8 Goals

I love a good list: to-do lists, grocery lists, packing lists, lists of books I’ve read, lists of books I want to read…

I’ve had a lot of time for contemplation and list-making this summer, which has lead to my compilation of some life-goals.  It started with the idea to make a list of 22 goals to accomplish in the next 22 years of my life (for example, run a 5k, plant a garden, have a real-person job with insurance and benefits, etcetera, etcetera). When I finished that list, I decided to set some goals for the immediate future.

For the next 10 months I’ll be living and working at a high school in Santander, Spain, on a Fulbright scholarship. I fly out of Grand Rapids on August 29th, and after some stop-overs in Chicago and Madrid, I’ll arrive in Santander on the 30th. My first week will be spent apartment searching, and if all goes well, I’ll have a few days to settle in to my new home before I head to Madrid for orientation, September 9-12. Then, back to Santander for the start of school! My responsibilities include running a model UN program for the school, as well as assistant teaching various English classes throughout the week.

I have some very vague, romanticized ideas about what living and teaching in Europe for is going to hold (shopping for fresh bread and cheese at the market, sitting in picturesque cafés drinking espresso or red wine, jetting off to Paris for the weekend, etcetera, etcetera), but honestly, I have no idea what my day-to-day life will be like. Feeling slightly overwhelmed and underprepared, I did what I always do when the future eludes my grasp: I made a list.

So here are a few of my major goals for the next few months, in no particular order, curated for your reading pleasure.

1. Language immersion. Learn how to communicate not just information, but also feelings and ideas.

2. Make friends.

3. Build good relationships at school, with other teachers and students.

4. Discern whether my teaching career is just beginning or just ending.

5. Find a faith community.

6. See Northern Spain. Hike part of the Camino de Santiago and visit the cathedral in Santiago de Compostela. Go to Bilbao. Marvel at the Guggenheim.

7. Dream in Spanish (again).

8. Update you all on my life, via this blog, about twice a month!

Thank you in advance for your well-wishes and prayers as I move to a new city and begin to put down roots there.

“For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”  Romans 8:38-39