end result 🙂

My mind can have huge opinions about all that is happening. There are so many should and should not’s that have been passing through my mind. About how everything between us should slow down (to give myself some more time to overthink everything, because overthinking is a brilliant idea…). How I should take more time for myself to be alone, because isn’t that what I need (and much easier)? How intimacy between us should or should not be, all these projections and comparisons that I’m making. The doubts of ‘am I really feeling in love?’ and ‘would I really miss him if he wouldn’t be there?’.  

Through him, I’m being confronted with myself and the ways I sabotage my (and our) happiness. Luckily, through all the work I’ve done I’ve gotten much better at this self-reflection process, but there is also enough to learn still.

I had some time to reflect when he went to Madrid for a week. It felt good to have some time to myself. In that week, I had moments where I felt as if it had all been a dream. Kind of a summer fling (not that I really have experience with that, but still) and that now the holiday was over, and everything goes back to normal. Getting back to my old routines, which felt really comfortable, but created accompanying doubts about my new life. In the end I felt happy when he was back, looking in his beautiful eyes and sharing cuddles. So no dramatic feelings of ‘I can’t live without you’, but happy to have him close again.

Having been on my own for many years, I had figured myself out quite well, while in my own company. But now, in this intimate relationship, everything is different again. Noticing how easily I can feel like running away and shutting down, not communicating and wanting to be in my own little bubble.
In my bubble, everything is how I want it to be, without being affected by his state of being (I guess I’m more of a control freak than I thought). At the same time, I do really want to connect and share with him what’s going on with me, and have the space for him and his feelings and experiences. It’s interesting to notice how scary that sometimes feels to me. My fear of being rejected by him, not good enough, which, if I give in to that fear, leads to rejection by myself. How easy I go back to old patterns of people-pleasing or not communicating. And then feeling like ‘why doesn’t he get me?’ and ‘let’s just forget about this, I’m better off on my own’.

But then, at the same time, I feel that in my heart, this is where and with whom I want to be right now. I feel at peace, spacious and a flowing aliveness within. The growth I’ve been wanting to experience. A place where I will be confronted with my deepest fears and self-worth issues and feeling that it’s ok. That I can allow it to be and trust myself to, with time and practice, be wholly seen. And as I’m sharing my difficult moments with him, I also feel how incredibly empowering that feels and how it deepens the connection and love I feel between us. I get out of my head again and into my body, back to the peace that was already there. So really, why be scared..?

Vanmade birthdaycake after it was shared with my vanlife friends. Something with dried plums, beetroot, cacao, sunflowerseeds, carob and coconutcream (yummy!).

I’ve also realised that love really is a choice. Choosing to allow someone to be so close and to choose to be there for him. I mean, there has to be a certain feeling, attraction and connection. I have no idea what that means exactly. You could call it chemical, energetic or both, I guess you’ll know it when you feel it… or not ;). There are always reasons to say that something or someone isn’t perfect and doubts to be had. There is no such thing as perfection and if there would be, wouldn’t that be boring? It’s also not just settling for someone, for the sake of not being alone anymore. Because in all this time, I’ve grown quite fond of my own company and the freedom and time it gives me. But this… this is different. It feels wonderful to be together. To share share our life views, dreams, knowledge, have open discussions about things that keep us busy and to play. And yes, there is lots of love, it is easy going. At the same time there is also work, but mainly on ourselves, so we can grow, together.

And so, this masteryear, my 33rd year on this planet, has transitioned into my 34th. And what a masteryear it has been! A massive journey from Spain to Norway and back, from ‘single’ to ‘having a boyfriend’ (which totally makes me feel like 18 again, love it :’)) and all the processes and changes I’ve gone through.

This might become home sweet home in the near future! <3

With having gotten this beautiful love in my life, it looks like Spain will become my new home. Charlie has been having his eye on a finca here, a beautiful forest-like place, where we will hopefully park Lotje and which we will then can call home. <3  

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