It’s been four months, and I still run down Avenida Alemania, completely in awe of the view of the colored houses and sparkling blue ocean down below. In awe of the graffiti and the little shops I run by. I always stop at the same spot and say, “I’m so lucky.” And then I realize I’m in Chile, and say I’m so lucky again. There’s no way I could ever get used to that. Because, I really am so so lucky.
So, this is a quick message of what I thought about on my run today. In Chile. With the view of the port down below. Did I mention I’m lucky?
I have learned so much from Chile. I’ve learned to live stress free. I’ve learned a whole lot of Spanish. I’ve learned how to learn to learn about other cultures, to suspend judgement. To realize that if people do things differently, that’s not wrong, it’s just different. I’ve learned that the world is a hell of a lot bigger than the 4% of people that live in the U.S. And, I’ve learned that people do have me stereotyped. And, its difficult and frustrating. But, I can break it if I try hard enough. I have a clearer view of who I am in this world. I’ve grown more in love with the Latino culture, if that was even possible. I’ve learned how to be still, to live on someone else’s schedule, to be late, to understand how other people see time. I’ve learned how to love four people a whole lot and to put myself in very uncomfortable situations. I’ve learned Valparaíso. I’ve learned the cobblestone streets of Cerro Alegre and Cerro Concepción, La Plazuela, how much it costs to go to Papudo con Concepción and then to Cirilo Armstrong. I’ve learned the port and its boats and my runs to Playa Ancha and my walks through Plaza Victoria and down Puerto Montt. I’ve learned that the 607 is my savior and will always take me home. I’ve learned to live on the beach (that one’s not too difficult). I’ve learned to love on little five-year-old balls of energy and 8th graders that need my love and support at this pivotal time in their loves. I’ve learned to live on my own, but I’ve also learned to ask for help. People will help you when you ask. I’ve learned to love this city, I’ve learned to love this country, and I’ve learned to make this place my home. And, as much as I can learn about Chile, Chile has taught me so much about myself. I’ve learned that I have an absolutely incredible family in Atlanta, with friends that love me unconditionally. I’ve learned that I’m broken, but I’ve seen myself be very strong. I’ve learned that God is everywhere, and as much as I ever try to push Him out, He’s not going absolutely anywhere. And, for that I’m thankful. I’m a lucky, lucky girl.
And, that’s what I thought about on my run today.