Miles “MOE”rales: Swinging My Way Around Adversity


When I was a little boy, my friends and family presented many superheroes to me, but I only had one I genuinely connected with…Spider-Man! When people first hear of Spider-Man, they think of Peter Parker. However, who represented me, from the similarity in ethnicity to morals and values, was Miles Morales.

For those who don’t know, the nickname given to me by my family was “Moe.” And so, as a child, I dressed up and pretended to be Miles “MOE”rales every chance I got, but especially when I felt I needed strength. And, to this day, sometimes, when things are a little rough, I tend to lean back and think just what Spider-Man would do.

Within my final weeks of studying abroad here in Barcelona, I have leaned more on that support than ever.

In my last blog, I mentioned how the capital of Catalunya felt like a NASCAR track, and how I had just been given a race car and been told to keep up with the way of life here. When that NASCAR race slowed, and I got used to the pace, adversity started to creep through the concrete.

I quickly discovered a difference in teaching style from the one I have grown accustomed to in the United States. Managing my shopping and grocery needs was a challenging endeavor. Communicating in Spanish, where everyone uses different nouns and adjectives from almost everything I know.

But one day, as I rode the elevator to get to the floor of my apartment, I closed my eyes and told myself,

“You got this. You’re here for a reason.”

Suddenly, I remembered when I was a little kid, and I used to be in awe of the comics I read of Spider-man. I loved how Miles picked up the mantle, how he made the situations easier for himself, and his light-hearted nature through that, in a way, gave him strength.

At that moment, as soon as it looked like adversity was becoming overwhelming, I swung around it.

I adapted to the professors’ teaching style, became a natural with my necessities, and felt comfortable speaking to everyone here in Barna.

I continued making incredible friends, some from Barcelona and others worldwide. I continued traveling and reading up on some books I didn’t get to look at during my downtime. And one day, out of surprise, I saw one of my relatives who just happened to be near and wanted to visit me. I even got to play basketball in El Raval with the local kids in the community!

As my time studying abroad soon ends, I continue to learn more about myself. Like Spider-Man, I realized I could adapt, persevere, and change my predicament.

And if things ever get a little sticky, I can always use my “spider senses” to set myself straight.