don’t be offended if i ever talk to you with my earbuds in. i’m probably paying attention.

had an interesting chat with a friend on the bus tonight. we’d spent the day in león with some friends and most people were falling asleep on the bus and we got to chatting about the day and how it went. and i realized a few things.

it’s weird living here in spain. and it’s especially weird because the closest friends i have are people with whom i’m not really in my comfort zone. they aren’t people i think i would ever choose to be close to. they’re not bad people, just way different than i am. and i think lately i’ve been subconsciously distancing myself from hanging out with people cause i’m starting to realize that. i think i’m known around here as the kid with the ipod; at school, between classes, even if i’m talking to somebody, i have at least one earbud in, and most times two. i walk to class with my ipod, i play ping pong with my ipod. blake even drew a comic that was seen by all the students with me in it, and he drew me wearing an argyle sweater and listening to my ipod so people would better recognize me. it’s just part of my identity. i think i’m also known as the guy who doesn’t go out. there are so many days when people ask me when i did during the weekend or if i’m going out later that night, and my most common answer is “nope, probably gonna head to the cafe”. the cafe has become my second spanish home. i’m almost always guaranteed good, functional internet until midnight when they close. and they have pretty good coffee.

but that’s who i’ve become to the kids around here. the kid with the ipod who doesn’t go out. and when i realized i was really starting to isolate myself and every now and then would get crap from people about it (oh lame jon isn’t going out cause he’s got a skype date, etc.), i felt kind of bad about it at first. but i think i’ve finally pinpointed why i do it. i just don’t connect with these kids well. i have a different lifestyle, a different mindset about things than most people here do and it is so hard to truly connect with anybody. i connect best with people through music, through lists, through creativity. and no one here understands that. no one here would rather spend time in a cafe, researching artists and albums online so they can write a Top 5 list about music rather than go out and party. and i would. i’d rather spend time seeing colleen’s face and getting to talk to her and connect with her rather than go out. nothing makes me happier than letting her know who i’ve been reading about or sending her new music that i’ve been listening to. i’d even rather spend time talking with my other buddy online (yeah, like instant messenger. i still rock that.) than going out because that’s how we connect. he and i have hung out in real life less than ten times (girlfriend’s cousin) but i feel like he’s a close friend cause our minds work in a similar way. he gets excited about music, about creativity, like i do. and no one here does.

today in león, around 7pm, we’d been there since like 2 or so, and people had just bought some drinks and we were gonna walk around the city some more. there were nine of us altogether, and people were eating their snacks and drinking their drinks, and i actually put my ipod on, even with everyone around talking. it’s not that i don’t want to talk to anybody, it’s just that there are times when i’m just dying to experience a tune and i’ll forfeit being 100% involved in a conversation for that experience (“rock with you” by michael jackson was what i needed to listen to.) i ended having my ipod on for almost the next three hours, walking with everyone and dancing while we walked. sometimes i’d talk to people, sometimes i’d fall to the back and practice moonwalking or other dance moves off the curb. and it was fun.

it’s a weird thing. i feel like a part of my mind has opened up here in spain and i’m nervous about losing that when i go back to the states. i’ve had the best opportunity to just let music sink into every part of my life here, and been able to have an outlet for it through writing. when i’m in the states, i’ve got real classes, real homework, a job, a relationship, and actual close friends that i have to put effort into. here, i’ve got easy classes, joke homework, no job, still a relationship, and one actual close friend. so i have so much time to let this part of my mind open up and let the creativity blossom. and i’ve loved it. it’ll probably be one of the biggest things i remember about this trip. it’s just an important part of who i am and i haven’t really found it here with anyone else. like when somebody asks me what i’m listening to (which by the way hardly ever happens. why don’t more people ask that to people with headphones in their ears?), if i get even remotely passionate about what it is i’m listening to, i almost always get blank responses back, or at least apathetic responses. which just kind of bums me out. not even for me, but like if a person responds in an uncaring type of way, it’s like what inspires you? what makes you feel things, get passionate about things? i just wish i was surrounded by more people who cared about things that seem important to me.

that’s the biggest reason i’m excited to get back into the states. not to get back into my comfort zone because it’s easier, but to get back to that place because it’s necessary for me. i need to connect to people who really know me cause i’m starting to really drag without those connections. so if nothing else, i’ve got about one more month of good blogs in me and then they’ll start to suck again. enjoy while you’ve got ’em.

-jon

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2 Comments

Filed under Blogging, Life, Music, Spain

2 responses to “don’t be offended if i ever talk to you with my earbuds in. i’m probably paying attention.

  1. “smoke em if you got em.”

  2. karlie nicole cooper.

    that’s something that i realized while i was gone – how necessary community is. like completely necessary. i liked the people i was with just fine, but they weren’t the people that really knew me. it’s hard to not have that – so i totally understand what you’re saying. but even though it seems hard right now, just try to enjoy it as much as you can because once you’re back, you’ll look back on it and be really glad you had that experience. and ps i hope we can hang out this summer.

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