Day 4

I think I have seen more tourists than Italians. I just had my first lone exploration where I ended up just circling the same block several times, widening a bit more each time. I just want to get to know the area so that I don’t have to wonder where I am on top of watching out for pick pocketers on top of wanting to see and soak in everything around me. It’s sensory overload beyond words. And it doesn’t quite feel like my home for the next four months yet. Each area has such a different feel and I haven’t even been south of the Arno yet. Speaking of, I saw the river for the first time today. I’m antsy and just want to explore but I need to let myself relax and slow down a bit…as in adopt the Italian lifestyle. I don’t want to be a tourist but it’s a constant battle and I’m not exactly sure how not to be yet. No smiling and no eye contact. That’s what they keep telling me…those are probably the two biggest tendencies for me…and now I’m not suppose to? This is going to be a real challenge but maybe I can find a happy medium and smile at the sky? Or just accept my differences and continue to be me. Okay major realization here. I’ve been on edge a bit today and I think it’s because I’m trying too hard to not be American, a tourist, and mold into something I’m not. I’m not okay with this and officially changing mentalities right this moment. I need to continue to be myself and soak in everything I can. This will definitely help me relax and hopefully start to feel like more my home than a vacation.

I didn’t take any pictures today. I need to capture everything mentally and soulfully first before I try to capture the sights with some handy machine. Had orientation today and I’m beyond ready to start classes on Monday. The Dean of Students at LdM seems to potentially have a lot in common with me and I think I’m going to try and set up a meeting with her. She went on the Wells program here in Florence too and had Milva and Luca as her advisors. It changed her life and I want to hear it all.
I had a big accomplishment today! I went into this small cafe and ordered a caffe expresso all in Italian, stood there, and left with a ciao grazie! Baby steps.
I keep reminding myself I’m here for almost four months and I have time. Soon enough I’ll be on my own schedule, my own time, and hopefully finding myself each stepping stone at a time. Onward.