sitting around in our tiny but freezing living room, the speaker nearby blasting The Look by Metronomy as we all chat and laugh. I don't know why I feel like I'm on the verge of tears as my french flatmate and I hold eye contact and mouth the lyrics together. his eyes are so red and bloodshot, you can always tell when he's zooted and it always makes us laugh. the sunglasses never fool anyone. the keyboard synth bit comes on and it's that part of the song which always is so full of emotion for some reason. I don't know how to verbalise (or should I say write it) but it's so euphoric and happy and you're marvelling at how amazing humans can be to make music sound so nice and then it suddenly starts to feel sad and empty again. it's such a wonderful part of the song (minute 2:48 if you want to listen) then all of a sudden we're crying, it feels incongruous to the rest of the setting - drinks, LED lights, a long 4 day weekend thanks to Spanish festivals and yet we were both sat there as the Bose speaker continued it's job and the song continued playing. most things don't stop for you when you're crying. our flatmates notice the tears rolling down our face and are concerned and then start with the awkward laughter, "jodeerr que os pasa?? estais bien?" I think it was just a feeling of contentment. but also "you'll never get anything better than this", I often find myself already mourning my year abroad despite still having 7 months ahead of me. truth is I don't think I have ever felt more free and myself before in my life. university was a nice way to get away from home and become a little more independent but I never really grew or changed drastically. well now I think of it, I think a better way to put it is that my two years at uni were useful in getting me to become an adult, I grew up a lot and those years prepped and primed me for the real growth aka the year abroad. I don't mean to sound so cheesy and like one of those classic year abroad types who never shut up but I think the last 2 months have been the happiest of my life. bold statement no? maybe. maybe I'll look back on this post in a couple of years, when I'm on another level of happiness and excitement and think "ohhh I thought that was the best time of my life? if only she knew!" - which I guess isn't too bad, I wouldn't mind getting shaded by future Dalal if it meant that there are even happier times ahead of me. but for now, I'm happy being happy. crying because a song is just so wonderful. walking around a flea market and spending a solid half hour just looking at a massive bag of old postcards and trying to figure out the stories behind them. reading a book on the top of a hill overlooking madrid and watching the sunset. buying and wearing a new pair of boots that make me feel so powerful. it's so simple. 

Or maybe calling these the happiest months of my life puts too much pressure on it. Perhaps calling them the nicest is better. I am overwhelmed by the feeling of gratitude, something new to me if I’m honest. I feel so lucky to be here and to be experiencing what I’m experiencing, COVID has definitely added a further layer to this. It sounds weird but even just tapping my metro card (unlimited travel every month for just €20, another reason why I adore this city) and having this metro station as my ‘local’ one just makes me happy! The fact that I actually live here. Sometimes when I’m walking down a street I actually say it out loud to myself and probably scare off a few locals, just that I love where I am right now and how I am grateful to be here. And sometimes when I stop and really think about everything, I realise just how incredible it is what I’ve done. I got a job in a foreign country, I have searched for a place to live and moved into it- all on my own! I don’t really give myself recognition for such things but I am proud of myself. And socialising and making new friends and keeping my days and evenings busy is another thing. Buying and wearing blue (blue!!) eyeshadow. Going up to a guy and getting his number. even if there's no second date, it's fine. Starting running in the evenings, powering through the wonderfully empty streets under the new christmas lights and passing beautiful and iconic sights. Coming home incredibly tired and out of breath and sweaty and getting high fives from my flatmates as they feed me whatever they'd cooked that night. I sometimes wonder if this feeling will ever just stop, if this is just the honeymoon phase and the novelty of moving to a new city is yet to wear off. But two months later, I'm still basking in this feeling of happiness and love and adoration for life itself. 

okay sorry this post comes off as gloating :/ but I hope you enjoyed reading! 


1 comment

  1. Loved reading this and knowing you're living your best life. Miss you lots stinky.


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Lots of love, Dalal

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