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Hace exactamente un año, dos meses y 29 días, conocí al hombre más maravilloso del mundo (con perdón para todos los demás). Durante ese tiempo, decidimos conocernos, me enamoré de él y él de mí (no estoy segura de en que orden ocurrió todo). Así que un día decidimos casarnos. Entre medias, yo cambié de país, de trabajo, de amigos. Faltan exactamente 85 días para nuestra boda. Ese día, él cambiará de país, de trabajo, de amigos… Pero estaremos juntos. Y ya sé que suena todo muy cursi, ya. Pero digo yo, si una no puede ser cursi después de un año como el que acabo de vivir, ¿cuándo se puede?

Por cierto, que esa es una de las razones por las que llevo más de un año sin escribir. No es que no quiera, pero he estado algo ocupada últimamente.

Exactly one year, 2 months and 29 days ago, I met the most wonderful man in the world (sorry to all the other men) During that time, we decided to get to know each other, I fell in love with him and he fell in love with me. So one day, we decided to get married. In between, I changed country, job and friends. There are exactly 85 days left for our wedding. That day, he will change country, job and friends… But we will be together. And I know all this sounds very corny, I know. But, if one can’t be corny after living the year I just lived, when can one, me says?

By the way, that’s one of the reasons why I haven’t written anything for more than a year. It’s not that I didn’t want to. But I’ve been rather busy lately.

Esta entrevista a John Le Carré es una de esas que puedes leer de principio a fin y luego empezar otra vez. ¡Fantástica!:

Le Carré ante el fin de una era

Yesterday was an interesting day for me. A day of many questions. I was taking part on a training day on how to integrate International students in our Christian unions at Universities. As part of the day, I had to stand in front of a bunch of English people and been asked difficult questions about my own cross-cultural struggles in the country. Not an easy thing to do for me.

As the day finished, I left a little bit confused between the things I like and dislike about my own culture, about UK. Feeling a little bit lost somewhere in the middle. Then I met with a friend who is going back to her country after some years in London. She doesn’t know what to expect about her life there and was asking me what she should do to prepare herself. “Come to our training session”, I said not very confidently. Because, after all, I know that I’m right now in the same place than her, wondering what to expect about my life in Spain in a little while.

Just if the day hadn’t been challenging enough, I went with this friend to the International Café at our church. There I had the opportunity to talk with two other Koreans and one Japanese girl. We shared about our lives in London and back home. Then we heard a talk about heaven and a question (another one) was asked: what do you have to do to go to heaven? To which, the Japanese girl replied with even another question: why would you want to go to heaven? Now, you might think that I was fed up of questions at that time of the day. It was, indeed, a challenging day. But of all the questions I was asked yesterday, this last one was the best and could probably answer all the others. Why would I want to go to heaven? There were two reasons I could think of, trying to put all my thoughts and emotions of the day together. The first one is because there won’t be more goodbyes. No struggles, no tears, no separations, no pain. The second one is that I will meet someone I’ve been long waiting for. And when I meet him face to face, I will be able to say: thank you, Jesus. I’m longing for that moment. That’s why I want to go to heaven.

Es mejor callarse. O al menos eso dicen. Si no tienes nada interesante que decir, mejor no hables. Y digo yo que el mundo sería más bien aburrido si todos hiciéramos eso. O cuando menos silencioso. ¿Cuántas conversaciones tendrías al día si hablases sólo de cosas interesantes? De entrada, habría que suprimir todas las frases acerca del tiempo. Todos los “qué día más bueno hace” o “parece que va a llover” o “qué bien que está llegando la primavera”. Porque interesante, lo que se dice interesante… Y sin embargo, no puedo ni imaginarme que pasaría con la comunicación en Inglaterra si todos dejaran de hablar del tiempqueeno, terrible.

