The events in Newtown sparked a lot of discussion on gun control and the media's representation of children following violent events. However, as is the case with most well-covered human tragedies, mental health discourse was decidedly missing from the reporting. "Evil visited this community today," the Connecticut Governor Dannel Malloy said following the shooting. Such words are not uncommon following acts of violence, but their prominence still made me cringe. I have to ask, whose "evil" are we talking about when we classify this tragedy as such?
Lauren Goodman is a social worker from Toronto who thinks she thrives only in the comfort of home, family, and close friends. She is currently putting her theory to the test by traveliving alone for the first time in Madrid. Follow Lauren's blog about her journey in Spain at <a href="http://girlgoesguiri.wordpress.com" rel="nofollow">girlgoesguiri.wordpress.com</a>.
I feel really lucky to have met a bunch of different people in a bunch of different settings since moving here. But now I'm at the point where I'm looking to move forward in these relationships. What's been difficult is that I lack the language skills to communicate with people beyond what I would share with a new person or casual acquaintance. So now I find myself stuck on the surface or obliging other people to speak with me in English.
10/18/2012 12:22 EDT
I recently returned to Madrid from a trip to Portugal with my sister. I think we both felt a little bit guilty about our lack of interest in the historical aspects of the Portugal experience. I mean, how effed up is it to stand in a palace originally built in the middle ages and say, "meh" to yourself? But I had to own the privilege to get over the guilt. Instead of pretending to enjoy what wasn't working, My sister and I spent the second half of our trip doing all the aimless non-touristy touristy things that we love. And this is what made Portugal perfect for us.
10/13/2012 12:51 EDT
Anyone who has tried it will tell you that moving to a new place by yourself can be lonely. As obvious as this is, it was probably the scariest thing about moving to Madrid. The last year has been somewhat atypical and I've surrounded myself with wonderful people. Learning to enjoy time spent by myself was a top-five goal before leaving for this trip; to really push myself to accept the challenge of loneliness.
08/21/2012 05:28 EDT
About eight months ago I felt I needed a bit of spontaneity and adventure in my life so decided to move (temporarily...Mom!) to Spain. Despite my knowledge of delicious food, it turns out I know virtually no Spanish. If this does not surprise you, it sure as hell surprised me. I figured seven years of French immersion, one year of Italian classes, and even one year of Spanish classes would help me make some sense of what the people here are saying. My calculations were way off.
08/14/2012 07:50 EDT
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