So there is a very good reason that I have not written much this week: I have had absolutely nothing to say. Strange, I know, as I have been rather prolific since I arrived. It is a strange feeling, being 2/3 of the way through my time here, because things are no longer new and intensely glamorous; instead, I am settling in, becoming more and more comfortable with my surroundings, starting to feel, at home. However, there is something constantly tugging at me, telling me not to get too comfortable so as to take things for granted, because the fact is that I will not be here forever. I just don’t know how I feel about that. Don’t get too cozy here, don’t get too attached. That is the voice deep inside of me. This is not your city, this is not your home. That restaurant you love, that coffee bar where they know and recognize you, that shop, that exhibition, that piazza. They are not yours. So the novelty has faded and I am no longer a tourist, but where does that leave me? What am I here? Who am I here?
Complex questions. Of course I love this city, that never changes. Every day I am more and more enamored, more and more amazed, but I am starting to get tired of being constantly enamored, constantly amazed. What does that mean? Am I lazy? Unhappy? Spoiled? Next year, when I am holed up in some office somewhere, will I regret sleeping in on Saturday instead of going to yet another museum? What if I just needed some time to rest, to be, to do absolutely nothing? Is that selfish and short-sighted?
I have experienced this feeling before, so it should not come as a surprise. Experiences abroad are always a roller-coaster ride: You start out on top, when you first arrive, and then fall to the bottom as you get homesick. You rise again when the time comes to go back home, and then fall again once you are there and miss being abroad. There is no real time to adjust, because as soon as you realize where you actually are, what you are doing, seeing, eating, sensing, and experiencing, it is time for you to pack up and leave. But wait a minute, you say, Where do I fit into all of this? What is the point? What am I even doing here?
So here I am, stuck between wanting to completely delve in and embrace Italian culture and life in Florence and the fear of doing so, of falling head over heels for something that I know I will have to leave in a very short period of time. I want to relax a little, to come home early and curl up with a good book without feeling guilty about missing out on an opportunity that will never, ever present itself to me again. Ever. For as long as I live. Am I being dramatic and completly over-analyzing all of this? Yes, I think so. However, that still doesn’t leave me with any answers. Where do I fit in in Florence? Where do I fit in in life? Where is my home? Why am I here? What have I learned? What will I do with what I have learned?
Complex questions indeed.