Tuesday, October 6, 2015

The American Foreign Exchange Student

If you would have asked me only a year or two ago, whether I would ever consider being a foreign exchange student, I would have said definitely NOT. I would have laughed in your face. I would have given you some lame excuse about how my Italian is not good enough or that I wasn't American enough to be somebody's "American foreign exchange student." And that when my Italian host would introduce me to her friends, they would say that I'm not white enough, or blonde enough, or beautiful enough, or clean enough to be American. Like the Americans that they've seen in all the films. Like Marilyn Monroe or Betty Paige. All of which may be true.
It may very well be true that my Italian is not very good. That they may laugh at me because I stumble over words and verb conjugations. Or because I don't look like the Californians on their TV screens. But I will die before I believe that any one of these reasons, is a justifiable reason for me NOT to go out and see the world. I've realized that. That's what's changed about me in the past year.

It wasn't the fear. I'm scared out of my mind but it's a good feeling. I've grown so fond of this feeling, one that's unparalleled to anything I've ever felt before. Perhaps only to being in love. The same wonder, and passion, but also overwhelming fear.
What is life if we don't do the things that scare us most? Cosenza, ci vediamo presto.