September 5, 2012 at 5:00 AM
When someone comes home from vacation everyone wants to know how the trip was, what he or she saw, what he or she did and any other interesting stories. But, no one ever asks the questions like, “How did you feel up to leaving, those final days before departure where you begin to realize you can’t commit to a weekend movie or a sushi date with your friends for next week?”
Those days are just as important to the whole experience as being there. Those days leading up to when you go to the airport, those moments when you’re on the plane and it still hasn’t landed, those moments are full of more emotion, passion, and anxiety than 99 percent of the other moments in your life.
I was leaving family, friends, and friends that became my family when I left to study abroad in Rome at the end of August. It was all building inside of me, this anxiety, this longing for adventure and new experiences. I simultaneously felt some complacency, some desire to keep all of my travels a dream.
Dreams are so important to have and to accomplish one is scary. It means a door has closed. When you’ve reached a goal that seemed so unobtainable at one point and then accomplished the next, you are back to the beginning.
What’s my next dream? Time is moving forward, but where is it taking me? And I thought for one or two moments that if I forgot about leaving and just stayed stuck in this in-between where I could only talk about my dream, but still be with the people I love, life would be perfect.
I would be eating sushi right now.
But I am not eating sushi. I am eating lasagna. Really, really, really good lasagna. I’m not scared anymore. I realized that I still have a ton of dreams to accomplish. My life here in Rome will not change my life I have at home.
I will go back still in love with the same people. I will remember all the back roads to the mall. And, I’ll still remember the closing times for all my favorite places to eat.
So, I’m going to let that moment be.
The moment when the door for my dream of living in Rome closes because that moment will arrive. But I’m here now. And this is my life. As I say goodbye to my anxiety, I say hello to new experience and living in my sogno, my dream.
Those moments before leaving are still important to hold on to because those feelings are as real and as strong as thunder striking with no notice. You think of moments you’ve taken for granted and the value of fleeting time. You start paying attention to all things you’re going to miss: voices, touches, views. All these things will wait for me when I return.
Viva nel momento. Live in the moment.