Starting from Scratch
I say that a lot, don't I? Even here in the blog. I don't know where to start.
I have a lot I'd love to write about my trip back to the States, because I can't possibly tell you what a brutally accurate mirror a trip back home is. Ouch. And I have lots I'd love to write about my landing back in Spain, and, well, my now long ago stay in Cazalla de la Sierra at Christmas - because you all just never know when you might need a night or a week in a restored monastery with wonderful art and fabulous food, and a singing Mexican sculptor who'd be happy to teach you to throw a pot, or share a bowl of cocido.
But tonight let me try to dive back in here with a turbo answer to the (very nice) emails landing in the wandering-woman account asking me what's up.
Yes, I am staying in Spain!
My trip back to the States was a work trip, a project for a friend and client who I worked with when she launched her now very successful business in 2002, before I headed back to Chicago, and then here to Salamanca. I snuck in two absolutely spectacular, no really, no doubt about it, absolutely spectacular visits in Chicago where I caught up, finally really caught up, with three of my favorite humans and my favorite intersection, Wacker and Michigan. But the trip was work. Work that worked out well: I'm back with ongoing consulting work for the company in California, and a small retainer that covers my Salamanca rent and basic expenses.
Whew. So, on to the hard part. When I booked my trip to California, I agreed to work one final month - February - before leaving my company here in Salamanca. I've survived all the counteroffers and midnight legs-quivering doubts - and dodged them all successfully, if not gracefully.
So, much to the shock and utter disdain of my fellow Salamantinos, who assure me nobody in Spain would ever quit a job AND turn down a supposedly fatter counteroffer in Madrid, I am leaping into midair to see what I might find there. Personally, I expect a few white storks carrying brilliant business ideas, but we'll see.
The strange part is that while I can tell you how I plan to start - with the California work, marketing and PR freelance work for the company I am leaving, and whatever other freelance work turns up from the seeds I'm planting, long term I haven't got a clue where I'm headed, professionally. What I do have is a notebook full of good ideas, a houseful of people dying to help me, work with me or cheer me on and an unresolvable problem. The problem? I'm out of patience. I want to work when I want, I want to live to the values I claim, I want to put purpose back into what I do with my time, and I want to make space for my many, shall we say, less profitable? passions. The piano's tired of being ignored. Never mind the dusty new camera. A writing course has left me spouting poetry, and while I join you in your scepticism about my writing financing anybody's retirement, I just need to keep at it. I just need to. Blame beautiful Salamanca. Finally, I travelled here to live -well, partly because I love to travel. And I intend to.
The shocking part, of course, is that I write a killer business plan. For other people. For me, I'm just going to start walking and see what happens.
See, it's another one of those little voices, like the one that told me I wanted to move to Spain. I have long said I want to see what would happen if I just tried to build the life I see in my head (ok, it's a foggy scene, admittedly, but it's there!) and just do something I love to do, and do it my way.
So here's to small city Spain's work to live lifestyle, and my beloved Salamanca's sweet cost of living.....and the growing Spanish economy. All those lovely little Spanish firms wanting to promote themselves in English....May they all combine to get me started walking.
And here's to little voices.
Labels: me musing