The last few days have been pretty uneventful but productive nonetheless. I mentioned this a couple of posts ago, but my time in Italy, and this experience in general, has been one giant, invaluable life lesson that I couldn't have gained any other way. I honestly am coming out of this a completely different person than I was on May 24th when I boarded the plane to come over here, and it's all for the better.
For the past 3 years (at least) I had been hell-bent on coming to Italy. It was like some unexplainable power had taken over my brain and was telling me "You need to go to Italy." I was doing anything and everything I could to get over here, and I didn't have the slightest idea what I was going to do once I landed. I had purchased travel books and novels set in Italy, done countless hours of research online, and watched the Travel Channel anytime the show was set in Italy. Needless to say, I was obsessed, and I didn't have anything else to go off of other than that I just knew I needed to come to Italy.
When the opportunity of a lifetime came through my e-mail one day, it's safe to say I was just the slightest bit ecstatic. I was finally going to achieve one of my lifelong dreams (if you can call it that at 23 years old), and, as an added bonus, I wasn't going to be a sole, lonely American in a sea of Italians. It really was the perfect opportunity and something I had been dreaming about for years. Another check off the bucket list!
As the newness of the country and experience wore off, I realized how lonely I was here, and how I had abandoned everyone I truly cared about at home in pursuit of my dream. I had achieved a dream of mine, and no one was here to share it with me. Christine and Christer are amazing, and they will always be special people to me, but I truly and honestly missed my family and friends more than I can even explain. During this whole process, I've realized the people I truly care about, and how important their relationships are to me, and I've also realized that some of the people I was friends with were just convenient buddies, and nothing more. Every trip we've taken and new things we've seen, I always have this nagging thought in the back of my head of how much more amazing this would have been if the people I loved were here to share it with. To really give something depth and meaning, it needs to be shared with someone you love, and that is especially true of Italy.
When I first got over here I was dreading having to come back to the states, to my normal boring job, and my semi-normal life. I couldn't think of a single thing that I had in the states that was worth me coming back for, and I just wanted to stay in Italy for as long as I could. That is, until I started truly and honestly thinking about the people I loved at home. The more I thought about things, the more I think about how awesome my life in Central Florida is. I have everything anyone could ask for and more, and the mundane boringness of my life was simply my own laziness in failing to search for adventure or something better.
I have decided, upon all of this life-learning and understanding, to forgo the extended stay in Italy, and, instead, come home a bit early. I was originally supposed to come home on August 18th, but I am instead returning on July 26th...yes...this monday. It's time for me to move on with my life and work towards achieving some other dreams of mine. I will be home in time to get school and classes situated for the fall, and I'll be home for my birthday, which was a big thing I was struggling with since I spent Christmas with my adopted family while my real family was in Indiana. I know this may seem like giving up when things got tough, but I just think about what's ahead for me when I get home, and life's not going to be the laid-back Italian lifestyle I've had all summer. My next dreams are going to take a lot of hard work and dedication, and quite honestly, may be the hardest things I've ever had to accomplish in my life, but I am so ready and determined to make them happen. I won't return to the same, mundane schedule I was keeping before Italy, and, instead, will seek out adventure in every chance I get.
I have accomplished one dream of mine, and it's time for me to work towards my next dreams and my next stage in life.
Connie has gotten me hooked on this blog www.cakewrecks.com, and it is make-a-fool-of-yourself-laughing-out-loud funny. She posts pictures of the world's worst cakes with funny quips and comments to go along. Every Sunday she posts pictures of outstandingly well-made cakes, and I came across this one today. A running shoe cake! Tell me that doesn't look like a real running shoe. If I wasn't concerned about the 100+ hours probably invested into making this gem, I'd request one for my birthday, but you're off the hook mom...Duncan Hines is fine with me. It is just too impressive not to share.
Today my favorite thing about Italy is: Ferrero Rocher gelato from Sacile. Like eating a cold, creamy Ferrero Rocher candy in a cup. Amazing.
And in case you were wondering, here are some other items on my bucket list:
- Run the NYC Marathon- Checked off in 2009
- Hike the Inca Trail
- Own my own house
- Ride around the Arc de Triomphe
- Watch the Christmas tree lighting in NYC
- Swim with whale sharks