May 13th, 2022
After a rough night where I struggled with a bit of the shock of loneliness and admittedly some homesickness as well, I resolved to "figure it out". Other times that I have struggled to hold my own, I have been able to flourish, and I recognized that this time was the same as the others. I downloaded "Meetup", an app meant to connect people to events, and then knocked on my roommate, Mattia's door. I told him I was going to Madrid in an hour and to my surprise, he was excited to come along. At the language meetup I attended, I met many interesting people, but none as interesting as Sofia.
As far as I know, I had the longest sustained conversation with her that I have ever had with another stranger - I think we talked for three hours about everything from what we were both doing in Spain, her past history as a teacher, our family life, and our aspirations for the future. English wasn't her first language so I spent some time reviewing her resume, and it was a really interesting experience navigating critiques to someone who wasn't a native speaker.
I'm really grateful to Sofia for instilling some confidence in me, because by the end of the night I was reminded that I could navigate Spain alone and honestly, just like every time before, I could do this.
When it was about time to leave, I met up with Mattia to see that he had made a group of friends at the bar as well - I had mostly forgotten about him during my conversation with Sofia, but was excited to hear they had plans to walk around and find something else to do. We ended up walking around, I tried a calzone for the first time, and then we made it to a club. We ended up going, and it was a queer bar with drag queens as performers. I wasn't totally sure why our friends decided to go with it, but it was honestly a blast - the performances were great and it was only 12€ for entry and two beers - I can't even get into a club in Canada for that much. I'm really glad I went, and I ended the night with a drunken bus ride with my roommate and new friend.