Vicky, Christina… Barcelona

It’s impossible to sum up one of the most intense parts of my trips into a single cohesive story. Much like the excellent Woody Allen film Vicky, Christina, Barcelona the story doesn’t quite have a satisfactory end. Instead the viewer learns that life is quite nuanced and just like his best films it doesn’t owe you an explanation, an apology or a resolution. I think this is part of the reason people don’t respond well to his films, we like a resolution, whether happy or sad, but we don’t always get that with life and it leaves us with a queasy feeling, it’s too real.

Barcelona was not my first choice for a visit and I remember landing there and thinking to myself I really don’t want to be here. It just did not have the same vibe that Madrid did for me and I was sad to be leaving Madrid. Naturally that didn’t last long and on my first Tinder date I ended up meeting someone and as one thing led to another we only got more deeply involved. The way I described our first blind date to Facebook was “You know that feeling when you’re approaching someone on the street and you think Oh my god I wish they were my date, and then have that person stop, introduce themselves and you literally say out loud Wait, you are my date? And on top of that they are completely into you and you end up having a spectacular time? Yeah that just happened.”

This was by far the most intense short-term relationship I’ve ever had and it gave me an opportunity to truly learn a lot about myself. It brought to bear all my best traits and worst traits into one singular point. The intensity of it all highlighting everything. On one hand this was bad, for obvious reasons of things going too fast and too intense. On the other hand that intensity helped me internalize and summarize all the things I’ve been seeking these past four months over the course of my journey around the world. I came out of it with a very clear understanding of what it is that I want to do better in order to be a better partner, friend and colleague in the future.

To be honest, I am sad that it ended. I will always remember it fondly as it came at such a formative time in my life when I was very open to changing my perspective on life and what really matters to me in a partner. This is part of the reason it hurts as much as it does. This very special and amazing person was a catalyst for so much internal change that has in turn already made me a better person and that’s not something I’ll forget anytime soon.

I mentioned in my first post that I had no idea how this ends or what’s going to happen, just that I had hoped the conclusion would make me a better person. In the end that has happened, but of course knowledge as valuable as that doesn’t come cheap or without strings.

I will close this difficult chapter with the thought that it is better to have loved and lost.

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