22 May 2012

The 5 Stages of Grief: Study Abroad Edition

1. Denial – The days leading up to May 16, packing, saying goodbyes, throwing a coin the Trevi, heading to the airport, getting on the plane... Is this really happening? We're not actually leaving.. right?

2. Anger – I'm just mad I had to leave Rome, my friends, a wonderful school, the opportunity to explore and be on my own. This anger stage still comes out from time to time. Ask those closest to me. 

3. Bargaining –"Ok, Mom & Dad... Just let me stay for a few weeks after to travel. I reallyyyy wanted to go to Budapest and Munich..."

4. Depression – Not even Crazy, Stupid, Love, Casablanca and an ice cream sundae on the airplane could ease my heavy heart. I woke up from my nap wondering where my roommates were and if the kitchen was clean only to find myself on the airplane headed to Atlanta. Yeah, I cried. Then cried again when my sister gave me a collage of pictures of my trip. Then cried again when I was singing by myself in the car.

5. Acceptance – When the plane landed in Atlanta, we were one of the first group of passengers to go through the new terminal. It opened earlier that day. The employees were excited, the walkways were beautiful and I got to see my family for the first time... in a few weeks. It's been a little overwhelming since then, but I'm happy. Driving is more fun than I remembered. I love having Netflix on Demand. I can stretch out my arms in bed and not touch a wall. There's no sirens, no neighbors yelling at 8 AM, no dirty floors. My friends smiling faces and genuine happiness at my return gives me a little slap in the face. Life is good and all of the exciting things happening at home makes me feel ok about being back. It happened. It was wonderful. Now, get on with your life but don't forget a second. 

Before I left, there was a C.S. Lewis quote that I constantly repeated when I was sad or anxious about spending four months away. "There are far, far better things that lay ahead than any of those we leave behind." Lewis is a smart man and I believed his words. Now, I'm repeating it again and looking at things lying ahead. I may turn around a lot and think of Italy, but hey... who wouldn't?

Ciao Amici.
...and by 'Ciao', I mean 'a domani', because the blog is keeping on. 

1 comment:

  1. Your Dad is VERY happy that you are home and proud of what you accomplished and learned about yourself in Roma this Spring. Love you!