11 April 2012

21 Before 21

The day is quickly approaching. I'm almost 21! Everyone has a birthday. At some point, a massive majority of the population will turn 21. It's not THAT big of a deal, but I'm turning 21 on Friday. Considering the drinking age is "Can you reach the bar?" in Italy, it's a bit anti-climatic. I won't be parading around Athens with a big sign around my neck. Instead, I'll be spending the day with my lovely friends turned family in Sorrento, on the Amalfi Coast in southwest Italy.

It's a trip that's been planned by ISA, our wonderful study abroad program and I've been looking forward to it since January! I'm so excited that I'll get to spend this special day in a beautiful place with people I have quickly grown to love.

Last summer, I made a 'Bucket List' of sorts, a list of things I wanted to accomplish before I could legally go get some beer down at Five Points Bottle Shop. Then in September, I decided to come to Rome for the Spring. Some of the things I wanted to accomplish haven't gotten done, or more specifically, they've been postponed until I get back to real life in May. Sigh.

A lot of things on this list, like 2. Ring the Chapel Bell or 9. Give Blood, I probably would have done anyway, but writing them down and saying I would accomplish these things gave them a sense of importance. Plus, I like lists.

I probably could have gotten through 21 books, but I've been a little busy for the last few months exploring Europe. Thirteen is a valiant effort though, I think. Not only did I visit the Vatican City in July, but I have also been to Belgium, Malta and the Czech Republic.

Running my first 5K was great. I'm so glad I did it, even though I haven't ran much since. That's what this summer will be for. Natasha Bedingfield, cool lady. My sister, Natalie will get to Rome next Thursday and we'll travel together! I wasn't too aggressive about finding anyone to teach me to drive a stick shift, but they have them all over Italy and I still have two days. It's possible. I went to Cine and saw Melancholia with Ashley Hanna, one of my favorite people in the world. Super intense movie though.

Homeless Shelter, tough.
Cleaning out my room & the subsequent garage sale, even tougher.
Selling things on eBay, fun! Plus, making money is always nice.
Restoring my grandmothers chest of drawers was extremely rewarding.

...Then... I messed up. Traveling to Hong Kong, California and NYC didn't happen because I've been traveling to many other wonderful places. The cities will still be there, and my friends will still be in the cities.

Also, one does not simply "learn" Final Cut Pro and Photoshop. Too vague. People spend their entire careers on these programs, and still learn new tricks and quirks every day. So, if we say that by "learn" I mean I have a basic understanding, then I guess I "learned" them.

Tattoo, glad I did it.
Georgia Theater, I am so so happy you're back. We're going to have a fun summer.

So there were 8 things on the List I didn't fully accomplish, but here's another 8 things that I did accomplish over the last year that I'm proud of but couldn't have planned for this time last year.

1. Live in an apartment without a washing machine, microwave or dishwasher with five other girls.
2. Go to a European Football Match.
AS Roma vs. Parma in February
3. Eat the proclaimed "best pizza in the world" at da Michele's in Naples.
4. Go to Carnivale in Venice
5. See Tuscany covered in snow.
6. Move into my first house in Athens and enjoy a great semester with my lovely roommates, who I miss dearly.

7. Attend the Georgia/Florida football game at the end of October, and watch UGA beat the Gators.
8. Have my blog hit 4,000 views.

I think there are still so many more things I could add to this list of beautiful surprises, but I said eight, so I'll stick with eight. There are a lot of you back in the States who I wish could be here, celebrating my 21st birthday this weekend. But I'm content knowing that I'll be home in May, or June, or sometime and absence really does make the heart grow fonder. We'll celebrate soon, and I'll bring the limoncello. 


  1. :) that makes me smile so much and I am so in love with how you write. it felt like the end of an episode of one tree hill where they all alternate narrating the beginning and end. oh yeah that ended last week by the way, series finally, so weird.

  2. Good Morning Clare and Happy 21st!!!!!!!
    Sounds like you are having a great time! Thanks for sharing it all with us!
    You have a great time and a HAPPY, HaPpY day!
    I love you,
    Aunt Salli

  3. Hey my dear Clare Hope YOUR day is wonderful. Papa and I just had oatmeal and cheese toast Wish you were here!! we love and miss you MamMa and Papa