Así que, a riesgo de parecer poco intelectual (¡a quién voy a engañar a estas alturas!), me atrevo a desafíar esa opinión. Y es que tengo la impresión de que la mayoría de las personas que creen estar diciendo algo interesante son terriblemente aburridas. El otro extremo no es verdad; se puede hablar de algo completamente vacío y tampoco ser interesante. ¿Cuántas veces te has descubierto asintiendo con tu cabeza un diálogo del que no has escuchado una palabra? Da igual si la otra persona hablaba de la insoportable levedad del ser o de su suegra. Simplemente, no te interesa.

Claro, estarás pensando, tiene mucho que ver con la forma de comunicarte. ¿Te han dicho alguna vez ese supuesto piropo de “podría escuchar tu voz por el resto de mi vida, aunque estuvieses leyendo la información del tiempo”. Piropo bonito como es, no es más que una forma de decir “me encanta tu voz pero me importa un pimiento lo que dices”. Y es que una cosa es ser encantador y otra interesante.

english-joke1Algo que he aprendido en Inglaterra es la virtud de no tomarte demasiado en serio al hablar. Bueno, para ser honesta, todavía no lo he aprendido pero al menos me doy cuenta de que es un valor a imitar. Porque de alguna forma que aún no entiendo, la gente que es capaz de decir cosas interesantes como quien habla del tiempo o quitándole importancia al asunto, de repente adquieren toda tu atención; no sólo por lo que dicen sino por como lo dicen. No tomarte demasiado en serio no es lo mismo que ser un payaso. No es tampoco reirse de todo el mundo. Por el contrario, es una cualidad con la que dices cosas importantes como si no lo fueran y eres capaz de bromear acerca de las cosas que has dicho, incluso si son importantes. Y sí, los ingleses son unos maestros en esta virtud. Convicciones, sí, pero expresadas con sangre fría y buen humor inglés.

spanish-kingPor lo general, no me gustan los estereotipos. Pero alguna vez rompo mis propias normas (como ahora mismo). Y es que, si los ingleses son capaces de esta interesante forma de comunicarse, los españoles no lo somos. Y yo voy primera en la lista. ¿Cómo narices puedo hablar de algo muy importante, una convicción profunda, sin poner todo mi corazón en ello? ¿Cómo puedo bromear sobre algo que defendería a vida o muerte? Lo he intendado, créeme, cuatro años en Londres dan para hacer esos experimentos. He intentado defender mis convicciones en una forma fría, no tomándome demasiado en serio… ¡pero no funciona! Cuando yo lo intento, parece que no estoy convencida de lo que digo. ¡Y que a nadie se le ocurra tomar mi opinión en broma, que me salta la vena latina! Así que me he conformado con admirar esa virtud británica desde la distancia, como algo inalcanzable. E intento aprender a comunicarme a la española, “passionate and charming”, que dirían por estas tierras.

Hoy no tenía nada interesante que escribir, pero es primavera y me apetecía hablar un poco del tiempo…

I guess we all become slightly reflective when our birthday is coming. We all kind of look back and forward trying to measure the time lived already and the time to be lived. Difficult work, thought. Because the later is just unknowable. Unless you look at it with a different perspective. Let me explain myself.

measuring-timeThe other day, a lovely friend who loves me very much reminded me that I’m about to be officially a middle age woman. It’s good to have friends, isn’t? And my happy response to that was that it’s impossible to know when you are middle age because you never know how long you would live. Beautiful thought before my birthday. But don’t blame my Spanish pessimism yet. I mean, I would be middle age only if I died at the age of 72. And in that case, I would be middle age only one year of my life. But how do I know that I’m not going to live until 100 years? Or just one more day? As I said, it’s a lovely thought to have just before my birthday.

Don’t worry, I’m not the kind of person who gets depressed on birthdays. In fact, I do enjoy getting older and even think there must be something wrong with me because most of the people don’t like it. Apparently, life is not what they expected. That’s the main idea in the film “Revolutionary road”. I know, I’m not Kate Winslet or Leonardo Di Caprio. But am I living the life I expected to live? Well, no really. In fact, I didn’t expect this life at all! It’s been full of surprises, some nicer than others. Most of the time very exciting. Not what I thought it would be when I was 15 or 20 or 25. No. It’s much better! That’s part of the excitement, part of the adventure.

