4 Great Undergraduate Regrets

I have always had four great regrets from my 3.5 years as an undergraduate student.

I know, I know: “No regrets!” Right?

It is disingenuous at best to say that we don’t earnestly regret some of our choices. [Read more...]

Buying Produce in Italy

From the time I touched down in Florence I was craving a salad.

Italian SaladAlmost 24 hours of travel means a great deal of road food and none of it particularly good.

I needed veggies. Stat.

After finding my apartment and getting slightly acquainted with my new home, I went to the little bistro downstairs to enjoy some WiFi and my first Florentine meal. The salad was ample and my body was thankful.

Knowing the craving would return, though, I set off for the market. With my ridiculously little Italian, I thought it would be quite the adventure.

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Sono a Firenze

Grateful, overwhelmed, thankful, pleased, overjoyed, awed, inspired… settled.

It is day 3.

Actually only full day number 2. Already I feel comfortable and snug in this — my — foreign town.

The Street Where I liveI realize I have only barely begun my journey here. Moments abound where I am truly IN and overcome with the exceptionality of my experience… and then the boot and I just keep stepping along stone streets enjoying the journey to our destination like normal.

A little fatigued but no jet lag.

A little misty about friends far away but no homesickness.

A little awkwardness but no fear.

New and familiar at the same time.


I have spoken before about having an immediate reaction to a city and, well, I just sorta skipped over the part where it was a question of liking it or not. Perhaps it is that I already knew I would be here for a year and I fear I am jinxing it — gratitude, gratitude, gratitude — but I simply glided into Florence and nested.

Not Good at Goodbyes

My bags are packed (not really)It is profoundly unbelievable to me that my next post will come from Florence, Italy.

I look at that sentence and the words just start to lose their meaning. It is as if it is a story I am reading about someone else instead of a sentence happening to me.


“I do not think that word means what you think it means.”

Oh, but it does. I can’t wrap my mind around the idea that I’ll be living abroad in 4 days… until faced with the realities of saying goodbye.

It is coming in waves. They break faster now as my time gets shorter.

I had to hug my brothers for the last time before departure the weekend and one hit me broadside. Dan said, “you’re still not good at goodbyes…” Nope. I get chocked up just thinking about the moment. No. I’m still not good at goodbyes. My brain absolutely short circuits when I think about kissing Little Miss for the last time.

Bidding farewell to those that we love shouldn’t be easy should it?

Saying sinara to stuff is one thing. To let go of people and face the reality of being a half a world away from them — that is something else entirely.

Under the excitement

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Divesting of Stuff

PensWhere did I get so many pens? And hangers? And scraps of paper? And bottles of lotion? And shoes?

Why on earth have I kept this for so long?

As I make preparations for Italy (10 Days?!) I’ve been dealing with a lot of stuff.

No, that isn’t euphemism for the emotional calisthenics my heart and mind have been running. I mean I’m divesting myself of my junk, by articles, my items, my possessions, my baggage, my crap.

I’m more annoyed that I have to deal with it than anything else. A rather large part of me wants to pack a small suitcase and simply walk away.

I have visions of that scene in “Waiting to Exhale” of piling all the stuff — but my stuff, not my cheating husband’s — into a giant heap and setting fire to it.

I’d confidently stride away looking fierce, snap my fingers and say “never again.”

Overdramatic? Maybe a touch, but that is how deep my desire to be rid of the things right now is. I’m getting rid of as much as I can for, in my mind, my time in Florence isn’t a little sojourn over to Europe. It isn’t even a year fellowship in my mind. In my preparations I am overhauling my life and my concept of “home.”

Florence is the first stop in what I hope to be a longterm nomadic life.

Tis a life that doesn’t need quite so many pens.


I’ve always had this “rainy day” mentality. Save things for when you will need them. Save them because they are too nice to use. Save them so they don’t go to waste…

Saving so long the act of saving becomes wasteful. [Read more...]