It´s official. I can hardly believe it, but it is finally official. I have both Spanish and US nationality thanks to my Spanish father. I have both passports and I don´t have to hide it! I finally got my birth registry from the Spanish Consulate in Texas, hopped on a plane back to Spain two days later and started working on getting my official documents here in Spain. Today, when I finally held my Spanish EU passport and Spanish ID in my hand, my heart literally skipped a beat and I just stared at them. I could hardly believe after months and months of visiting different offices all over Spain and the US, countless phone calls and hours spent digging up paperwork, that it´s over! I have wanted these ever since I was a teenager. Now I can do what I set out to do here last year…live and work (and get paid)!
So what´s next? Well, it´s basically the worst time to ever try to work in Spain since unemployment is about 24%, but the next step is to get a job. The next most popular question I get from my American friends is: What kind of job do you want to do there? My answer is always the same: With this rate of unemployment, the question here is actually, “What job can you get.” Living here in the last year has simplified my aspirations. This is different from lowering my aspirations. I have come to a place in my life where I am content with different things. People here in general are just grateful to have ANY job and don’t nit-pick and stress over finding the perfect job like I think many American’s are prone to do. Priorities sharpen in the midst of difficulty, and the day to day becomes more about enjoying friends, family, food, drink, nature, God, and being able to to have something to do for work.
With that said, I am open to doing almost anything. I know in this type of economy I can’t be too picky. Additionally, my profession as a counselor doesn’t really exist here, and psychologists and social workers are mostly unemployed or barely paid either. I am going to at least try to find something that I’m interested in or can learn something useful from. So, since I’m living in a very toursity area, I’m going to capitalize on my language skills and past experience in property management and travel. I started passing out resumes yesterday to travel agencies and real estate offices. There are a ton of real estate offices in the little town I live, as many Europeans and Russians buy houses here. I already had two interviews the same day, and have another scheduled for tomorrow. I feel very blessed, as my Spanish friends tell me it is unheard of to get interviews so quickly. No real job offers have been made yet, but it’s encouraging to know I can at least get seasonal work for the summer. Whatever ends up happening, my goal is to just enjoy and appreciate what I do have, which is a lot. I am very fortunate to have this opportunity to live here, even if I am not on any illustrious career driven path.
My next upcoming adventures seem to be trying to learn Catalán, since that’s the predominant language here, and also madly brush up on the French I learned 15 years ago since I put that on my resume. HA! Now you know what I’m doing in most my free time!