So here I am...Friday night...6 days left in Madrid.
I have not thought of a theme for this blog, nor do I have any idea what I wish to write about, so I'll call this a free writing blog.
I keep having trouble sleeping here. I'm not quite sure what it is, I can honestly say my best night of sleep was in Barcelona. All other nights I have struggled to fall asleep, I end up falling asleep around 3am every morning. I hate having to depend on sleep aids, but at times I reach for my tylenol pm. I guess during the day I do so many things, and I'm always focusing on something, that at night when my head hits the pillow I begin to think. I love thinking, but once I start I can't stop. One subject leads to another and then another. Last night I thought about my dog Cohen. He's almost 2 years old, a wonderful yellow lab that has brought me more happiness than anyone could even imagine. I thought about Cohen, and dogs in general because my mother phoned me to tell me about something that had happened to one of our dogs at home. Jazzie is a 15 year old miniature poodle. She has been with us the longest, and we love her dearly. Jazzie suffered a stroke about a week and a half ago, but my mother refrained from telling me due to the fact that I am so far away from home. Jazzie was taken to the vet, and he told my mother what had occurred. The vet said that she would be sort of paralyzed for a couple of days or even weeks, but he told my mom to please not give up on her. Some dog owners think this is the end for their dog, and choose to put them to sleep. But my loving mother has cared for Jazzie day in and day out. Trying to get her to drink water, trying to comfort her, staying awake at night to ease her pain. Well thankfully Jazzie is now drinking alone, and after about a week she finally ate! This shows that with a lot of love and patience we can endure many things. I know my mother must be going through a lot, but this act of kindness only further proves what an angel she truly is.
When I thought about my mother and Jazzie, I immediately thought of Cohen. Dogs are wonderful animals, they give you all the love in this world. You get further and further attached, but unfortunately dogs do not have long lives. This saddens me. Cohen is only 2 years old and I can not wait to have him around longer and build more memories and make him part of my life, but like Jazzie...all dogs grow old. Dog lovers are courageous, they know the canine's life span, yet they still choose to have a dog, and make them part of the family. One thing I love about Cohen is taking him out on the street. Sometimes we go to Starbucks and sit outside. You can not even begin to imagine how he tends to bring a smile upon everyone's face. I love watching this! The frustrated executives, the stressed out students, the hard core YMCA goers... they all stop for a minute and just smile. Cohen has no idea how powerful his sad puppy face can truly be.
These days it seems as though its harder to make someone smile. I ride the Madrid subway almost everyday, and I could count the smiles I've seen with the fingers on my hands. I try to smile at people as often as possible, but they can't seem to smile back. I remember a couple of years ago walking around somewhere and an old man stopped me and told me to smile. He was right, and I still think about that day. No matter what is going on, no matter how late we are running to that meeting, or how stressed we are at work...just smile. I promise it helps.
I keep wondering what Charlotte will be like when I get home. I know I've only been gone a month but I have this feeling that things will change. Maybe not because things have actually changed, but because I've changed. My family and I have so many wonderful things ahead of us. My sister and I will be living together this year. It is sort of like a second chance to relive my childhood. This is my last year of college, that is truly one thing I can not believe. And it is one more thing that proves that time really does fly.
Another one of those thoughts that came to mind last night was about the future. I have no idea what's going to happen next. Its really truly amazing when you think about it. At times I get scared, who will I be? Where will I live? Will I be happy? But you must realize that these questions will not be answered. That you must enjoy the ride and everything that comes with it. That you can only plan to a certain extent, and at times you must let go and leave things to fate. So I'll leave you with this quote:
"Life is about the journey, not the destination"