It’s really hard to sum up just a few weeks worth of experiences. They have been so jam packed, and I still feel a little high and blinded by love and infatuation.
My first few memories are the most clouded of all. I remember feeling shocked by my level of comfort in talking to my host mother, who doesn’t speak English. She asked me about myself, my family, my nonexistent love life. It was all so nice, and Italian ripped from my lips with a speed I wasn’t used to (I’m actually kidding a bit). She would tell me and my AMAZING roommate, Mel, about the other girls who lived with her, some of whom were lucky enough to have romances while in Sorrento (some even ended up in marriage.. Yeah, that sounds a bit serious to me). But I couldn’t even think about romance in Italy. I was too curious about school, but mostly about my thirty minute walk to school (which sometimes ends up being closer to 35 or 40). And for the first few days, everything was so overwhelming. There was rain, a surprising number of American students, and a wardrobe that I was beginning to regret packing (still do).
The fifth day, a Thursday night and the last day of class that week, was the most interesting shit show of the week. But it started out really great. Already that week I had been called “bellissima” by a young man in a car (what an ego booster!), and then, after eating at a local pizza place, the pizzaiolo (woo, learning words), Valerio, wanted to meet me. It was nice. I was flattered and riding high on how exotic my looks seemed to be in Italy, which was a change from how I felt before leaving home.
Then came alcohol and American boys.
I won’t get into the details on what exactly went down. It’s better to forget, but let’s just say that there’s a reason American’s need to fix their customs with alcohol and the drinking age. Too much freedom abroad creates problems, especially when you can freely order alcohol without having to produce an ID.
But somewhere in the middle of really terrible drunk flirting and a thirty minute walk home crying (sorry Mel..), I found a tiny silver lining. Mama Teresa (my host mom.. The name is still funny to think about) kept joking about me meeting an Italian boy here since I didn’t have one back home. I didn’t really believe it would happen soon or at all. And at the time I was feeling very confident (the drunk blanket of armor was on), so I decided to introduce myself to a cute boy who was talking to some American guys. At the time I had no idea what getting his number would result in or if he was interested at all in me. All I knew was that he was a Messi fan and had a sticker with his picture on it that meant basically nothing to me.
But over the next few days, I wouldn’t even be able to recognize myself with him. I still don’t. I feel excited, comfortable, and like I’m living some sort of snarky, modern fairytale that involves watching a boy play soccer while my toes fall off, kissing until my back hurts (sorry mom.. and dad…) in a lemon car, or randomly crying about absolutely nothing (which he’ll make you feel stupid for). It’s a fun that I have never even thought I could have. There’s nothing raunchy or uncomfortable about it, but maybe that’s the magic of Italy.
After all of the fears I had before leaving home, I needed my first introduction into life here to be beautiful. I don’t know where anything is going right now, but whatever is happening, I’m trying to take something from it. An important lesson that I’m learning from this stupid soccer player, which has always been a difficult for my constantly running mind is just live day to day.
The future will come when it does.