Wednesday, March 14, 2012

I'm forgetting..

I had to google translate how to say "paper" in italian..... "carta..

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Let me wake up again, tomorrow morning in Italy.

Every day is a gloomy day.
Every day is a reminder.
Every day that passes, is another I couldn't take.

It's October now. A year ago I was in Italy. I still can't beleive I used to live there. Before on my last post i commented on how its fun to see everyone and come back to a lot of things i missed. I guess that was true for the first month I was back. Then the culture shock hit me, again. Except it was my own culture. I'm not used to it anymore, I realize that now.

I miss Italy, I want nothing more than to go back, to be with my amazing family there and be with all my friends again. I want to talk to my friends and hangout with them, but they're so far away. Just to even set up a time to skype with them is difficult with the hours and hours of time difference.

The first month back was ok. But further into the transition, I began to realize why I left again. It's harder than I imagined, I thought all my friends would be here to welcome me home, I thought things would go back to normal. In a way i think things did go back to normal, things are normal. It's boring. it's not only that though, but i'm not even friends with the friends i had before i left. Things have changed, people have changed, and I especially have changed, and no one here understands me. It's really difficult to be here, to continue life like nothing happened. If youre lucky and talking to a nice person here, theyre gonna ask you how was Italy? and that is/was the extent of everything. It hurts to not be able to talk about the most important and meaningful experience and year of my life. I cant. Even if i did, no one would get it, but no ones asking, so.. I have to let it be.

It's hard to go through this transition to go to normalness, but without the friends I had before. They were the ones who supported me in exchange, its just I had no idea what i was coming back to.

Life here, and now, it's just normal. And when I say normal, I mean the usual wake up, classes, the occassional football games and yeah sure those are fun. I suppose there are fun moments, but it's never really a good fun memory without my friends. The only other big difference (other than the friend change) is that now i have college applications. It's stressful. That's all. It's like i come back to this place i wanted to leave from, but without the friends i thought i had, and with more work. It's great.

Well, life goes by. It's just really difficult to go through this year, like this. I feel like im alone, and stuck. I can't do anything, I can't breathe. I want to let it out, but I can't. I have all this i want to share but I can't, I have all this that i want to say but I can't. I can't be here right now.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Let me go

I'm back. home. It's hard to believe.  I still can't right now. It's strange, strange to be back in America. (I got back in america the 10th, but just got home th 16th because i was on the east coast visiting colleges) It was strange to hear english all over again, everywhere, by now i think and speak italian everyday. The culture shock is hitting me way harder than it did when i arrived in Italy in the beginning. After being here only just a week, i notice so many things about America, and how weird America is. Really. I didnt even remember all these "famous american things" that italians pointed out to me, until i got back and realized they are so normal its not a big deal. (long list, sorry right now im too lazy. ill add later) I didnt even remember what america was like. I had let my mind go, and let it wander in Italy. I think It's still there..

By now i'm so used to the italian life, i really dont know what to do with myself here. I feel so lost. I don't feel like i belong here. I have this attatchment to Italy and i want to go back sooo badly right now. And I've only been back for less than 10 days. Being back home has been really hard. I have only been home home for a couple of days now. Things really are like nothing has changed. Life here is still the same, which is why it's difficult for me to place myself back into life here, and carry on like normal after I myself have changed so much. Basically, the family house life routine is the same, people are the same, nothing has changed at all. And here i come back from this big life changing experience, and life continues like normal. That was weird for me. I mean, it's obvious that would happen, but experiencing that was weird.

Being home in these few days, I've been studying. A lot. I have to finish this course if i want to graduate on time(this course isnt taught in italy. but other than english 11 i did all my other courses in italy) and none of my friends are home in town. So it's been lonely. I mean, i am studying, but that also means im home alone a lot, with a lot of time to think. And when i think, my mind is still lost in italy. I really do feel lost. I miss italy so much it hurts, I dont know what to do with myself. I want to be back in ITaly this very moment, I miss my host family, i miss my friends, and everyone from AFS. they were seriously the best friends i could have ever had and were always there for me, and now, we are all back in our homes all around the world, so far apart. I feel alone.

Being back is nice, like i got to eat all the food i missed for a year, i got to see my family and my puppy and drive my car, and see some friends and sleep in my bed. It's like, i needed a bit of my "home stuff" here. but for life, i dont feel like i need to be here forever. I want to be in Italy forever. I think coming back, was like getting all the stuff i needed, but for a week or two vacation. not for permanantly being back. I'm back. I can't deny it. There. I'm back. I'm back... And i have to accept it, and go on with life, normal life. So far away from all my best friends, my loved ones, the best relationships and bonds i've made in one year. All i want to do is cry and go back to Italy to see everyone and live my life there. But i can't hold on forever. I seriously have to go on.

hopefully I'll be able to go back to college/university or something. I'm seriously in love with Italy. I miss the chill culture, i miss hilarious people, i miss eating the food my host mom cooks, i miss the aromas of the food and everything around in italy, i miss walking down the cobblestoned streets, i miss passing by fountains and little spickets of water everywhere, i miss the strange milan fashions, i miss passing by a random roman ruin, i miss the flowery gardens, i miss the small village growing food in your garden thing, i miss my friends, i miss my host family, i miss the beautiful Italy, it's so magical. I just need to let go, and I need Italy to let me go.