But I’m getting distracted, this is not what I wanted to write about (sorry, it’s a normal thing at my age, to get distracted) The middle age and measuring time, right. Now you have to forgive me as I get a bit transcendent here. When I look at my parents, both of them in their seventies, they seemed to be satisfied. They are not rich. They haven’t traveled much or studied much. They have lived most of their lives in a 3 bedroom flat in a fourth floor without lift in a town in a small island. They had 7 children, one of which went faster than them through life and died at the age of 28 (she didn’t reach the middle age, people would say). They have 12 grandchildren and love them all. They enjoy their lives, though life won’t bring many more surprises to them. And despite their bodies beginning to give up, they look like if something better is about to happen.

Measuring time? I want to follow the example of my parents. To enjoy all the good things of this life knowing that something much better is to come. Measuring time with the right perspective.

“Teach us to number our days aright, that we may gain a heart of wisdom.” (Psalm 90:12)

palabras2

You know, there is something fascinating about speaking another language. It is true, it’s not always fun and sometimes you can mix sinfulness with singleness or hat with cat or chicken with kitchen. I still do all those mistakes when I don’t sleep enough and my brain and my mouth decide to stop playing in the same team.

But there are words that you can’t get wrong. Words that, when you hear them for the first time, make sense in your mind in a completely different and new way. It’s as if you could see them. That’s what happened to me the first time I heard the word godliness. It made sense by itself. It is to be good in the sense that God is good. It didn’t need any explanation. You know what is good, you know who God is… then you know the meaning of godliness.

It puzzles me when I can’t find an accurate translation of an English word into my language. Godliness becomes piety in Spanish. It somehow sounds like spending the rest of your days on a monastery, reflecting about God and life. How far from the real godliness! Think about people like William Wilberforce, for example. He was well known for his godliness. But he seemed to have understood godliness as reflecting God’s character in bringing the slavery in the UK to an end. Godliness that changes the world. Not in a monastery but right in the middle of the Parliament.

Last week, I was with a group of friends thinking about the relationship between Jesus and the Law. Godliness comes to my mind as one of the key words to understand this relationship. “Be good because the Lord your God is good”. That’s why we can see so much about God’s character in his law, so we can imitate it. And Jesus was, in every sense, the perfect representation of God’s goodness. So it makes sense to see the word godliness clearly. When I think of godliness, I think of Jesus.

I cannot create a new word in my language. But God can create a godly woman in me so others in my country could see how He looks like. That’s my prayer.

1. I don’t like football but live next to Arsenal Stadium

2. I love the beach but have been living away from it too long. No plans to get any closer in the coming years.

3. I defend Calvinist when with Arminians and Arminians when with Calvinist

4. People think I’m a liberal or a conservative, depending on the country they are in. Actually, I’m neither of them

5. I work when I should be writing. I write when I should be working. I work or write when I should be sleeping

6. My favorite seasons are spring, when the hay fever kills me, and autumn, when the rain runs me mad

7. I was born in an island where it’s always sunny and live in another where it never is

8. I have never tried drugs, except caffeine, of which I’m absolutely addicted

9. I don’t want to improve my pronunciation. Call it laziness or
rebellion, as you prefer

10. The busier I am, the more time I waste

11. I am a shy and introvert real person with more than 200 virtual friends. Believe me, it was an accident

12. I love sleeping but never get enough

13. I love reading but never get enough

14. I love eating but never get enough

15. I love discussions but always feel in the wrong side

16. I’m a Spaniard working with a German and a Korean-American. None of us use our mother tongue but it almost feels like family

17. Two of my favorites novels are One hundred years of solitude (Magic Realism) and Crime and Punishment (Russian Realism)

18. I am very romantic but don’t think Mr. Darcy is that nice

19. I love my friends but do a very bad job at keeping in touch with them

20. I may love or hate writing. It doesn’t depend on how I write but on how I feel

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