One of the things I find most interesting is the idea of phrases and words that can be lost in translation. One phrase that I learned while being in Italy is “Non tutte le ciambelle riescono col buco,”, which translates to “not all donuts have a hole,”,-which is an Italian way of saying: Not everything will go as planned. Things not going as planned can lead to a lot of things, and for myself it tends to lead to worry or anxiety. I am scared of being a donut without a hole. If expect things to go one way, I do not like it when they end up another way. During my time here, I have been able to find ways to manage this fear, and in turn help myself learn ways to grow from these unexpected emotions and changes.
When I left home, I knew that being here would be hard. And at times, it really is. Part of accepting that there will most likely be times where I am feeling down or homesick has helped me in understanding the natural adaptation process during our time here. Some nights there are times where I wish I could just see my mom and dad, and I know now that it is more than okay to miss home. It is more than okay to acknowledge these feelings and allow them to have their place when the time is right, there is no need to keep a poker face. Containing these feelings hurt me more than helped me, and led me to understanding that talking about feeling this way with others helps bring a sense of reassurance to the group. After all, everyone who leaves home for an adventure such as this one handles things differently, and having someone to help process and work through these emotions is a vital part of finding inner peace during new seasons of life.
When I was preparing to leave, I had planned to fly somewhere every weekend. Once I got here, I quickly felt overwhelmed. I realized that although there are many places that I want to go, doing extensive travel every weekend is not the way I have decided to spend my time during this program. I have come to peace knowing that although I might not be posting a new instagram picture every weekend, I know that I am taking the time to enjoy the areas around Ariccia, and I am letting myself slowly fall in love with Italy one train ride at a time. In our lives now, there is often pressure to always keep moving, so much so that it is often easy to ignore the beauty that is right in front of us. Slowing down and really living moment by moment has truly helped me get so much out of this experience. As cliché as it is, taking time to slow down and smell the flowers has helped me grow in ways that I did not foresee. There is just something very special about being the only people in a restaurant on the Italian coast, with the chef coming out to talk to you about his brother and about every dish that’s on the menu. Moments like this are fleeting, and I know I will treasure each one. Letting go of the pressure of seeing how many places I can go and how many things I can see has allowed me freedom to listen to my heart each weekend, and it has led me to some pretty amazing places.
Written by a donut who is finally okay with not having a hole