I am ashamed to admit it, but almost a half year has passed since my last post. I'm back in California right now for a brief one-month visit to my hometown before returning back to Europe and a lot of things have happened in the previous few months since I have written. So what explains the long gap since my last post?
In some ways it's because someone can either live his life or write stories, and if you live life to the fullest you have little time left over for writing - and I've certainly been doing that. Since my last post I've traveled quite a bit. In early April I spent two weeks traveling across the Basque Country with my UCLA friend Andrew Fleming, going from Bilbao to San Sebastian, to Bayone, to Biarritz, to Getara, Guernika, Mundaka, Bermeo and finally to Zumaya and back home to Arevalo.
In late May I wrapped up my job in Spain and spent one month walking a 500 mile section of El Camino de Santiago de Compostela, a Catholic pilgrimage that meanders west across all of Europe to the north-western corner of Spain, where St. James (Santiago) is said to be interred. But I'm not Catholic nor did I do it for religious purporses, but I'll explain all that in a bit...
After the month-long pilgrimage I took a train to Madrid and then a plane to Paris and I spent the month of July taking creative writing courses, learning some French and enjoying my favorite city in the world. I studied at the Paris American Academy, where I learned non-fiction from travel writer Rolf Potts and fiction from John Biguenet and Lauren Grodstein. It was the first time I'd ever studied writing in my life and it gave me some invaluable lessons and direction for pursuing my passion of writing.
And now I'm back in California, soaking up the summer sun, touching my SoCal roots, and renewing my visa for Spain. I should be here until the middle of September, when I move to San Sebastian, Spain to continue teaching English, learning Spanish, and following my quest for world knowledge.
So that, in a few brief paragraphs, is what I have been up to. But there's a lot more to write about, to talk about, to share. But I must make a few confessions apropos my blog...
Firstly, I've been distracted. Yes, I traveled a lot, but I also wrote for a travel magazine, tried writing short stories, slam poetry, and even a few stabs a novels. By diverting my time to these pursuits, I neglected my blog for five months.
Secondly, I've become too obsessed with perfection. I have written many blogs in the last few months only to scrap them for their perceived flaws instead of sharing my stories with the world. This must end. This (imperfect) blog entry is the first step to overcoming my perfectionism.
Lastly, I wasn't in the mood to blog. Last year, alone in my little village, I was more depressed than I have ever been in my life and I frankly didn't want to write negative woe-is-me blog posts about how depressing my situation was. Now I can look back and laugh at the absurdity of my situation but at the time I just wanted to escape.
These are my excuses for for not blogging, and I promise not to make any more excuses in the future - it's time to get back to writing. Let's get down to the stories.