Here's to the new old me, grazie a Roma and all the amazing people I met there!

Mendham Travel Blog

 › entry 18 of 18 › view all entries
When you're in love, truly in love, there isn't anything in the world that can keep you away. It doesn't matter what you risk. You're more than willing to risk it, with full knowledge that you may lose even more. It's supposed to be crazy. Logic isn't supposed to apply. Sure, logic is important enough. It gets my bills paid and helps me to not be taken advantage of, but it doesn't get me out of bed in the morning and it certainly doesn't make me happy like Rome did. Rome gave me my soul back. Rome inspired me to write again, to see beauty again, to have sincere conversations again, and to live with all my heart, fearlessly, for the first time.

When I decided to go to Rome I was hoping to clear up some questions I had about what I wanted to do in my future.
However, like with any great experience, I am left with beautiful memories and even more questions. I'm okay with that though. I still don't know what I want to do. I don't really know what kind of "career" I want. That's okay though. My experience in Rome changed who I am and how I think in ways that I'm a little too tired to get into right now. But I've been writing. I haven't written in ages. Being a business student stole my soul....but I got it back somewhere over the course of the past three and a half months. I've learned that I can do things I've been absolutely terrified of, I made friends that it absolutely broke my heart to part with, I learned about economics from a European perspective, I met strangers in a country that over the course of a few months became dear friends-the lady at the bar that would help me with my Italian while I drank my caffè every morning, the woman who cleaned our room who gave me some books in Italian she recommended to help me learn, and made me promise to email her "in italiano" after I'd finished reading them, the shoemaker who offered a smile and a greeting every morning without fail.
I can hardly think about it without my eyes tearing up.

I've been back in the states for almost two weeks now, and one thing is clear to me. Rome is where I belong. Philly is friendly. New York has everything you could ever want. London and all the lovely cities I visited in Spain are absolutely beautiful and charming, but I never felt more at home than I did in Roma. Something bout the pace of life, the demeanor of the people Sure, some days were hard, but some days are hard everywhere. And while I'm not fluent at all in Italian, I picked up a lot more than I'd expected to.

The most important thing I learned in Rome was not about the world though, not about culture, art, or history. It's that I've been being so silly all this time thinking I need some great job at some big corporation to make me happy. No wonder I was always depressed...I don't even WANT that kind of job. I don't want to work myself into an early grave! I learned to be me in Rome. I don't know whether it was the time I had to think, all the new art student friends I made, or just the charm of the Roman lifestyle that got to me...but I'm not afraid anymore. I'm determined, but now out of desire to be where I want to be, not out of fear. I'm not saying Roma is where I'll want to be forever, but it doesn't look like I'll be giving my heart to another city anytime soon!

I don't know where I want to be permanently, but I know my next step now. Graduation in August then saving up some cash for my return! I'm already looking for schools where I can continue to learn Italian while I'm getting some work experience and saving money. But I'm not wasting any time, I'm teaching myself now! Wish me luck in the job hunt (and all the lovely bureaucratic processes I'll have to go through! (Let's hope the old accounting degree is good for something!) A good friend once told me that it doesn't matter what you're doing as a job, but if you're happy where you are and who you're with, you'll be happy enough. I think that's a philosophy I'm ready to live by ;o)

I haven't updated this blog nearly as much as I've wanted to. Thanks so much to everyone who read! I wish I could've had time to respond to all comments and smiles, but I was soo busy every single day in Rome. It was so exciting to have my blog featured on Travbuddy, especially as a fairly new user and someone who has never blogged at all before! I have to admit, I've gotten a little addicted to travel as well! I'll definitely be planning some more trips in the future (hopefully with more time to blog about them!) Perhaps once I've gotten a job in Rome, I'll be able to plan some more travels within Europe. I met Lizzy from Travbuddy, and she's become a really good friend! I'm excited to travel with her more as well! I also plan to upload some more of my pics from my travels through Italy, Spain, and the UK once I get a little more time. It's kind of late now, but meglio tardi che mai ;o) ...Anyone who speaks Italian, please feel free to correct my grammar! haha Glad to have time to be back on TB and look forward to sharing more experiences with all you guys in the future!!! Un bacione ;-)
JenCooks86 says:
Oh Vincenzo thank you so much! I was so exhausted when I wrote this, so I'm kind of embarrassed at how poorly it's written, but it means a lot to know that it made you smile!! There is nothing about Roma that could ever disappoint me...every day is like a new adventure and you never feel alone! :o) Grazie mille...non avevo tempo alla fine per tornare alla Fontana di Trevi. Eppure lo so che torno alla tua città il più presto possibile! (Sorry my Italian is not perfect!) Buona giornata!! :-)
Posted on: May 15, 2009
VincenzoB says:
your last blog entry really impressed me! I had such a good feeling reading what Rome did to you..... I hope you will never be disappointed by my City
buona fortuna! hai buttato molte monetine alla fontana di Trevi? ;-)

Posted on: May 10, 2009
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Mendham
photo by: JenCooks86