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Day 18:  Agree to disagree?

One small step for man, one giant leap for Candrew (Candace)

Bueno to Villaviciosa

Distance: 12.8 miles (20.6 kilometers)

Total Ascent:  420 meters

Difficulty:  3

Calories Burned: 2,555

What a lazy way to start the day.  We slept in and then had our “veranda breakfast” while listening to Appalachian music and reading/writing.  I took at nap at 11, and finally, at noon, we rolled out and back onto the Camino.

It felt so luxurious to take a half day, but we still made up the time.  By 6pm, we had walked 12.6 miles, barely taken a break, and were ready for dinner and some Golden Compass reading.

But today was also a day of much conversation for Andrew and me, which was the source of some agitation. He asked me about my opinion on standardized testing (a topic that I don’t feel passionately about, one way or the other) and later asked me, if I could be an expert in the humanities, what would I want to be an expert in (again, a topic that, while I appreciate his passion for, isn’t a topic I feel the same passion towards). By the time I responded with a lack of response to the second topic, he was agitated, and so was I.

But I noticed something in our little tiff. We grew today. In the past, when the other person would give us an answer that we didn’t agree with, we’d push and then, when we didn’t get our way, we’d walk off in a huff, both exasperated and frustrated, but too proud to let it go. 

We didn’t do that today.

I remembered a time a few days back when I was pushing Andrew to talk to me about his impression of some words that one of our albergue hosts, Ernesto, had shared at dinner, and he didn’t want to talk about it.  I then shared with Andrew today how I felt when he gave me a non-answer, and how I could understand how he must be feeling now.  Then we both talked about why we were getting frustrated.  And ultimately, I was able to give him an answer to his question du jour, and feel good about doing so on my own terms.

It may sound like a small triumph, but it was meaningful to us.  We learned something about ourselves today, and we are learning how to communicate.  What an awesome accomplishment.