#blogger

CHI-BCN

One day I will be great at titles.

Anyways thanks for coming back! I’ll get back to my story.

Sunset on Barcelona

Sunset on Barcelona

Earlier this year I spent countless hours wallowing in self pity. Tormenting myself over the millions of things that are wrong with me, blaming myself for being “useless”. After months of this combined with the search for jobs in Chicago and New York City all of it resulting to no leads, my mind wandered again to the city I have grown to love so much over the past years.

Since I first came in 2015, Barcelona has always had a special place in my heart. I have long admired the lifestyle here, the many things Catalunya has to offer, the ideal location and I have always wanted to live in a Spanish speaking country. Not to mention that I do sense an ancestral affinity to these Catalonian lands (coming back to this later).

I never get over how much there is left to discover and learn in any destination I go to, but if you have read previous posts or followed me for some time you will notice that something else keeps drawing me back.

I was interested in looking for opportunities in Barcelona for some time and I found one with a local English language magazine here in the city. I discovered them years ago while I was looking for things to do in the city and articles to educate myself more on Barcelona. I had been considering stepping into editorial for some time now, especially since I’ve contributed to online platforms and local publications. Barcelona Metropolitan magazine focuses on all things related to living in Barcelona as an English speaker or expat. I felt it fitting for me because of my English and Spanish abilities and my desire to express more of my love and interest for the Catalonian city and region.

I was so unsure about leaving because of the endless guilt trip I take whenever I have to make a big decision. Most of the guilt was caused by the thought of leaving my family again. Despite my guilt, I have a really great and understanding family that has made my dreams abroad a little easier to accomplish.

These days I contribute to the magazine with writing, inputting information to the website, photography, and more! I’ve always loved photojournalism and have been interested in working in an editorial environment, so it’s been great for me to really gain experience and understanding into what it takes to be a part of this field. I really doubted this decision in the beginning for many reasons but I’m so glad I did it anyway. I am being challenged and am growing so much in a variety of ways. I think the most important being how to improve my workflow, organization and writing skills.

Through getting to know more and more people at events I attend and through contacts I make with the magazine, I have learned a lot about what life is over here for expats and Americans specifically. Every encounter I have has taught me something more about myself then the other person oddly enough. It wasn’t always like that in the past. I guess that’s what ends up happening when you start living away from your hometown.

Tibidabo at night.

Tibidabo at night.

It’s crazy to think that just a few months ago I was a little exhausted and fed up at the library and now I’m here. Enjoying the life abroad, even with its challenges too. It feels like I’m growing at an accelerated rate. As with many travelers and expats, I’m coming to find that the more uncomfortable I am, the better I become. Being out of your normal circle, adapting, and feeling out of place in another country asks you to face challenges differently, well because you have no other choice! The way you operated in the past is probably not going to serve you for the next phase of your life. Although I have been faced with similar situations in the past as I have experienced here, there’s a maturity that’s seems like it’s been waiting for me to catch up. There’s something asking me to approach it all differently. Part of that feeling was being more honest with myself and others. This whole push to really evolve has motivated me to want to stay here and I hope to.

I’m not where I want to be yet, but the wheels are picking up some speed to get me there. I got Barcelona to thank for that.


Here’s a link to the November issue of Barcelona Metropolitan and some articles I wrote as well. Some of those photos and text by yours truly.

https://www.barcelona-metropolitan.com/magazine

https://www.barcelona-metropolitan.com/travel/weekend-away/gorgeous-gorges/

https://www.barcelona-metropolitan.com/features/i-owe-you-my-life/

It's a Thursday and there's a full moon in Barcelona...

I’m sitting in front of my laptop in my roommate’s apartment in El Born.

I’ve gone in and out of this draft so many times.

This is perhaps my third attempt at trying to keep up with a blog.

In the past I’ve shared bits from my travels with stories I thought were worth telling and then left things just at that. Lately, I’ve felt the desire to come back here but secretly dreaded it. It’s not getting to the keyboard that’s difficult, it’s having the courage to keep everything you write and not delete it.

