Because Italy was "troppo" I decided I had better find some projects to do while I was home for almost a whole month before my next trip. Obviously I found things to work on and completely forgot about re-starting my blog until a friend (Thanks Lindy!) ever so politely reminded me of the suspense I'd left my blog world hanging in. So I'm back...again. Hopefully I can keep up this time. Things are about to get crazy. Soon I will be leaving for Hawaii. I have always wanted to go to Hawaii so I'm pretty stoked about this trip. It also happens to be pretty close to my birthday (the big, and scary, 25) so you had better believe I will use that as excuse to live it up and have a great time while I'm there...I'm thinking surfing lessons, and camping on the beach. After Hawaii will be a short few days at home then off to Detroit, MI, yet another place I've never been before. I'll spend two weeks there before coming home for five days and then...and then...SCOTLAND. Yet another trip I am ridiculously excited about. I love my life, it is amazing as it stands and I can only see it getting better and better!
One of my projects while I'm home is to put the over 1800 photos from my Eurotrip into albums. I started on it tonight and realized something as I was looking back through the time before I left, my very first days in Italy, my house in Roncá, my time at the winery...I started to miss Italy again. My heart hurt for the time at Fattori surrounded by friends and massive amounts of smushed grapes...ah the smell, the smell of fermenting grape juice... It was that feeling, the feeling of loss and longing that I thought I had gotten over because I didn't feel it when I left Italy this last time. Then something clicked... When I first returned from Italy I met up with a coworker who shares my love of all things Italian. She had done a study abroad in Florence and her eyes lit up with passion every time she spoke of it. She asked me how I loved working in Venice, asking for details of all the beautiful things we loved. You could hear expectancy in her voice when she asked a question she thought she knew my answer to, and the confusion when I gave her a half-hearted description of the things I saw and did. I pretty much led to the fact that it was "okay" and "nothing special," as if I'd just gotten back from Monowi, Nebraska and not Venice, Italy. Her next question was, "Did it feel different this time?" I told her yes, and I wasn't sure why. I told her how it was easy for me to leave and how I didn't really understand it, but chalked it up to the fact that I just figured I'd eventually get to go back. Then she asked, "Do you think it's because you were working this time?" I said yes, but I wasn't completely convinced with my answer because I was working last time too. But now, now I get it. Last time, I was working for me. And last time I was completely immersed in the language and culture with no outside outlet when I needed a break. Last time I was doing everything for me, not for money, not for work, not because someone somewhere was telling me that I had to do it or face the consequences. The only consequence I had last time was letting myself down, not following my dreams. Last time I was working for me and my dreams, this time I had been working for someone else because they told me to.
And that's the difference. Everyone wants to follow this dream or that dream, and if you've been lucky enough to realize one of your dreams you know how attached your heart is to that time of your life. That's why I can look at the pictures from my Eurotrip and think about how badly I'd love to go back and how much I want to cry because I miss that time of my life, and also why I can look at the pictures of this past time in Venice and not feel those same feelings. It's a revelation. I don't just miss places or people or things. I miss the feelings and emotions attached with those places, people, and things. I can go back to Italy a thousand times and it will never be the same as that first time...I get it now. BUT that's not to say that I wouldn't love to go back to Italy time and time again, of course. :)