Friday, April 20, 2012

Feelings, Travels, The Home Front: My Attempt to Fit My Last Weeks into One Post

            I know. It’s been a while. It’s been more than a while. It’s been like, half my time here. And I could keep spouting the excuse that I just don’t have the time, and blah blah blah etc—but I think now I can go ahead and admit that I was lying about that. That I do have the time, and I have had it. The truth is—and I did tell myself that I was going to be honest here, and not hide what I was feeling from you guys out of reasons of shyness, or embarrassment, or whatever—I just haven’t wanted to write this.
I dunno if it’s always obvious when I’m not writing heartrending posts about my pathetic feelings, but writing about one’s experiences—even in beautiful Italy—requires introspection. And introspection requires examining one’s feelings. And examining one’s feelings means admitting feelings that maybe one just doesn’t want to or doesn’t have the time or the inclination to feel. Are you guys getting this? I’m having a me moment. I’m talking about me.
            So, in the interests of the honesty that I promised myself and—although you guys didn’t know it—you, I’m going to go ahead and lay out all of the feelings that I’ve been feeling, because they’ve been forming a huge part of my experience here, because I’m either spending my time thinking about them or thinking of creative ways to avoid thinking about them, which usually just ends up with my acknowledging that I’ve just been avoiding them. Which makes me think about them. It’s a vicious cycle, one that starts and ends with men.
            I’ve had two big relationships in my life, one right on top of the other. In both, I went exclusive too quickly, I fell in love too quickly, and I let my imagination scurry away with potential futures and eventualities and possibilities and…yeah. Kay. Well, I did that. And just so you know, I wasn’t the only one living in la-la land: in both relationships, my sick, sucker-like tendency to attach much too quickly was supported—nay, encouraged, or even engendered!—by my partner. So, let’s all guess the end here: both relationships were incredible roller coasters with many a twist, turn, sudden drop, gasp-provoking rise, and sickening skid to a halt.
            Real roller coasters, though, have ends. They’re inanimate. But when they’re instead actual men, living, breathing men, sometimes your roller coasters decide to just extend themselves over the deep blue sea, and make your time abroad even more bumpy than the turbulence you drunkenly resisted on your Lufthansa flight. And lemme go ahead and tell you that it sucks.
            It sucks having to think about the mistakes you made, or didn’t make, or what could have been different. Could you have been different? Could he? Are you a better or worse person for having known him? Is he an awful person, or just human? Would you do the same to someone else? Hell, DID you do the same to someone else? And thinking of that someone else….AND ON AND ON AND ON. No end exists to such a thought process, because no answers exist. At least I sure don’t know them. And thus I haven’t been thinking about it, and thus haven’t been writing about it, and thus haven’t been blog posting. But now, I feel like I can, because I have finally come to some concrete conclusions:
1.     I am a silly, silly girl who falls in love too quickly.
2.     This is an awfully hard thing for me to admit, because I am also a smart woman, who prides herself on not being a silly, silly girl.
3.     Sometimes we are wrong about ourselves.
4.     I will probably always be a silly, silly girl, because that also means that I am trusting person, that I want to think the best of people, and that I have a lot of love to give.
5.     That means, unfortunately, that I will be getting hurt many more times in my life.
6.     Thank all the forces in the universe for my friends, my family, and my Little, who will always put my pieces back together—sometimes many, many times.
Beyond these little bits of self-serving triteness, I can’t do much more. But there, now you know. And now I can move on from self-pity to telling you about all the parts of my life that haven’t required deep thought and uncomfortable self-confrontation on my part.
Wow, guys, it really has been a while. My apologies for my shitty, shitty blog. Oh well, I’m just going to try and to a short catch-up via little sketches of the places I’ve been and then try to be better in the future, okay? Maybe someone is still reading this. If not, I’ll just spout it out the atmosphere for purposes of catharsis and memory.
            After Ferrara, we set off to Bologna, where the food is delicious, the prices not awful, and the men think Ariana and I are the dirtiest dancers that I ever existed. I also danced with the little pixie pictured below, who is Ariana’s good friend Kevin! Kevin’s been bumming around—also known as studying his ass off—in Bologna for the past year, and is thus masterful at Italian and what I aspire to be. Also adorable, yet another aspiration of mine.