But whatever. I'll keep you guys posted on how my transition goes. and IF i am able to go to university in italy. And if anyone italian, or exchanger, or future exchanger has questions, ask me! and ill make other posts with responses :)

sorry this was really wordy, im bad at writing and i didnt know how to explain myself very well..

Thank you to everyone who has followed my blog throughout this year, it made me really happy to see that people were reading my blog, and were at least a little curious about my life or exchange in general. Just, thank you guys, all of you for everything :)

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

A Voi Italiani e a tutti gli altri che parlano italiano

Questo post è per voi Italiani. Vi ringrazio di tutto! Essendo una straniera, non sapete quanto mi avete aiutato. Anche con semplici gesti di gentilezza. Quelli che mi hanno dato una mano con qualsiasi cosa, è questo significa molto per me.

Grazie se a scuola mi avete parlato e non mi avete fatto a sentire sola. Se mi avete aiutato con i compiti e mi avete fatto capire che c'era qualcuno simpatico qui per me :) se mi avete chiesto di uscire e mi avete dato una mano ad avere una vita sociale :)

Quelli con cui sempre potevo fare qualsiasi domanda, quelli con cui sempre potevo parlare di qualsiasi cosa, quelli che mi ascoltavono, ho sempre saputo che c'eravate.. vi voglio tantissimo bene! Mi avete aiutato tantissimo quest'anno. Perchè vi avevo, non mi sentivo da sola. rimarremo in contatto, e sempre potrete venire a Seattle, siete tutti i benvenuti :))

Voi ragazzi di Intercultura. Anche a voi, vi voglio tantissimo bene! avete aperto gli occhi e ho imparato tanto da voi. Abbiamo scoperto che le persone sono persone in qualsiasi parte del mondo, ora siamo migliori amici, e siete un'altra famiglia. ci capiamo, ci siamo divertiti ogni volta eravamo insieme. Alloraa dobbiamo viaggiare ovunque nel mondo a trovarci! Ho passato bellissimo anno con voi, non so come spiegare tutto, cioè, abbiamo imparato tantissimo insieme, abbiamo avuto nostaglia, avevamo paura, abbiamo fatto finta di capire nostri amici, abbiamo fatto la finta che non capivamo un cazzo a scuola xD, scherzavamo, conosciamo lo sconociuto, abbiamo le storie assurde da raccontare, e ci siamo fatti tanti amici che sono diventati come fratelli e sorelle.. etc etc. ma cmq devete sapere che vi voglio bene ♥♥

e per la famiglia..

Cara Famiglia,

Mi avete salvato! Veramente! Se non mi aveste presa, sarei tornata gia' 5 mesi fa. Non avrei fatto l'esperienza. Mi avete presentato la cultura italiana, mi avete portato nei posti piu belli del mondo, mi avete insegnato l'italiano cacchio!!! Mi avete fatto sentire parte della famiglia. Voi siete la mia famiglia! Vi ringrazio per quest'anno, ora abbiamo tantissimi ricordi, da scherzi, tutte la parole che ci fanno ridere, erano bei tempi. avete ragione, non è un addio, è un arrivederci. Tornerò di sicuro! Poi verrete a trovarmi a Seattle :) viaggeremo insieme, e ci trovaremo di nuovo FORSE anche in Brasile ;) e quando venite a Seattle, vedrete che NON SEMPRE piove xD e scopriremo se è un lago o un mare hahaha. cmq siete la migliore famiglia che avrei potuto avere :)

Voi tutti, mi avete insegnato tanto, ho imparato tanto quest'anno e mai vi dimenticarò. L'Italia e voi tutti starete sempre nel mio cuore.

Saturday, July 2, 2011

What a year has taught me.

1. Yesterday doesnt matter. Move on, there are more important things, there's a tomorrow.

2. Yeah, I know life is scary. But nothing in life is ever going to be easy or fair wherever you go.

3. Per forza, Prova!! Put effort into everything, just try! cuz slacking off isnt gonna do you anything, you aren't gonna get anywhere if you dont try.

4. Dont be judgmental people, or prejudiced against races. (i never was though, just saying) Because we are all people living in the same world. We're all just human beings. We think the same, we have opinions, secrets, fears etc. (Now i have best friends from all over the world)

5. Independence. Look out. Watch out for yourself. Figure out stuff on your own. Youre all on your own out in that big world.

