EsCrazy

The story of how I quit my job and went to play in Madrid

Happy Birthday to Me

One year ago, I told Margaux that my goal was to be living in a foreign country by my 28th birthday. Here I am, in California, so so close to meeting my goal!

I don’t really do New Year’s Resolutions, but I do make Birthday Resolutions, which is where my original goal of living abroad came from.

Here’s my list of 2011 Goals and Priorities I created on my golden birthday last year. These are the things I have spent the year working on, paying attention to, and prioritizing in my life.  In green, the short version of my self-eval.

  1. Be mindful of the food I eat.   Good. I was mindful of all the jamón I ate in early spring, that’s for sure. And of all the burritos I ate when I got back.  Oh and I sure got my mind-full of the delicious items on various bbqs this summer.  A work in progress. 
  2. Work together toward saving $xx dollars  Goal achieved, February 2012. Luckily, moving to Spain cost the same $xx and we get the chance to start saving all over again. 
  3. Move abroad by my 28th birthday   Oooo. Missed it by 4 weeks. But I technically already moved abroad, so I say, goal achieved. 
  4. Focus attention on relationships with family and friends.  Family? Friends? I hope I have treated you kinder and with more attention this year. There is always more love to go around, though, so I say, this one will be on my list forever. It was a real joy to spend so much time with family this summer. And terribly difficult to skype without internet from Spain. 
  5. Get a different job.  My new job is Professional Hobbyist, College Consultant, Entreprenuer, Freelance Library Visitor. And I am good at it!  While I loved my previous position, it was time for me to leave it so I could complete the other items on this list. See #6
  6. Care for my mental and emotional health  Good work! I feel much better than I did one year ago about myself. It took time and work, and the support of my Margaux and my friends. 
  7. Start a blog  Check. You are reading this now, aren’t you?
  8. Take steps to improve Spanish language skills  Completed 120 hour advanced Spanish course in Spain, plus ordered a lot of jamón in español.
  9. Organize objects in my life to make it simpler to manage life.  Selling everything you own is a good way to get organized. Try it! You’d be surprised how much crap you don’t need. 
  10. Be more physically active.  Joined a gym in Spain, did nothing over the summer (see #1), but I joined a gym for the next month before I go back to Spain. Took a part time job doing campaign work door-to-door (see #5), walking for five hour shifts. Needs improvement! 
  11. Read more books, watch less TV.  I did read a lot of books this year (Hunger Games Trilogy! 3 Books!). Check out my goodreads profile, it’s buff. The part about less TV is not so good. Margaux and I had an affair with our Roku and our Netflix account during the winter, Mentes Criminales (Criminal Minds) in the spring, and I’ve watched a little too much Honey Boo Boo this summer than I’m proud of. 

Next week, I’ll post up my goals for my 28th year. What goals do you have? What should I include?

My goals are very loosely based on Chris Guillebeau’s Annual Self Review.

VISA UPDATE:  Last week, I bought a ticket to return to Madrid, with or without a resident visa on October 22. Regardless of whether I get the damn visa or not, I will be reuniting with my Margaux in 4 weeks on tourist visa #2. If my birthday wish comes true, I will get my real visa by that date, fly to Madrid, and never come back. If not, I’ll be in Madrid for the fall and return in early December to (hopefully) pick up my completed visa.

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