SO as I was walking to school the other day, I couldn’t stop smiling. The sun was shining, for once. There were people sitting on top of the river’s walls reading and I was navigating my way through the city seamlessly. I had my headphones in listening to Feist and I kept picturing an entourage of people singing and dancing behind me like you see in the movies. Maybe some song birds, more likely seagulls because there is an abundance of them here, would perch on my shoulders and braid my hair. And I had this crazy feeling that if I looked over my seagull perch of a shoulder, that peering out from behind the rows of vespas would be my mom and dad. Smiling at me, beaming with pride. My dad would wink at me and nod and my mom would laugh and happy tears would be streaming down her face. But when I glanced to my right all I saw was a single man taking a selfie and a dog crossing the cobblestone street with her elderly human parent.
I turned my foolish head quickly, back to reality. The seagulls vanished and Feist slowed her tempo. This fantasy of my parents being able to see my genuine happiness and comfort was all too telling of my journey thus far.
I have experienced a lot in my (almost) 3 weeks abroad, but none of it would have been possible without my humans back home, my constant givers of support, love and encouragement. Over these past few weeks I have been thinking about all this love and missing the people who provided it without condition. This post may not be about the incredible view I had of Florence the other day (see picture) or the ultimate sense of pride I had when I was mistaken for a native Italian in the grocery line and was spoken to and responded in a language I have only attempted to speak for the past week. No, this post is a thank you. The recognition of all of you reading this. I feel this is appropriate to post now before I have been changed forever by this marvelous place, just so I can say at the end of all of it that I was thankful from the beginning. So that I stay humble. So that I remember where I came from and how I got here. Because all of that will shape this entire adventure for me and I wouldn’t have it any other way.
With that, I want to say I am keeping my head up and although I am thinking of you always, I will be looking in front of me to search for your loving faces and no longer behind me.
Thank you to all the people (and animals) that have given me all that I just said, you know who you are and if you don’t think that you have ever done anything for me, just know that you are wrong, and your humbleness is exactly how you have influenced me.
NOW, I’m off to Paris! Stayed tuned! I will return on Monday with a new post about crossing off one of my bucket list cities!
Je t’aime mes amis!