Missing a Moment While You’re Living in It

Do you ever catch yourself missing a moment while you’re still living in it?  This has been my experience for the past five weeks while on the JSB program.  This summer is something I’ve been looking forward to and saving towards for my entire college experience.  Actually, to be more accurate, this experience is something I’ve been looking forward to for my entire life!  Ever since I knew what the concept of studying abroad was, I knew it was something I had to do.  All of this buildup made stepping on the plane to Rome feel like an out-of-body experience.  I just kept saying to the girls around me, “I just can’t believe this is real!!  We’re actually doing this?!”  

When I stepped off the bus into the square of Ariccia, the surreal feeling intensified.  This is a place I’ve seen photos of and been dreaming of for so many years, and I couldn’t believe it was actually real!  Once the dust settled, I realized how lucky I felt to be living here.  Every day brings a new adventure, whether that’s practicing my Italian with Paolo and Barbara at Antico, hiking Mount Vesuvius, getting lost in Venice on our personal travels, or not being able to translate an Italian menu and waiting to see what it is I’ve ordered at dinner!  I have always been someone who craves adventure and new experiences, so all of this has been so exciting for me!

Because this whole experience has been so wonderful, I find myself missing moments while I’m still living them.  On one of our first days on the program, we read letters from the previous semester of Chigi babies.  One of them said, “Soak it all in, because nothing will ever be like this or feel like this again,” and the more time that goes by, the more I can see how true that is.  I look around at the wonderful 21 women I’m surrounded by, usually while we’re crying laughing, and realize how lucky I am.  We could be singing and dancing on the streets of Venice, jumping into the water off the Amalfi Coast, looking at ancient Roman ruins, or simply just hanging out in the kitchen, and I just want to freeze time and live in the moment forever.  It’s the most bittersweet experience of my life to look forward to every day, and also want the next day to never come because that means one more day closer to leaving.  

I guess this is the best problem I could have.  Stressing myself out because I am missing a moment I’m living in is definitely the best way I could remember my study abroad.  Some days my heart just hurts thinking of leaving this beautiful town and its sweet people.  I hope there never comes a day in my life where I forget any part of this experience – it has been truly magical, and if I could start it all over again, I would in a heartbeat. 

Sending all my love from my favorite town in the world,

Jenna Goodman

One of the moments I wish I could freeze forever!! This is me (right) watching the sunset in Sorrento on one of our group trips with Julia (left) and Virginia (middle)!