Culture

What an awfully big adventure…

BY SOPHIE KEYWOOD

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To make an imprint on this world you have to stand out. You have to just do it. You have to begin at the beginning; find the very point at which it all started, or the last part ended? Something made you brave. Something made you pack your life into a bag and step on that plane…

01.09.17 – making your way through Terminal 2c El Prat. Barcelona. Book in one hand, passport in the other – the story of your life. Stumbling off the bus delirious with your new surroundings, caught up in the cyclone of people rushing. Dragging your life across Plaça Catalunya like an American movie cliché.

So many faces. So many paths crossed. So many footprints to share. Hands to hold. Cheeks to kiss. Glasses to clink.

Universitat Autonoma Barcelona. Llibertat. A splash of ink. Inordinate amounts of coffee spills. Late nights. Catalan or Spanish? Completely paralysed by confusion, willing with every inch of yourself for everything to tumble down by your ears and stop dead to the floor, so you can gather it up in your arms and start again.

Democràcia…  

…a cross scratched onto a piece of paper and held in the air as an act of protest, a voice in the crowd, one single voice amid each and every other single voice; creating a fusion of passion, hope and strength.

Catalans; the love and courage shared for their country is something that should be met with honour, not smashed in the face with authoritarian violence. Each face in the crowd fills me with pride and inspiration, it puts history into perspective, bringing it to the now. Real people. Real life. Real fight.

The streets are a blur of red and yellow, children wrapped in flags, the same flags that hang from every balcony waving for freedom. Llibertat splattered on every corner. This is history in the making and I am here in the midst of it all. This is life; the desperation, the peaceful protests demonstrating passion for the fight for independence. And by preventing their voices being heard, the Spanish officials are only sparking the flame; to stand up taller, fight stronger and speak out louder.

00:00. The excitement, the late-night tequila shots, the loves of your life, the passport in your hand ready to take you anywhere. Memories captured in time with the click of a polaroid. Lost in yesterday. The sweet-bitterness, the raw truth, the medicine you have to learn how to swallow, the waking up in the morning completely alone & for that split second wondering where you are, because this definitely isn’t your home.

Long nights; but the kind where if you get to sleep you’re still awake. Torrents of uncontrollable tears. Hugs; but the kind where if you let go you fear that you will never see the beautiful person in your arms ever again. Airports. A single kiss blown into the air, floating away like a lost dandelion floret.

Home; it broke your heart a little. All the things you left behind and all the things you have come back to; the bitter sweetness of homesickness. Settling; a temporary, unbalanced myth of confusion; The life-long friends who held your hand whilst you grew a little more as a person, the friends that become the ligaments of who you are, holding you together. Coming home knowing you left little fragments of yourself stretched around the globe and having to accept the monotony that is familiarity, that breaks a heart.

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