I have had two years to look back on my time in Granada. Like everyone else, I was terrified before I left and experienced the culture shock that I believed I was immune from. The Spaniards’ tendency to take things lightly made my first couple of weeks much more aggravating than I expected. It takes a huge amount of effort for an ambitious, self-assured American to come to terms with Spain. No amount of frustration or number of loud tirades will get you so much as a nod from a Spaniard. However, once you let go of your obsessive, time-oriented rules of life and drop your defenses, the true beauty of Spain emerges. While there, I learned how amazing and free you feel when you can sit and just enjoy life. Throw away your watch. You won’t be needing it anymore.
Face it, the decisions you make today in Granada probably won’t affect the rest of your life. Just sit back and watch the world go by. You’re not being lazy, unproductive or malingering. You’re simply learning what it’s like to be alive and why you work as hard as you do. Am I romanticizing? Perhaps. But I’ve had a couple of years to wonder why I miss a place so frustrating that I nearly flew home after a few weeks. I only wish everyone could learn the same things from Spain that I have. Learn the value of time instead of missing it when it’s gone. Your world will be the same when you come home. As the Spanish say, tranquilo. What’s the point of living if you don’t really live?