Life is a party! Yesterday started off kinda grumpy. I was fine during plein air, but I had to rush home to finish my project to turn in at 1. I finished it and fell asleep on accident, and woke up 5 minutes before class. I still had to run to the printer and go back to Eric's. I was 20 minutes late, tired, and looked like crap. Then we had to walk an hour to this museum Eric wanted to take us to, except there was a typo in the instructions and we never found it. So we just took a bus back to...
I just realized that I already bloggedabout this. So about that night. People had gone clubbing a couple times before, and I was never interested. I haven't danced in almost two years, and think Mormon dances are awkward and lame. Last night we went to dinner at The Cat and the Fox, so I was already freshly showered and felt cute (that's a big factor in going out). They talked me into going to a club a 45 minute walk away (yeah, I know), and we left at 10:45. I was honestly kinda nervous to go to a club, but we were with boys that I trust, and a big group of girls. All the kids are good kids and we just wanted to have fun! So we walked all the way there, and once the party got started, it was crazy! I drank a redbull, which I never do because it tastes like crap, and we danced until almost 3 in the morning. I never thought I could shake it like that, but when the music's alright, there are tons of people dancing, and you're on a redbull, and your first time clubbing is in Italy, you can't help but have fun. The drink ended up being 10 euros instead of free, and the cover charge was 3 instead of 1, but it was worth the experience. Once I got out of the club, the tired hit me and we still had to walk 45 minutes back at 3 in the morning. That was a long walk, and when I got home my feet were bleeding haha.
Bethanne decided to move sketchbook to 830 instead of 1pm, so I got 3.5 hours of sleep. Our group was so funny this morning at the monastery. You could totally tell that we were not at 100%. We went and saw all of Fra Angelico's work, which was what I had been waiting for for so long! His Annunciation wasn't very impressive to some people, but I was so amazed to be standing in front of it! He was a monk who just happened to paint, so his work is more sincerely and humbly pius as opposed to a painting made by a jerk who was commissioned to do a religious work. He painted every monk's quarters in the monastery with a different religious scene. It must have taken him forever!
Today they gave us money to go visit all the places we haven't been yet. We went to see a body exhibit at the Academy (where the David is), the Duomo Museum, and the Duomo baptistry. The Duomo Museum was awesome because they had the original doors of the baptistry that are so famous by Ghiberti. After taking art history and reading that stupid book about the duomo, I appreciated those bronze doors so much more. They are so intricate, and took 20 years! CRAZY!.
I went home and planned a one hour nap then two hours of work then San Lorenzo to get Wistie's present. Well I woke up four and a half hours later and said, screw it! I needed it, and didn't even feel refreshed after waking up...a feat, I say.
My roommates and I cooked our last meal in our apartment since tomorrow is our last night and we're going to the monastery for a nice dinner. It was so fun and we ate outside on our terrace and watched the sun set. That sun from our balcony is literally the second coolest sun I've seen. The first coolest is the sun at the Grand Canyon, specifically this one time a group of us got up in the dark (I had had like an hour of sleep), drove an hour, and watched the sun rise, the birds chirp, and feel the cool burn off our skin. It was almost perfect and so beautiful. The sunset on our balcony is pretty close to that.
So I'm really lucky because we were supposed to read a book and do a study guide and have a final on Wednesday, which I didn't even know about. Then Eric postponed it to Saturday, and then today he said that instead of our final we're having a field trip to the museum we couldn't find for an hour in the wilderness! I'm SO HAPPY!!! I was planning on staying up late tonight but now I don't have to. So so so so lucky.
I've been reflecting a lot about this trip. I'm so lucky that things have worked out. Some people have boys freaking out at them for leaving them, and Matt has been nothing but supportive, even though I know it's hard for him. There have been definite struggles while I've been here, but I have worked through them and feel so accomplished having done so. It feels really great to say that I have accomplished a goal I've had for over three years, even though it wasn't what I expected (maybe even better than I expected?)
I also think I have learned a lot about group dynamics and different personalities while I've been here. I have learned to deal with different people in different ways, all efficiently. I have come to realize more than ever that it really doesn't matter where you are, as long as you have good friends around you. Also that distance really does make the heart grow fonder. I have also learned that America really is pretty great. What we lack in historical sites and cool museums, we make up for in so many other ways, like modern conveniences, good healthcare (What?! Yeah...medicine is SUPER expensive here, which makes insurance worth it to me. Feel free to tell me your opinion)...and so many other things.
Another thing that has impressed me here is that although having Matt leave for two years will be so so super hard, I know now that I can do it. This trip was always looked at as kind of a trial run for the real thing as far as the strain it will put on our relationship and the pining away we will have to do. But I know that things will be great when I get back in 3 weeks...if we can handle two months, we can handle two years. I feel really great knowing that I can continue to live my life (in a different way for a while), and have great experiences without Matt (but not quite as great), and accomplish some goals I have before he gets back. I will not be sitting around wallowing (ok maybe once in a while), but instead see this as a hard thing that we can both get through together, while having separate and rewarding experiences. I have so much I want to do with my life. It will be nice to have those two years to do things for me before I get married. I'm excited for Matt to leave, only because I know that he will learn so much and become an even greater man. I have learned a ton in only four weeks, so imagine how much he will grow in two years serving the Lord on a mission!!
Talking to Kelsey tonight really reminded me about my prompting to come on this study abroad. I considered postponing it a year, but got a strong feeling that this summer was the right time to go. I think I needed this experience for so many reasons. I really don't regret anything that has happened on this trip, or before it. Even the two weeks in the beginning that were extremely hard for me ended up making me appreciate every single day that I am healthy. I am still kind of homesick, but imagine how great it will be when I come home. I was walking around today by myself since I had to go get more medicine from Dr. Kerr. At that quiet moment, I realized that I truly am happy. I am both content with myself and the decisions I have made to get me where I am today. I know I am not perfect, and neither is my life, but I am trying hard to create the best life I can. That is an irreplaceable feeling. I no longer walk around seeing the gross things about the city and thinking about how much I miss home. I just take it as, this is my time to be here, and it's awesome, and once I'm done I'm done, so I should really just enjoy it while I have the chance. Kelsey was right when she said that this is a once in a lifetime experience, and we don't have much more time to soak it in.
Sorry this is really long, but I really wanted to record how I feel right now. I'm really glad I have kept a detailed log of this experience. I think it's so telling to see how things have panned out. I had my trials, but I knew things would turn out alright, and they did. Thank you to all the people who read this blog and support me while I'm here. I miss and appreciate you all.