Why?Milan, Spring 2011

People study abroad for different reasons. The quiet person wants to come out of their shell, who’s home is in the middle of no where and wants to see the world, the person who has become stuck in a rut wants to break free of their comfort zone. We all come to study abroad to discover something, a part of ourselves we would never see otherwise, a part of the entire world we would never see otherwise. So here we are, at the end of the program, and what have we discovered? What part of ourselves has come out here that at home no one would ever see. Did that person come out of her shell? Did that person come out of their comfort zone? Or, was something even more powerful discovered.
I have learned and discovered so much about myself and the culture around me. So many things I would have never dreamed of thinking, feeling, or wanting have come to the surface. My desire to travel, to see the world and everything it has. The hunger for beautiful music and the desire to create such a powerful thing. The most surprising thing to me is how I have discovered that even though I want to settle one day, I am no where close to being ready for it. There is too much I want to experience, so much that I want to do, that settling down is the last thing on my mind right now.
Another thing I learned is that it is so hard to close a door these days. You open up a gateway for someone to come in and because we live in a digital age it is almost impossible to get them out of your life, even when you are over 3,000 miles away. What a shame this seems to be to me, because some doors need to be closed and stay that way, for the persons well being this needs to be done, but its just not possible anymore. Then, even if you don’t make contact the ghosts of the past still haunt you. Of coarse you can ignore and ignore again but they always pop up, never letting you forget them, and what they did to you. I mean, come on, you come to escape the world your from to get a break, to rediscover yourself and here is your past tailing you. The whole time knowing what is best for you is to leave it behind, but that life is so comfortable. You know it, you know how it works and what will happen and there wont be any surprises, but that life is wrong for you. All you want is a “get out of jail free card” but no, life has to be difficult and say, “Oh, you can get to your heaven alright, it’s just going to be hell getting there.”
Nothing worth while is easy, and it seems to be that if its easy its just really a waste of time. It’s easy to not get involved with others, but then you are alone. It is easy to not do work, but then you get nowhere. It is easy to lay in bed all day but then you get fat. It is easy to weasel out of things instead of just doing them, and it is easy to make excuses for when you are below par. When in all you are doing just being lazy, but of coarse you are too lazy to admit that to yourself.
There are still bullies in the world, and no matter how old one becomes this is how it is. One will meet someone, think they are at the least civilized with eachother, and then it turns out they are just using you for their own amusement. They laugh and snicker, and when you tell them something in confidence they use that same information to entertain themselves later that day. There are still these people, and for a very long time I had hope that when I left high school and even middle school I would not have to deal with such people, and although my hope will never go away it is a tad more cynical.
Get involved. Don’t stick to one person, one place, one routine. Take advantage of the time you have to travel, make friends, do things. Don’t waste your time here, make a bucket list.
Although, what I have done here is unforgettable. I went to the Alps and then snowboarded them. I went to Venice during Carnivale. I went to Spain and Portugal. I went and saw two opera’s at La Scala, and performed at La Casa Verdi. Seems pretty good to me. =)

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