6. Enjoy yourself. I notice italians relax a lot and live for pleasure. they really enjoy themselves in pretty much everything they do. Chill.

7. Take chances and Make Risks. This year I overcame a fear of mine. Swimming in bodies of water(other than pools) I dont know, i think I've always been scared knowing that in lakes or seas theres things living, or that i cant sea the bottom. But being here in Italy, I forced myself to go swimming in every body of water there is. heck, i go in the fountains even though its illegal here xD Anyways I go swimming in every lake, and even the sea. I force myself, telling myself, "Rachael, you have to do this. You're in friggin Italy. Get in that water. When's the next time youre gonna get this opportunity? or how cool is it to swim in this famous lake, this famous sea?(mediteranean)" So i jump. literally, Last week I jumped off a cliff in liguria into the mediteranean sea :) My best friend pushed me to do it. And she pushed me into swimming out way far off the coast, or the part where im comfortable(i feel vulnerable like something can eat me if im too far out) so that we could see the view of the mountain range and the waters and the whole beach. IT was amazing. She seriously made me realize that i have to live my life. and Do everything i can, when i have the opportunites, or basically in general, to not have fear, dont fear life and dont be afraid to go for it. I then realized that it doesnt just matter that im in italy. It doesnt matter where i am, i still have to push myself to overcome my fears, i still have to push myself to do things everday. Live your life. seriously! dont just say it cuz it's a cool saying. But go out and do it! Enjoy yourself, and make memories, do crazy stuff, and overcome your fears.

This year made me force myself to try new things, telling myself everytime, it's just because im in italy. But really, even when i go back home, I'm going to continue trying new things. It doesnt matter where you are. try new things. dont be scared. make memories.

Before I didnt want to go home. But by now I'm ready. I think I've accepted it. Like it's time, and I'm ready to get back to my bed, my family, my car, my city, my life. But I'm definitly coming back here. I'm so in love with Italy, but i realized it isnt my home, it isnt my real life here. it was kind of like a fantasy and that's why i didnt want to leave. But i know i have my family here, and friends, and some of the hardest times here, but also the best. I've had some pretty good times here and created good memories. But it's time to go home, and now I'm ok with that. Maybe I'll come back for university or something :)

P.S. This is for Lauren, She taught me "Carpe diem", and she is the best friend who I envy because she is never scared of anything, and pushes me to go for things and to overcome my fears. I'm so grateful and lucky to have her as a friend and to have met her here in Italy. I have my best memories with you and I'm gonna miss you so much

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Ok, take a deep breath. Here we go ragazzi.

It's scary. less than 2 weeks here. I leave my house and from milan central station on a train to rome on July 9th. Us americans leave Rome July 10th. and We'll be back in our country July 10th.

We have such little time. It's terrifying. We havve such little time to do all these things. say goodbye to everyone, and do these last minute things. It's not enough!

This is a little something being passed around us exchange students, and this is what they read to us at our camp. IT made us all cry, and it's true. Here we go..

L'anno D'oro

Un anno è passato e ora sei sull'orlo di ritornare dove sarai circondato dal paradosso di tutto ma invece niente sarà lo stesso.
Fra poco abbraccerai controvoglia e, combattendo contre le lacrime, saluterai le persone che un giorno erano solo nomi su un foglio di carta

Per tornare dalle persone che hai abbracciate combattendo contro le lacrime al momento di salutarle

Prima di partire.
Lascerai i tuoi migliori amici per tornare dai tuoi migliori amici.

Ritornerai da dove vieni e tornerai a fare le stesse cose che facevi l'estate scorsa e tutte le altre estati prima.

Arriverai in città da questa stessa strada familiare, e anche se sono passati mesi, ti sembrerà appena ieri.

Quando entrerai nella tua vecchia stanza, tutte le emozioni ti attravversaranno mentre rifletterai su quanto la tua vita è cambiata e la persona che sei diventata.

All'improvviso capirai che le cose più importanti per te un anno fa non sembrano più così importanti oggi, e che le cose che ti importano di più ora, nessuno qui a casa le può veramente capire.

Chi chiamerai per primo ?

Che cosa farai del tuo primo fine settimana a casa coi tuoi amici ?

Dove lavorerai ?

Chi ci sarà alla festa sabato sera ?

Che cos'hanno fatto tutti questi ultimi mesi ?

Con chi parlerai ancora a scuola ?

Quanto tempo prima che le persone che facevano irruzione senza chiamare né bussare ti manchino ?
Allora inizi a capire quanto le cose sono cambiate, e capisci che la parte più difficile dell'essere un intercambista è di saper trovare l'equilibrio tra i due mondi completamente diversi in cui vivi ora, provando disperatamente di tenerti a tutto mentre cerci di capire quello che devi lasciare dietro di te.

