Finding your own place...

Shelby Adelsen Arcadia in Rome, Italy


September 18, 2014

I feel like I could live in Rome for eternity and still not discover all it has. But one of the Italian girls in my class today said when it comes to being Roman, it isn't about knowing everything about the city or how to navigate its streets, it's about knowing the culture and participating in it. 

I guess it's about finding your own place in Rome, not trying to fit in where someone else dictates or suggests you should. I definitely had expectations of Rome that have been completely flipped on their heads now that I'm here, but I do really love it here. 

In a cultural adjustment workshop, the speaker said that most people go through (his words not mine) an "oh sh*t" phase, but not everyone. Personally, I've always been up for an adventure. I'm always ready to GO and DO, not sit around and say 'someday', so while I have moments of frustration, homesickness, loneliness…the good outweighs the bad every single time. I love being on my own and having this experience that most people my age never get.

In my Reading and Writing Rome class, we're reading Goethe's Italian Journey and he describes the feelings he has when he gets to Rome in the 1700's and starts exploring. Wow. This book is the epitome of bridging the gap between history and the present, especially for students like me that are here in a new, foreign city on their own. Goethe talks about tracing ancient Rome through modern Rome, trying to distinguish between the two. He says "Today I went to the pyramid of Cestius and in the evening climbed to the top of the Palatine, where the ruins of the imperial palaces stand like rocks." Hundreds of years ago this man was doing exactly as I am today, and feels the same overwhelming emotions that I do being in such an iconic city… "the hub of the world" Goethe calls it. What's awesome about this class as well is that my professor is pushing us to let Rome sink into our writing and let it influence what we put on paper so we can look back at our writing from this time in our lives and have an awesome, personal souvenir of sorts. 

I have been here just over three weeks and I already feel like I'm running out of time here. It's a good and terrifying feeling at the same time. Not completely sure how to deal with that yet. Hmm. Ciao for now. ‚Äč