Where does it all go? How does it pass by so quickly? How can something which seemed so real, so tangible, become something which must have its existence proven through evidence? Like a jacket which hangs silently in your closet or an old photo you find hiding in the corners of your desk drawer.
What do you do when it’s all over?
What do you say?
What do you do when life continues and you don’t know how to continue with it? Do you go along confidently, act as if nothing has changed? Do you try to embody the idea of being a completely new person? Or do you just float, waiting for the next thing to bring as much excitement as you just experienced for so long?
What do you do when they stop writing you back? When you feel like maybe, just maybe, time has worked its magic and erased your name on the sand of your favourite beach? Maybe your art has been taken down from the walls of your old school. You wonder; you wonder if they’ve forgotten you. You wonder if it was all a dream.
But it wasn’t. As far away as it seems right now, in this moment, it wasn’t a dream. And as time goes on, my gratefulness for my experience only grows; but so does my gratefulness for where I am now. The last year since my exchange has been one of the hardest of my life. Anything like that can make you miss what was; when everything was so simple and clear-cut. But time makes everything seem easier than it was. I know I had hard moments in Italy just like I do at home, and what I find when I look at those memories is a girl who is stronger than she knows.
Even more so, I look out my window and every day I see something beautiful about the place I live. I wonder if my Italian friends will ever see it. But I also wonder where I am going, who I will be, and I’ve come to the realization now that the attitude of embraciveness ,positivity, and openmindedness that I embodied during my exchange is what has made me so successful at such a young age. I have places I still have to go, things I still have to see, and every day I become a little more excited for that adventure to begin. But I think what I taught myself during my exchange, something I have to remind myself of every now and again, is that the adventure exists every day.
Life is, 100 percent, what you make it.
And you know what? Whether in Italy, or Canada, or some place in the middle of China, life is beautiful. I am so, so, so lucky.
And, if there is one thing I can get through to whoever reads this (if anyone), after all this time, is one thing: always remember to be grateful.
Your life is beautiful.
Until if and when I decide to jot down my thoughts again,