all about me: my first blog post where I overshare worse than that really drunk girl you see crying to strangers in the smoking area
Welcome to ‘The Intensive Clare Unit,’ where I share the crazy and cringe-worthy stories of my life.
To give you all some context, my name is Clare and I am a 22 year-old Irish girl living in Spain. Although living abroad had always been on the cards for me, my life plans were turned upside down when nine months ago, I was rejected from a scholarship that would enable me to pursue what I thought was my dream career: becoming a barrister in London. For months I felt so hopeless, wondering what was next for me, cringing at my performance at the scholarship interview and beating myself up for not knowing any better. When I graduated six months ago, surrounded by my classmates who had secured graduate jobs and training contracts, I felt so confused. My whole life I had pushed and pushed to become a lawyer and suddenly, here I was, questioning everything that I had ever worked for.
My academic life thus far had been thoroughly unenjoyable. I put so much pressure on myself in school that getting a B felt like the end of the world. I was taunted for being the teacher’s pet and other students celebrated when they got higher grades than me. When I finally moved school, I cried into my breakfast every morning for three months because I hated it so much. After I finished my A-Levels, I was promised the time of my life at university, but struggled immensely to make friends and adjust to my new life. Then came the pandemic and months of gruelling online lectures and tutorials. At the time, I thought it would all be worth it in the end, but yet, here I was on graduation day, with a law degree but with no job offers, no scholarships and absolutely no idea what I was going to do.
For weeks, I spent every morning on LinkedIn and Facebook, searching and applying and hearing nothing back. It felt pointless, but just as I was about to throw the towel in, I received an email from an English academy in Alicante, 'Hi Clare! I have some good news for you. I will be able to offer another position for the new course and I'm interested in you.' I was elated. Although working in a non-legal job wasn't the original plan, I had always wanted to live in Spain and learn Spanish, and this seemed like the perfect solution until I figured out my career plans. And so five months ago I arrived in Alicante with barely any teaching experience, barely any money and barely any Spanish. These three, fairly large obstacles landed me in some highly questionable situations, the penultimate resulting in me (literally) walking down the aisle in a £6 Primark dress. Needless to say that next time I find myself walking down the aisle, I hope I’ll be wearing something slightly more upmarket (but more on this later).
Moving to Spain was definitely the right decision for me. I've met people who have come to care about me so much and who push me to do new things (like writing this blog). I enjoy my job and I get such fulfilment from hearing my students use new words and phrases that I have taught them. I'm learning more and more Spanish everyday and I have actually began to understand the old lady at the bus stop who hasn't yet caught
However, that is not to say that the past five months have been plain sailing. In an attempt to integrate into Spanish life, I have found myself in so many crazy situations thinking, ‘How in God’s name did I get myself into this?’ Situations that are so out of pocket that the last time I rang my granny to tell her what I was up to, she laughed for three minutes straight and told me, ‘Clare, sometimes I just don’t believe your life is real.’ And to be honest, sometimes I don’t believe it is either. These situations have inspired me to create a blog in order to document my life, so stay tuned, because there is a lot more to come.