So the time is nearing and my time here is about to end. I've had a great four months, wonderful experiences, amazing opportunities, but I've also realized that home is where the heart is and I wouldn't trade my family and friends for the world. Here's my final article I submitted to the Bethany Messenger...i'll just use it as my close to final post for this blog. for those of you following who aren't from BC, well I'll still be seeing you soon at home or sometime this summer! Thanks for following, it's been quite a ride :).
“The world is round and the place which may seem like the end may also be the beginning.” –Ivy Baker Priest
If you recall back about 5 months ago, I began my writings to you all with a precursor, a quote by Mark Twain about going all in and throwing caution to the wind. My semester abroad is quickly coming to an end and I will soon be seeing most if not all of you around campus in the near future. So I chose to begin my last piece with this quote. My experience is ending, but really it’s only the beginning of my new experience, viewing my “real life” with new eyes.
I came in to this with few expectations, but I’d like to take this chance to review them and see how my vision really played out. My mornings in Rome begin to the harsh sound of the British voice that is my alarm clock on my school provided Nokia box phone, yes the kind you had in high school. I drag myself out of bed to get ready and begin the 30 minute walk to class. Before I head out of the building a get a cappuccino out the the vending machine, a jump start for my brain. I walk into Italian class and I can feel the nerve-endings in my head firing rapidly as they translate the Italian my teacher is speaking to the English my hands are writing in my notebook. I continue my class day and I return to my house after my last class at 5. I head to the grocery store to pick up the essentials. It’s a daily occurrence since one Italian sized refrigerator shared with eight girls doesn’t compute very well. I walk through the store grabbing my usual purchases: pasta, sauce, cheese. I stop at the bread counter the baker smiles at me, he teaches me something new today. The bread I’d been calling Pizza Bianca, I should really call Pizza Romana he says. I thank him and continue my shopping. I check out and go home to make dinner and then do my homework.
Not exactly how I pictured my days, a few things are similar and few are different. Does that mean it wasn’t good? I would say that’s as far from the truth as you could get. I have whole heartedly enjoyed my experience in Italy and all of Europe. I have really found myself in this experience. I’ve learned to be creative with everyday activities. Ever try to go a week without a microwave? I’ve gone a whole semester. How about a dryer? I’ve air dried my clothes for 118 days. Everything I do takes planning and thought. This has led me to appreciate the convenience of our society. One of the first things I was told when I got to Italy was. “Time is not money.” This is true. Italians take their time, they enjoy the everyday things in life. Dinner is easily a 3 hour affair and walking down the street could take all day. At first these things were annoyances, but really it’s nice to slow down and enjoy life once and a while. We all need to take a step back someday and realize that we aren’t getting ahead by working ourselves to death, getting to that vacation week and saying, “No, I’ll take it next year.” Life is passing us all by. We are speeding past the best times of our lives. If I learned nothing else, it’s to slow down. I miss the fast pace occasionally but I can definitely better understand how appealing it is to take life one baby step at a time.
I hope you all have enjoyed my experience with me. I’ve really enjoyed sharing it with you! Please when I get home, feel free to stop me, anytime, anywhere and ask me, anything. I encourage you all to try an experience like this for yourself. It’s definitely life-changing and something I wouldn’t trade anything in the world for. I’ve seen the world. I’ve seen how other people live. I know that Americans can be ignorant and arrogant, and I know that I’m no longer one of those Americans.
Thanks so much for following! Good luck on your finals and I’ll see you all around campus soon! My trip is ending but my experience is truly just beginning…