This has felt like the fastest year of my life. I really cannot believe it was a year ago that Pedro and I packed up our belongings and looked toward our new life in Morocco with such optimism and excitement, unaware of the challenges that were awaiting us. As I have previously and so briefly mentioned, it was a difficult year— one that had me fighting hard against giving up and quitting my job. In the end however, my efforts seem to have paid off, as the feedback I received from many of my students was some of the most touching and rewarding in my teaching career.
When the last bell finally rang, I locked up the class room I had transformed from a drab, dusty, and cluttered mess into a bright, orderly space with colourful murals (which I hope will inspire my students' creativity). I walked home, and packed my bags for Lisbon.
Lisbon, the city that glows even on the greyest of days, where white limestone-cobbled pavements and tiled facades play catch with the Atlantic light— where I can indulge in the most exquisite of greasy pork sandwiches or fine seafood and beautiful wines— where I can wear what I want, walk where I want, and look at whomever I want in the eye.
I can chomp on a pork steak and sip green wine while sketching a man on a paper table cloth. I can hold my husband's hand and give him a kiss in public.
I can be me.