Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Si Diventa Le Persone Che Si Incontra - The American Foreign Exchange Student

I'm sitting here in class, on my last day of Italian school. 3A Europeo at Liceo Classico. There's a teacher speaking French at the front of the room and all of the words pass over my head. I understand stand some of them, but for the most part it is just a song to me. French has always just sounded like a song to me.

Here, there is my good friend, Carol. There are the girls who only talk to me because I'm American. There is the fascist, there is the one who broke my heart. But no matter how much they hurt me or helped me, I will remember them all, without a doubt. No matter whether they left a bad or a good impression on me, I will remember them all.

There is a mark left on me from every person that I've met while I've been here. Some of the marks are pretty, others are not. But they have all contributed something. And now I'm composed of all of those things they've contributed. I'm still Amanda. I'm just a different Amanda. And tomorrow I will step out into the cold air and return to The States.

For the longest time I thought about running away, not coming back to the U.S. I'm being serious. It's easy to do here in Europe, you don't have to be an adult to do things here, like in the U.S. All I would have to do is get on a train and go South, then take a boat to Sicily. No one would find me because I would change my name. Kids of 17 years old can do just about anything an adult could here. I could get a job and find somewhere to stay, with the amount of Italian that I know.

But I decided I wont. Not because I miss America but because if I don't return, to whom will I tell these stories? It is time to start the next chapter so that I can tell these stories all over the world. Even if I don't return to Cosenza, (though I'm sure that I will,) I will never forget any of these people. It is because of them, that I am who I am in this moment.

Holden Caulfield put it best when he said, "Don't tell anybody anything. If you do, you start missing everyone."