Blogging has been intimidating to me for several reasons. Besides promising commitment, there’s endless issues with self-deprecation. I sincerely admit I am critical, but most importantly I am critical toward me. I am constantly doubting and questioning all of my actions and thoughts and wondering if anyone else has caught on to the idea that I’m really not as great as I am. That maybe my writing, photography, personality, or work is not like-able, interesting, or worth spending time with. Placing myself in the spotlight with these issues seems like the opposite of what I should be doing sometimes.

MyPortrait_35mm_20174.JPG

In addition to having a “judgey” and sad shadow self, I am a late twenty-something-year-old who is still figuring her life out. There is an immense, real fear of admitting this because it doesn’t look so sexy at this stage of my life where the amount of marriages, home purchases, and babyshowers increase with every passing year. It’s anxiety inducing to share. Especially on the internet where any member of my family is free to see. There is an expectation that each generation in the family must do better than the previous. As a daughter of an immigrant pediatrician, it’s a pressure I feel tremendously. Whether it is discreetly or blatantly said by someone or not.

It’s a doom I feel on my own. Every. Day.

I arrived to this point in a somewhat casual way. My career has gone in unexpected directions. I worked in nonprofits in the art community for years after coming out of art school in Chicago with a BFA. Unfortunately, even with a degree and many years of interning I was not as prepared as I could have been to take on the professional world. Luckily, I found the library and remained there since my senior year of college. I grew very fond of the patrons at the many libraries I got to know. I learned invaluable lessons about compassion and kindness. I had the privilege to even be seen as a leader to most there. I worked with mostly older adults, seniors, and teens. Each of them adding to my development in becoming a good human being. I will never forget those things. However, over the years, after so many incredible interactions and experiences, I couldn’t put away the dream of traveling for an extended period of time and looking for opportunities elsewhere, outside of the U.S. I felt I was living in a rut even with having a fun job. There was no ladder in these job positions I tried at the library and I had to be honest with myself. The library was not where I imagined I would be when I wrote down my future at seven-years-old on a paper layout of my farm.

I saved money over the years and quit my job to travel for over six months. It was incredible and to this day I can’t believe I did it.

MyPortrait_35mm_20172.JPG

After my trip and after a devastating event, I found myself in Chicago again trying to get back on my feet. Not knowing really what to do, I went back to where I swore I wouldn’t. The library.

It was a temporary thing because I was trying to find an opportunity that would fit my new stage in life, my interests, and align with my ambitions for my future. I applied to over 50 jobs. Never got one single interview.

I felt helpless every day. It has undoubtedly been one of the hardest years of my life.

To this day there is uncertainty, even where I am now and doing what I am doing. I will explain more of the present next time.

I say all of this to say that this is my journey. These are my insecurities, and I present them because they are my reality. You will not find the blogger/creative with the perfect life to be envious of, although I am extremely fortunate to have the life I have.

I am not a perfect person and this is where I am in life. I won’t pretend that I’m somewhere or something I’m not. I honor these insecurities because they have protected me in their own way and have taught me what I needed to find out about myself. Nonetheless, they expired their stay a long time ago. They don’t serve my highest good and my purpose. It’s time to let them go and rest.

Here is where I will let them lay.

MyPortrait_35mm_20173.JPG

I thought extensively about the many ways I could start off this blog post. This seemed the truest to me because I’ve grown tired of trying to prove myself to me and to prove myself to others. Instead I just want to focus on living a truthful life and what I share has to reflect what it really is for me.

With this introduction, I say to you reader, that the following posts you will see are my perspective. My perspective on life, inner work, stories I find, important topics of the diaspora, projects I work on, photography (of course), day to day occurrences, travel, freelancing, women’s issues, spirituality, life as a minority, career paths, collaborations, musings on art, bits of helpful information, people I find interesting and I’m sure much more. Phew, thanks for reading that.

All the while coming from a twenty-something-year-old U.S. born Latina who is just sitting impatiently and jotting down notes in what Oprah often calls the “school of life”.

Without further ado. Here’s Diana Andrea Delgado Pineda.

See you soon . . .