Sunday, May 26, 2013

Home from Rome: Life After Rome

It's been almost a month since I left Rome, and since I posted on my blog.  I said I'd close it up more properly once I had caught up on sleep.  I don't know if I'll ever catch up on sleep, but I figure it's time wrap this up.

What is is like to be back in the United States after spending three months in Rome?  It is so weird.  I keep almost breaking traffic laws.  I walk out into the street, expecting traffic to stop for me; instead, I almost get hit every time.  I miss public transportation and living in the city.  My body can't handle not walking everywhere; I've started running again and I've been walking to church from my house pretty frequently.  It's not far, but it's a whole lot better than driving everywhere I need to go exactly when I need to.

I keep forgetting that everyone speaks English, and fluently, and that I speak the language of the people.  When I was on the crowed airport train in the Atlanta airport, I said, "scusi, permesso, scusate."  I forgot they all probably spoke English.  Half the time I'm talking, I assume the people around me can't understand me.

Also, I can't handle eating processed foods; the freshness of Italian food spoiled me.  I miss having pastries for breakfast.  I'm breaking my coffee addiction.  That's not something I'm doing on purpose; coffee just isn't as available or as cheap here, and it's not part of the culture like it is in Italy.
I found an Italian coffee place in the Atlanta airport.  I was going through withdrawal, so a caffe macchiato was a sweet little consolation.

The beauty of Italy can't even be compared to the United States; it's just not even fair to do that to our young little country.

What have I been up to since I've been home?  When I flew into Chicago, I had to go through customs, which took quite a while.  Afterwards, I was greeted by my mom and a small welcoming party.  By the time we got back to my house from Chicago, it was 2am Indiana time, which is 8am Rome time.  All I knew was that I'd been up for more than 24 hours straight and I needed to go to bed!
My family got had a cookie cake and balloons (not pictured here) waiting for me to welcome me home!  Please enjoy my cheesy smile.

As I mentioned in my last post, a day later, I went back down to Ave Maria for a few days.  I packed up my room, went back to work in the admissions office, went to graduation, spent time with friends, took a trip to the beach, and even made an Italian dinner for my roommate.

One of my beautiful roommates down at Ave Maria University. 
Enjoying a little homemade Italian, or at least as close as we could get.   I was desperate!  
After four days in Florida, I brought one of my roommates back to Indiana with me for a week!!  It was such a blessing to be able to spend time with her.  I missed her so much while I was in Rome!  It was also fun to be able to show her my home and my family.  I've been missing her ever since I took her back to Wisconsin!
My roommate and me, when I took her back to Wisconsin.  I didn't want to give her back!
Since then, I've been spending a lot of time with my siblings, helping out around the house, meeting up with old friends, babysitting, and spending time at my home parish, which I love SO MUCH.
Picture on the grounds of my home parish the other day
When my Rome-sickness gets bad, I end up doing things like reliving moments painted on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel.  I like to call this one "The Creation of Kitten."
It's definitely a different way of life, at a different pace, in a different setting, with different people.  It's been quite an adjustment, and I'm not even done adjusting yet.   I've also been sharing my experience in Rome whenever I get the chance.  Just the other day, I went and spoke to the students currently attending the middle school that I attended.  It's something that was such a huge gift that I loved so much that I just can't keep it to myself.  Can't you tell from my blog?  Speaking of which, thank you to everyone who has read any of my blog over the semester.  God bless you!  I hope you enjoyed it!  Keeping it updated was a great challenge, but also a great gift to me every day.  I know I'll be thankful for it in the future, too!

Even though absolutely everything in my hometown is different from life in Rome, God is still waiting to meet me in every moment of the day, just like He was in Rome.  Everywhere I go is always in pursuit of Him; He leads me, I follow.  That's how I got to Ave Maria, that's how I got to Rome, and that's how I got to where I am now.  So far, I'd say it's worked out pretty well.  Hopefully someday, it'll get me to heaven.  I'm confident that, with God's grace, it will.  Or, in the words of St. Josemaria Escriva, "I know I will accomplish this--not because I am sure of myself, Jesus, but because I am sure of You."

I ended my first blog post with a quote from the Song of Songs:
"Let me rise then and go about the city,
through the streets and squares;
Let me seek Him whom my soul loves."

Now, I find a verse shortly following that one to be an appropriate way to close my last blog post:
"I found Him whom my soul loves.
I held Him and would not let Him go
until I had brought Him to my mother's house..."
Song of Songs 3:2, 4

Thank you, Ave Maria University for another great year!  And most of all, thank You, Jesus!  I couldn't have known to ask for gifts as great as the ones I received this semester.

1 comment:

  1. love this beautiful post! love the pictures of you and therese and SJA.

    the reverse culture shock will fade away eventually and you'll settle back into american life (even if you don't want to at the moment...).