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I have this rather unappealing quality in that I really don’t like the concept of a world that I’m part of continuing without me. For example, when I left for Rome, the time difference struck me as completely bizarre. Why was I having dinner when my mom was having lunch? I couldn’t believe that my mom was having lunch without me! It didn’t register to me that my sister was at MY school. How was school still a thing if I wasn’t there? What?!

It’s not that I’m so self absorbed that I genuinely believe a community stops ‘being’ when I’m not there…but I do start to feel a little possessive. I’m possessive over places and experiences and memories, and I want to be part of it all, all the time. It’s like life-FOMO. It’s hard to fathom that the people I love keep going about their daily lives while I’m doing these crazy things all over the world.

And yet, shouldn’t the harder thing to fathom be that I’m doing crazy things all over the world? I confuse myself, but does anyone ever feel this way? It’s this desire to have everyone and everything with me at all times. Why, if I love someone, are we not just always together? How can normal continue to ‘be’ when one of the elements that makes things normal is missing? Say, an individual in a family unit. (Say, Avery in the Carmichaels!)

I feel like I’m not pushing this point clearly enough, but as I was walking home from school yesterday, I was struck by how beautiful Rome is. And also how, as time passed, I sometimes found it unremarkable. It became normal. My apartment was just an apartment. My walk to school, just a walk. But the concept of all the other people who have this experience ahead of them…it makes me jealous. I’d do it again and again. Mainly because I’m so incredibly lucky to have had Rome feel normal.

(Don’t do it, don’t do it, Ave…) — to have Rome feel like home.

It’s hard for me to adjust to change. I handle it. But I like when things become comfortable, and I think in challenging myself, — even if studying abroad is such a gift, it can be a challenge– I will develop more pockets and communities around the world where I can think, “Wait, what? Italy keeps going without ME?” 🙂 I’m kidding, but there’s some seriousness hidden in there.

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