Florence: Week 2

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Sept 2

Today was my first day of class, as well as the first day I actually had a little bit of time to myself. All of my housemates had 9am classes while my first class started at 11am today, so I stayed in the apartment a little while longer in the morning. It was nice to have the place to myself, but I also felt restless, and as soon as I left for class, I realized why. Strolling through the city alone, I realized how much I missed just walking by myself, window-shopping, observing, taking in the streets of the city, which is something I do often at home. My Google Map of Florence is speckled with saved locations that I want to try, shops and restaurants that I hope will turn out to be gems of establishments. I hope to be wandering around more often, on my own especially ⁠— it’s a personal space that I’ve been missing

I baked banana bread today! !!! mm m mm MM the smells of home

We’re starting to plan for a weekend trip to Cinque Terre and I am quite excited as well for that

Sept 3
It’s Tuesday morning and I have the patio to myself once again

I’m editing my journal entries from last week . . . side thought . . does it even make sense to be editing them? . . .

I’m in a very different place (mentally) from where I was pre-departure, and I thought I’d reflect on that

Yes, Florence has shoo’d away my relationship-related anxiety, thank you Florence. At the same time, being here has also made me forget about some shocking, haunting, family news that I was told a few days before I left for this trip. I feel guilty for not having that closer to the front of my mind, but it’s also not an easy thing to think about. It feels like I’m not doing the news justice . . but at the same time, it doesn’t do me any good to think about it often. I haven’t quite gotten to the point of being able to frame the situation in a light that isn’t bleak an depressing. . . it’s easier on my brain just to be here, on my patio, with this beautiful view

Anyway, I feel good about my relationship. The time difference is actually quite nice. I get to focus on myself during my day, when he’s asleep, and vice versa, and our conversations are saved for mornings and evenings. I’ve been riding the waves — most days good and a some days not so good— but it’s never bad. Of course, I wish we were on this patio together enjoying breakfast and this delicious view of the Duomo, but perhaps another time. I’m content. Realizing that I need to step back sometimes and ask myself, is this thing that’s bothering you actually a problem, or did you just make up a problem out of thin air? Is it all in your head?

Sept 4
(Class today from 9am – 2:30pm, then went to Todo Modo, a coffeeshop/bookstore to get some work done)

How do I stay engaged here with everything that’s going on back home? And is it necessary? Because effectively, our lives back home are put on pause, everything I would be doing now is a task for later. Job and internship searching, looking for opportunities in school, making new friends. . .

made this delicious vegetarian lasagna at Nadine and Jessica’s place and we had a delicious night just talking, making food and eating dinner in their little outdoor dining room

Sept 5
walking tour of the city during my Cities & Sustainability class today, my feet are so tired

not sure what it was today that took so much energy out of me, but by the evening I was not feeling the best. . . in a foggy headspace and I guess I needed something to pull myself out of it

I realize that I’m not great at reading myself for the telltale signs that indicate a bad mood is coming, and I also don’t have a good grasp on what I can do to make myself feel better. I think often I look for comfort from other people, which isn’t bad, but when I go looking and I don’t find what I need, that just makes things worse. Hoping to be more sensitive to my mood and ask myself more often what I can do for myself

This time around, friends were the answer — a big group of us went out
people were lounging about on the narrow sidewalks, drinks in hand, conversation flowing
first, Lion’s Fountain
a bar stuffed full of study abroad kids and the odd group of locals
college t-shirts signed by students covered the ceiling like a giant quilt
a paper on the wall near the bar lists the different shots they have for different colleges
shots served in small plastic cups — really??? the amount of plastic . . .
then, The Michael Collins Pub
an Irish pub near the Statue of Neptune, in Piazza della Signoria
plastic bucket of whiskey and coke
older folks here
wandered out into the plaza with our drinks

Sept 6
an actual journal transcription, written in the middle of a glass of wine

The patio is mine tonight,
it’s raining lightly, my feet enjoying a few light drips once in a while
tonight, I may be one of the few people in the world enjoying this view of the Duomo
how decadent a moment to have to myself
I’ve been thinking, posing questions that I don’t even know the full meaning of, and to which I can barely form coherent answers to, so that perhaps I can better know myself
Am I the person who I want to be?
Do I support myself enough?
Am I strong?
questions like those
then, realizing that while I’m with myself and only myself
I have this beautiful moment in time to sit in
letting the mosquitos bite me because the fading of their bites mark the passage of time
letting the Duomo be the center of my attention, then the windows of these apartments, one by one darkening
letting time recognize me, here, hoping to capture the present moment

Sept 7
train to pisa, then la spezia
morning light touches the fields and trees
grey clouds congregate
raindrops past stain the window
raindrops in our future 

vernazza 
boat ride from a spanish lad
lush green hillsides with lonely pastel houses
we jumped out into the ocean after a minute of deliberation
sweet salt on my lips
content

restaurant review time !!!
Sempre Pizza Da Totò
the most DELICIOUS pizza called the D.O.C.
red sauce, mozzarella, basil, and olive oil drizzled all over
the olive was so slightly aromatic and honestly was the cherry on top
incredible creamy and fragrant panna cotta con caramel
it was barely a pudding, perhaps a minute less of baking/prep and it would’ve been a liquid
I’d come back to La Spezia just to eat here

Sept 8
seeing the ocean like this reminds me of what i like so much about it 
momentary respite from my own point of view
being on the edge of the land is a reminder of how small we are
the expanse of unpopulated earth at your nose and in your nose 
it’s nice to feel small sometimes Paragraph

La Scuna in Corniglia
nestled into the back patio of someone’s home 
a spot for drinks overlooking the mountainous coastline
grape vines climb 
guests are quiet, no doubt focusing not only on the food and drinks but the view as well
the perfect resting spot

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