Un Anno Fa

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Downtown Nashville

Confession time.

I haven’t been feeling the creative, inspired feelings lately. Actually, I’ve been feeling rather drained. Perhaps that’s the reason for my absence on my blog. That, and I’ve been busy doing who knows what. What have I done recently? I visited my best friend in Tennessee for the New Year. Then I took a spontaneously planned trip to the Midwest to spend my 25th birthday with two lovely ladies that I met while in Italy.

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My American friends that I met in Italy. Here we are in Monaco.

Those were such welcome and highly anticipated trips. Since going to Canada in August, I had been glued to the same spot until December; I also hadn’t seen my best friend since before I left California about a year and a half ago. It was positively refreshing to be together again.

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My first Civil War battlefield

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And words can’t describe the affection I have for these two girls here. I have nothing but the best memories shared with them, and I consider myself truly blessed to have been able to reunite with them less than a year after we separated in Marche and Campania .

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I love these two so much

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Shopping in KC

I traveled to Omaha, Lincoln, and Kansas City in a matter of days. Whirlwind trips are something we’re all too used to. I had never been to the Midwest, so I was excited to see it. We experienced the…well…interesting Kansas City nightlife and walked around seeing sights.

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Baseball fans must go see the home of the MLB Champs

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Union Station in KC

My favorite part of the trip was our dinner at Garozzo’s Ristorante in KC. It only seemed fitting that we enjoyed a plate of pasta and a bottle of wine considering it was over those things that we got to know each other in the first place. It was fabulous and delicious.

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Gnocchi is my weakness. And wine. And bread. Ok, I love carbs.

 

Now that I’m back home with no foreseeable outing in sight, it’s a little depressing. Particularly when thinking that one year ago (un anno fa), I was living my dream in Italia. It’s been an entire year! I cannot believe that since everything feels so fresh in my mind. I think I’m at the point when I realize nobody cares about that anymore. Which is completely fine! I totally understand those sentiments. But if everyone only knew how much I think about those three months of my life and how much I keep them to myself. If they only knew how deeply my experiences and the Italian people affected my heart. If they only knew how I crave new experiences and being in new places.

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One year ago in Florence

I’m about to make deep confession here: it’s rather ironic that I feel the way described above. I was just thinking today that I truly loved my life in my California hometown for the three years I spent at community college before transferring away to University. I worked a lot. I studied even more. But I had friends and endless meals to eat and things to do with them.  Neither extreme hot nor extreme cold prohibited us from doing anything. I had a closely knit support group. And it was great. I loved the routine I had. However, since moving to Idaho, I haven’t gotten my groove back. I don’t have that support group that I can always call up and count on, though I have a few caring friends. Also, I don’t exactly mesh with these surroundings. Don’t get me wrong. It’s a gorgeous area, but something in me feels like it doesn’t belong here. I don’t really fit in.

Maybe it’s the fact that I was here for just a few months before leaving the country. Maybe it’s because I changed in some ways that I wasn’t ready to admit. I think the girl that used to cling to routine is gone. I find myself always thinking about how many good shifts I would have to work to buy a plane ticket somewhere, even if it’s just for a week. I am constantly wondering if I’ll ever be able to afford to go back to Europe again. And I just have to be able to because something is pulling at my heart, telling me to go back and see everything.

A picturesque city square. Every building is beautiful and inspired.

A piazza in Florence.

I’m still waiting on responses from the grad schools to which I applied. So if I make it in, going to grad school would land me in a different city for two years, which is thrilling to me; however, I’m not sure how much light of day I would see considering I’ll have my nose in books and eyes on a computer for those years. Not to mention that those would probably be two years without much traveling. There is nothing to regret about more education though! Who knows where I could go with the degree that I might earn?

Life has so many possibilities. I just wish I knew which ones to capitalize on. I continue to pray that God would lead me in making the right decision. What if I miss a sign? What if I’m supposed to do something completely different than what I’m setting myself up for now? “Let go and let God” and “God helps those who help themselves” seem to be clashing in my soul right now. Is this what a mid-life crisis feels like?

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Espresso is the reason I’m up right now.

In the meantime, I am making a conscious effort to not wish these current days away in hope of an exciting future, remaining eternally grateful the experience I was allowed to have a year ago and for the ones that have followed since. I realize that I am lucky to have ben able to be in so many different places even this new year! My 24th year was undeniably, unbelievably incredible, a year that will be hard to beat in terms of new and exciting. It was a marvelous year of growth and learning. While I am starting off my 25th year feeling rather drained, confused, and blue, I trust that it will be wonderful in its own way, perhaps in ways I don’t expect. Va bene.

Until next time, ragazzi! Ciao.

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