Path creating and shoe loving my way to self acceptance.
01.09.2014 - 11.02.2015 8 °C
There is a place in this city that has become a monument of battles won and fears overcome. Located next to the principal theater, it is a lively square that many pass through each day on their way to experience the stunning views that Plaza Del Pilar boasts. The first time I stumbled on the plaza I was searching for feelings of comfort and peace. The square was quiet as I said my goodbyes to a familiar face, one that represented a country I knew and people I loved.
In the days that followed I searched for the square, hoping that feelings of serenity and security would come along with it. One afternoon, during the hour where golden sunlight finds its way over apartment buildings and into open streets, I found the place that brought me comfort. This time the plaza had taken on a new form. Warm rays illuminated the faces of people dancing the afternoon away. Music poured through the space, creating an atmosphere that inspired quick feet and fluid movement. Minutes passed, and I realized that the feelings that I felt were not of peace, but of belonging. I felt, for the first time, connected to the place in which I lived. It was a connection that I had created in a city that was not my own, and in a country who's customs and people were unfamiliar territory.
For the next two months, whenever my path crossed that of the plaza, I felt a quiet strength that reminded me of the power that comes from taking on the unknown. It became easier to make decisions that forced me out of the comfort zone that I had so recently expanded. I had done it before and I could do it again. Words that used to hurt slid off my body like water on marble. I found that I didn't have the time or the necessity to bring myself down. I began to work on putting people in my life who supported dreaming the afternoon away and who were ready to work into the night to make those dreams living realities.
I traded in fear for self love and acceptance. I started to recognize people on the street, people I knew, people I loved. Language barriers started to fall and my confidence level started to rise. I no longer felt the need to apologize for my small vocabulary before starting a conversation. I made it work. And when making it work was difficult I just laughed, because I had gone through worse. Missed trains and buses became adventures. As long as a Coke Zero was involved nothing, and I really mean nothing could phase me. I learned how to be my own best friend in bus stations at two in the morning, but I also learned how to be a better friend to those around me at four in the morning en route to Barcelona. I became a sponge, soaking in all of the lessons the people around me had to offer. Lessons in love, life, faith, and friendship. I listened to and learned from it all.
Over the holidays I was able to walk alongside that square with one half of the duo that help to shape my path, both past and future. I felt strong. It was a feeling that reminded me of the power that we all possess. I was reminded of my individual worth, constant and unchanging. I was reminded of the worth of those around me, and how important it is to recognize and celebrate that worth. When we celebrate and respect who we are finding our place, and our peace becomes easy. Building a home and a community becomes possible. And loving the shoes you're in and the path you're following becomes a way of life.
Here's to path creating and shoe loving.
Plaza Sinués Urbiola
Plaza Del Pilar By Day
Cooling Off In Front Of Puente De Piedra
Zaragoza By Night