Conosci il significato della vera amicizia.

Sai con chi sei ancora in contatto dopo un anno e chi ha un posto così importante nel tuo cuore.
Hai lasciato il tuo mondo per affrontare il mondo reale.
Hai avuto il cuore spezzato, ti sei innamorato, hai aiutato il tuo migliore amico a superare i suoi problemi, la depressione, lo stress, la morte ...

Hai acceso candele nella grotta e sei rimasto in piedi tutta la notte solo per parlare con un amico che ne aveva bisogno.

Ci sono stati dei momenti in cui ti sei sentito impotente essendo così lontano da casa mentre sapevi che la tua famiglia o i tuoi amici avevano tanto bisogno di te, e ci sono dei momenti in cui sai di aver fatto la differenza.
Fra poco te ne andrai.

Fra poco toglierai tutte le immagini, e metterai i tuoi panni nella valigia. Finite le ore a passeggiare senza fine. Lascierai i tuoi amici di cui gli indirizzi mail e numeri di telefono ti faranno piangere quest'estate, e magari anche i prossimi anni. Prenderai i tuoi ricordi e sogni e li metterai da parte per il momento, tenendoli per il tuo ritorno in questo mondo.

Fra poco arriverai a casa. Fra poco disfarai la valigia e cenerai con le tue famiglie. Andrai dal tuo migliore amico e non farete niente per ore, senza fine. Ritornerai dagli stessi amici di chi lei mail e chiamate telefoniche ti hanno fatto piangere durante l'anno. Tirerai fuori vecchi sogni e ricordi che avevi messo da parte quest'anno.

Fra poco andrai fino in fondo a cercare la forza e le convinzioni per aggiustarti al cambiamento e per stare vicino a tutti. E così, in un certo modo, troverai il tuo posto tra questi due mondi.
Sei pronto?


The Golden Year

A year has passed and now you stand on the brink of returning to a world where you will be surrounded by the paradox of everything and yet nothing will be the same.

Soon, you will reluctantly give your hugs, fighting back the tears, say goodbye to the people who were once just names on a sheet of paper

to return to the people that you hugged and fought tears to say goodbye to before you ever left.

You will leave your best friends to return to your best friends.

You will return to where you came from and you'll return to doing the same things you did last summer and all the summers before.

You will arrive in town on that same familiar road, and even though months have passed it will seem like only yesterday.

When you step into your old bedroom, all your emotions will pass through you as you reflect on how much your life has changed and the person you have become.

You will suddenly understand that the things that were most important to you a year ago don't seem to matter so much anymore, and that the things you hold highest now, no one at home will completely understand.

Who will you call first?

What will you do your first weekend home with your friends?

Where are you going to work?

Who will be at the party saturday night?

What has everyone been up to in these past months?

Who from school will you still keep in touch with?

How long before you actually start missing people barging in without knocking or calling?

Then you start to realize how much things have changed, and you understand that the hardest part about being an exchange student is knowing how to find a balance between the two completely different worlds in which you now live, trying desperately to hold onto everything all the while, trying to figure out what you have to leave behind.

You know what true friendship means.

You know whom you have kept in touch with over the past year and whom you hold dearest in your heart.

You've left your world to deal with the real world.

You had your heart broken, you fell in love, you helped your best friend overcome their problems, depression, stress, death...

You lit candles at the grotto and stayed up all night just to talk to a friend in need.

There have been times when you felt helpless being so far away from home, knowing your family or your friends needed you, and there have been times when you know you have made a difference.

Soon you will leave

Soon you will take down your pictures and pack up your clothes. No more endless hours walking around aimlessly. You will leave your friends who's random e-mails and phone calls will make you laugh and cry this summer, and hopefully years to come. You will take your memories and dreams and put them away for now, saving them for when you return to this world.

Soon you'll arrive at home. Soon you'll unpack your bags and eat dinner with your family. You will go over to your best friends house and do nothing for hours on end. You will return to the same friends whose random e-mails and phone calls have brought you to laughter and tears this year. You will unpack old dreams and memories that have been put away this past year.

Soon you will dig deep inside to find the strength and conviction to adjust to change and still stay close to everyone. And somehow, in some way, you will find your place between these two worlds.
Are you ready?

Saturday, June 11, 2011

28 days... til we leave our new home Italy

In 28 days we all have to go home. July 9th we all leave ourfamilies, or friends, our lives. Everything that we have lived for a year we have to leave in one morning. Us guys here that live near milan, are all taking the train from milan to rome in the morning. We'll be in Rome for one night, and then off we go back to our countries. 28 days. Exactly 4 weeks from today. I'm so terrified.