We're just going to go ahead and agree as a group to ignore my drunk eyes here, and instead focus on the important things: Kevin, and Ariana and my circle of intrigued Italian gentlemen.
            After Bologna came Firenze (or Florence, to you sad little English speakers. Yeah, I’m a snob now, deal with it. It comes with culture). Florence was beautiful and wonderful in every way, including in the way that oh my god every piece of art is there ever and it is all mind-boggling and fabulous and DAVID was there and it was so breathtaking and I have to stop now before I have a cardiac infarction (I started watching Grey’s Anatomy recently, sorry). We also climbed the many, many steps to the top of the Duomo and saw the panoramic view of the city, which was definitely worth the aching thighs that plagued me for the next day or so. It was, however, pathetically tourist-y. I don’t think I spoke a word of Italian the whole time.
            After Florence, I moseyed on down to Rome. Rome has produced in me possibly the most confusing conglomeration of feelings ever. The city was amazing in so many ways, really it was, but the people were just awful and unpleasant. I mean, maybe I would be like that too after living in a giant tourist hub my whole life, but I imagine I’d retain some semblance of humanity. I hope. But whatever, as long as I wasn’t talking to a person, it was a fantastic time. Plus, I met this person, who claims to be the next big star, and also Brett Michaels, and also, perhaps, Lady Gaga. 
He denies the resemblance to Miss Gaga, but he's also clearly slightly deranged, so he's not to be trusted. 
Also, I guess there's a Coloseum or something in Rome?
             After Rome, I went to my second European country ever, Slovenia! It was a moment of quasi-purification, to be honest. It felt amazing to be among hills, mountains, water, just, I dunno, nature after weeks upon weeks of city. We attempted to hike a Julien Alp, and made it a significant distance before realizing that a combination of fatigue and darkness demanded a return to solid ground and thicker air. 
There was also a castle, overlooking this beautiful lake. Here I am seen contemplating life, the universe, everything, and probably a cool boat or something.
             After Slovenia came spring break—finally—and we headed to Sardegna, the little island off of Italy that isn’t Sicily. Yeah, that one. The intention was to beach and lay out while we were there, but the foreboding gray clouds that accompanied us throughout our entire visit had other plans for us. We did, however, see an over 8-million year old cave, called Neptune’s Grotto, that was one of the most awe-inspiring sights I’ve ever witnesses. But really. It was incredible. 
Listen, giant caves are difficult to capture on camera. Just trust me.
 The Home Front           
And now I’ve been back in Padova, and the real work has started. For my University of Padova class, I need to read about 350 pages of the professor’s textbook and two novels, tasks that I realize I have fallen far, far, terrifyingly far behind in. So that’s what I’ll be working on for the next approximately, like, foreverish.
            I’ve further decided to stay on after the program and travel around with Ariana; we’ll be working on a farm in Lazio (Rome’s region) for two weeks, and then traveling to a veritable plethora of cities. As it stands, we should be hitting Palermo, Morocco, Spain, Amsterdam, Berlin, Poland, Croatia, Budapest, and then finally Istanbul before heading to Italy for our flights home, around mid-July. The whole idea of doing all of this is kind of amazing and daunting and fabulous and scary all at once, but it’s going to be hell figuring out all of the details and finances. Whatever, we’re two pretty smart heads, so combined we should be able to do it…Right? Right.
            As for my house itself, it’s gotten quite a bit more active: I have more company than just Cat nowadays! My host brother, Joshua (half-American, ignore the name) has moved back home, providing me with endless distractions if I so choose. Unfortunately for my UniPD class, I often choose distractions. When I fail, it will probably be due to the combined forces of Grey’s Anatomy, Italian crossword puzzles, and his attempts to fill in the gaps of my cinematographic education. I can’t really say that he’s more interesting than Cat, but he tries to attack me with his claws way less, and that’s really all I require nowadays.
            Allright, I’m ending this novel now before it gets really ridiculous. I’m going to Napoli next weekend; I’ll give a real-person, proper, location-based post after that, okay? Don’t hate me forever. I was just teaching you patience.