Here we are. Study abroad is officially over. After being across the world since January, I landed safely at LAX last night. The end approached slowly, then all at once. The semester now feels like one crazy, possibly drug-induced, dream. It is so bittersweet, because I arrived here as one person and left feeling like another. Instead of writing just a chapter in the book of my life, I feel as if I am now starting to write a new one. I am so unbelievably grateful for the irreplaceable experiences I have had. As I explained in my last post, I needed this so much.
I haven’t even been home for 24 hours yet, and I already see a difference in how I am living here. (This may change once I am working both of my jobs starting next week, but at least the intentions are the same!) I am taking my time, to do things right and whole. Trying just to be there, right where I am. I move back into my real house (finally!) after a year and half of renovations in the next week, and then move down to my new Chapman apartment the following week! An abundance of excitement coming up, but also busyness comes along right next to it. I love being home, being with my family, getting to fully relax in my own place. That said, I shall embrace every sweet moment, to continue being grateful for the life right in front of me.
As I have mentioned multiple times on here, my main goal for my semester abroad was to learn how to live a genuine and authentic life.
The answer: gratitude.
Think about it. If you’re grateful for the people around you, you’re going to push yourself to learn more about them, rather than sit on your phone thinking about someone else. If you’re grateful for your space, you will put more effort to keep it clean and decorate it to inspire you. If you’re grateful for your life, you will not waste time doing things you know you shouldn’t or that you simply just don’t want to. You get the point. Obviously I am still pursuing this constantly, I have my intentions set, which is the first step.
Furthermore, by spending more time on what I enjoy out of life, I have learned a lot more about myself. Since returning home, I remember all of the things I was so consumed with before I left. Mostly my ego just doing its job, but my time and energy could have spent on much greater things. Okay anyways, my point is that I feel like I have a stronger sense of self. Finding that is something that I am really proud of. It’s so important to have a strong basis of who you are and what you want as you are constantly preparing to take on the world.
Thank you Italy. For letting me grow in a place filled with love, overflowing my heart with all that is good, and stuffing my stomach with pasta.