I know I haven’t written in a while. It’s not because there isn’t very much to say. It’s almost that there’s too much to say and I don’t really know where to begin. Every day feels like an activity here – not in a bad way, just in the sense that I feel like I’m doing so much. The components of my days are nearly always the same, but the pieces are always different. Running days are my favorite. I’m still running up to Fiesole every other day. On those days I wake up early in the morning so that I can run and shower before class. Often those are the most tiring days because, even though I don’t go looking for it, I often end up walking another ten or so miles just from getting around and having breaks from class and from classes that meet outside the SU building. On other days, I go walking for a couple hours after school. I’ve started to resent the Duomo a little bit (I know that’s a strange thing to say, but it’s true). It’s just everywhere that I look and it’s the cut off of new and exciting territory to a 40 minute walk home down very familiar streets. When I’m tired I both look forward to and hate the sight of the Duomo.
So I’ve started taking less popular roads, finding my way down less nice, but different streets, which I prefer. Yesterday, I walked about two hours the opposite way down the Arno, which started off as a pretty nasty street walk and turned into one of the most beautiful places I’ve seen in Florence yet.
I wish the WiFi worked better here. Sometimes it’ll hold steady for an hour or two and other times it’ll flicker about 30 times in a ten minute period, often deciding that it has no connection after all. I had a call with one of the editors from Tor (my summer job), which I thankfully took over the phone instead of the WiFi because both the internet and the power cut out halfway through, leaving me to take down notes sitting on my bed in the dark.
I’m very comfortable here. In fact, both Owen and I have noted the way in which we’ve adjusted the the Italians’ late dinners. Neither one of us needs more than one lunch now, to make it until 8 or 9 for dinner. I usually have a bagel and egg sandwich from the SU store sometime around 1 or 2 and then an apple around 4 or 5 and I’m hungry, but still very much alive, by the time dinner rolls around a couple hours later.
What’s been strange for me lately is the idea of permanence. Although I’m very much enjoying my day to day life here, I’m also very aware that there isn’t very much time before it ends. (Okay, there’s a fair bit of time, but it doesn’t feel like it. Spring Break is in two weeks, and I’m pretty much not counting the entire month of March because Owen and I will be traveling for 2 weeks and then my parents will be here for the next two. After that it’s just April and then Owen and I start traveling again). In case, I haven’t mentioned this already, Owen and I have planned our post-school trip through Spain, Belgium and Paris for just under two weeks. Then I’ll fly home and he’ll come back to Italy to show his family around.
Although I really like it here and think it’s super cool that I get to live in Italy for a semester, I’m happy about how quickly it’s going by. It’s hard, I think, to fully be in the moment when you know something is coming to the end. I realized that nothing’s been permanent since I got to college. Every semester has breaks and every summer job ends when schools come back around. For the past three years everything has been moving at an incredible pace and I think it’s hard sometimes to really experience the moment when in the back of your mind you’re always aware that it’s going to end. It feels to me like an empty box just waiting to be checked. You might not want to finish what you’re doing, but because you know that you’re going to have to check the box at some point, you want to do it now to be finished and onto the next thing. I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t excited for a time when the only person who gets to decide when things end is me.
These pictures are from another walk I took up through Fiesole.