For those of you who have followed the story of my Spanish boyfriend and I, you will remember that the last moment we had together was when I visited Spain six months after we had separated. I haven’t picked up the threads since because it’s been a really tough road to navigate and I wasn’t ready to share about our journey just yet. But, we are soon going to be heading on to the next big step in our relationship, so I figured it’s about time for an update!
Around the end of January of last year, while teaching in NY, the thought of returning to Spain crossed my mind. A big reason I went back in the first place after two years of being in Spain was for the sake of my career as a teacher. Once I landed my dream job of being a kindergarten teacher, I was sure that I would stay for at least two years. But as time went on, and with the visit back to Spain over Christmas break, it started to dawn on me that career really isn’t everything and that the type of life I wanted to live couldn’t be found in NYC.
So, I applied to programs and was accepted to teach in Madrid. The next seven months until the move were jam packed with enjoying the city and daydreaming about Spain. Meanwhile, J and I had been in contact throughout the year. He decided to come to visit in August before I moved back. While we understood that we were still separated and living our own individual lives, we also were excited to see each other and eventually restart our relationship. The definition of our relationship must have seemed muddied at best to others, but for us it made sense. I wasn’t making the move back solely for him, though it was definitely a factor in my decision. But we knew the road ahead wouldn’t be easy, especially as we’d still be long distance in Spain.
Finally, J touched down in New York in the beginning of August. Our two weeks together after over a year apart was more difficult than I thought it would be. I had once again re-adapted to my life in NY. The Nina I am in the city is different from the Nina I had become in Spain. J represented a part of my life that was almost painfully distinct from the one I was leading in my hometown, and the two of them mixed together didn’t mesh at all. J struggled with trying to understand this other version of who I was, and I know I did not make it easy for him.
What followed were two tough weeks. There were happy moments sure, but most of the time was spent with us trying to get to know each other, or mainly, J trying to understand this New York version of me. It was a tough time, a rough patch to add to the confusion of the definition of our relationship, and which led to my having questions and doubts about there being a future to our relationship.
What happened between our impactful time together that past Christmas and his visit in August? What about those four days where we had connected on such a profound level? I still remembered the deep sense of love I felt for him, and understanding that the beauty of what we had had to wait until the circumstances were right. What changed?
I had changed. My life had changed. And he simply didn’t fit into this new picture. I was at a loss. Unsure of what it meant for us and what it meant for when I returned to Spain later that month.