I came all the way to Rome to study Archaeology, but found myself less and less interested in history and more interested in living. I realized archaeology is not going to be where I end up, but if not, then what will I do?
This question used to keep me up all night, I would get panic attacks, start crying and fighting because I was totally lost. Now I realize, it doesn’t matter. I am happy here in Rome, I am happy doing whatever comes to me.
The majority of my friends back home are all set, I have two friends at home who have kids now and have good enough jobs and they are perfectly happy. I have two other friends who are graduating this year, one of whom already has started clinics and should be pretty set (insha’allah!). Then one more who is even getting married in a little over a month! The others still have two years and are set with where they are in life. I used to think I needed a twenty year plan, with goals of high education, jobs and everything else. But the more time I spend here in Rome the more I realize it isn’t about planning it’s about living and not worrying. I know that I will be able to stay over here, I don’t know how, but I will make do.
Recently in marketing we talked about the differences between Americans and Italians, then we also watched a bit from Eat Pray Love to accentuate the point. The main difference is that Americans constantly think about what is next, or how they will pay the bill or when things are due, their lives surround their job. How often does the theme of spending too much time on the job, rather than with family, or for oneself come up in TV Shows, Movies, or even real life. How many divorces are based of that? In Italy of course you have to work, and they work hard enough (some more than others) but it is more about living. Work comes second, pleasure and family comes first. That is why things run late, because everyone is allowed their sweet time to enjoy their coffee and cigarette.
It’s not the way most Americans imagine, where we all sit around doing nothing but enjoying beautiful cafes and eating amazing pasta all day long, it is possible to do this but we don’t. Life here still involves grocery shopping, cleaning the house, cooking, and even lazy days where we never leave our apartment. But all those things we do as we please. We can have fun and find gratitude in every moment of the day. That is what I find perfect about living here, there is always something to be thankful for, not just “oh I am thankful I am alive”, no, I mean something real. As an example I can take the bus to school every day and be so thankful for the beautiful views of the river, and the smell of the pasticcerias, and then dozens of different languages and accents I hear.
That is why I love life here, and why I am sure I will find a way to always stay.