And so, it has come: the time to bid farewell and leave the Wolf Science Center (WSC). (27.08.2017, Monica Boada Maza)

Fotowand im WSC-Haus Photo: Monica Boada Maza Image 1 of 2 Open lightbox

I can’t help but look back to one year ago. Last year around these dates I was exchanging emails with one of the founders of the WSC, telling her how eager I was to come and get involved in any project. We had an interview on Skype, I sent the application with all the necessary documents to the Manager, and afterwards I had to wait for their decision.

I was told there was only one spot and that there was “heavy competition” for it. It’s hard to put into words the thrill I felt when I read the email saying that my application had been accepted. I remember that for some reason I didn’t read the email until late in the day and then I tossed and turned all night due to the excitement. I was coming to the place of my dreams (literally, since I confess I had dreamed more than once that I was in this park with the wolves)...

I remember the first impressions when I arrived at the Wildpark. The feeling of being in the middle of nowhere, surrounded by forest and fields, disconnected from civilization. I remember the beauty of the forest, with the autumnal colours of the leaves. I also recall my arrival at the student house, and that, funnily, its walls filled with all kinds of images of wolves made me think this was the right place for me.

I remember my first walks through the park, following Antonio (a former student at the WSC) while he helped me to learn the names of the animals. I recall hearing the wolves howling for the first time, getting goosebumps and tears coming to my eyes… I remember my enthusiasm, how I followed the trainers around, wanting to learn everything from everyone.

But time went by... I recall making the decision of not staying at the WSC to do a PhD. It’s ironic, because that was the reason why I came here in the first place. As I said in my previous blog, it’s difficult when life puts you at a crossroads. Then you start to regret having the freedom to choose. You start to wish that the path to follow was given to you, that someone would make the choice for you. It’s difficult when life gives you the opportunity you seek but you have to give something in return… Nothing in life is free and you have to make sacrifices. Well, I decided there are some things that I’m not willing to sacrifice.

I would be lying if I said I’m not happy to go back home. But closing this chapter of my life is also sad for me. Especially when I look back and remember how excited I was about coming here and the dreams I had… I admit that not everything was like I expected it to be. But if your expectations are too high, if you are expecting perfection, you are bound to feel disappointed in some way. However, I could find the beauty in the imperfection of this place. I managed to keep in mind the things that really matter, the details that made me happy, and I am sorry to lose them.

In the end I realize that my story in the WSC was similar to a love story. It started with passion, naivety and idealization, and it grew up to be patient, mature and tolerant. But sometimes you have to let go, even if it is hard.

Now the next chapter of my life is calling and I am looking forward to writing it.