This whole relying-solely-on-yourself in a new country and improving is actually great – I have officially conquered my fear of thunderstorms! I know, I know… that’s not very deep and self-revelational (although those things are also happening) but… it’s a good thing nonetheless. I have a semi-irrational fear of thunderstorms at night, and since they rarely happen in SoCal and I always have a thunder buddy in Lake Havasu, I shamefully have still not gotten over that at 20 years old. The thunderstorms here are crazy, but Italians probably don’t think so because I heard they happen pretty often. This morning there was one (6:30 AM…ugh) and it was pretty gnarly. The thunder was super loud even with my ears plugged, and was booming through almost every 10 seconds, simultaneous with the lightning. It was fairly quick (maybe 20 minutes total?) but there was one or two insane seconds where I was seriously terrified. But I stuck it out, forced myself to unplug my ears and to keep my eyes open for the ending part and…. (can’t believe I’m saying this)…. It may or may not have been kinda cool. You know, besides it being 6:30 AM and possibly dying from electricution.
So that’s that. Mom, Dad congrats – I will no longer be barging into your room in the middle of the night in a panic before remembering I’m 20 flippin’ years old and shouldn’t be climbing into your bed and then standing there awkwardly. 😉
Today it rained on and off (either no rain, or a downpour). I had my language class, which is everyday, and we had a mock exam to see how we’re doing. I think I did pretty darn well on it – I’ve been learning fairly quickly and I feel good about it! Before heading over to my next class, my friend and I got delicious pastries. I was already full from my lunch but my willpower is extremely weak here…HAHA. It’s okay though, it’s Italy.
For my culture class (Florence in Cinema), we met at Museo del Novecento for today. Every Wednesday, we meet outside of class for a hands-on activity, instead of a lecture. It’s a brand new contemporary art museum, and there was a lot of really cool sculptures, paintings, and photographs in there. We had a bunch of questions to answer, and then had to pick a piece of art that we liked.
There was one that stood out to me – it wasn’t anything very bold or intricate but it consisted of a ton of black and purple strokes (they kind of had a form, but nothing in particular). These strokes were clustered at the top and then slowly dissipated towards the bottom. I don’t know if this was intentional, but near the bottom, two of the strokes looked like they spelled “IF”. This was the very first thing I saw when I glanced at the painting, and to me it symbolized the chaotic, unnecessary mess of thoughts in our brain. All of these thoughts – worries, ambitions, insecurities, plans – tend to be centered around the core idea of “IF”. We’re all guilty of it, me especially. We also had to write a short story that included our work of art and the museum. So, I wrote mine about a woman’s self revelation that the reason behind all her frustrations and relationship/interpersonal problems was this mess of distracting thoughts in her brain – which she realized after seeing the painting and seeing a flock of noisy birds outside the museum dissipate and reveal the calm sun shining through. It was much more detailed and meaningful than that, but that’s the gist.
I think that I also interpreted this painting right away because we’ve started to read a book called the Artist’s Way for my film class, which guides you through unblocking yourself to let a free, creative mind shine through and to let more ideas flow. I just started reading it today in between classes, but something it recommended doing was “Morning Pages”. This is writing 3 pages of just your stream of thoughts every morning when you wake up. It doesn’t have to be anything smart, or logical, just literally every thought running through your mind as you’re writing. The idea behind this is that it frees up all the angry, whiny, petty, distracting, unimportant things in your mind that’s standing between you and your creativity. Little things like the laundry that has to be done or a weird look someone gave you sneaks into our subconscious and clouds our days.
I really liked the idea of this, maybe just because I LOVE writing (especially my thoughts) and I always feel like my thoughts are distracting me from thinking of things, but I have failed too many times with meditation and this looks way more useful for me. So, I’m excited to read this book.
Maybe you guys are wondering why I’m telling you all this stuff because it’s not really one of my adventures. Well, this is one of the things I’m realizing and learning while abroad (I also thought you guys may find it interesting). I’m also finding myself striking up conversation with new people WAY more than ever before – something I’ve always wanted to work on. It’s so funny to me that I used to be SO attached and scared to leave my parents when I was younger but now I love being on my own (and with my parents of course, though). I like to be alone with my thoughts and to push myself into completely new situations because as I’ve gotten older and older, I’ve gotten a stronger and stronger desire to really get to the deepest roots of understanding every little bit of myself and to really reach my fullest potential. Each and every one of us have so many great things left to do!
It’s stopped raining… for now. My roomies and I may go out and explore for a while! I want to find all the great local shops and cafes! I also want gelato now and 5 more pastries… ugh, Italy is so tempting 24/7 with all this amazing food 🙁
Bye for now!
OH! Update! – After tons of inconveniences and the strong recommendation NOT to have my parents ship my new iPhone, I ordered a cheaper, old smartphone off of Amazon Italy and it will be here in 2-4 days so I can finally have a way to contact people besides when I’m at home! Thanks to my lovely cousin Cherida for all the help! WOOHOO! It’s all working out 🙂