It’s all in the Little Things

The following post was my journal entry on Wednesday…

Today was a bittersweet day. After dropping Jared off at the train station, I wasn’t prepared to show the emotion that I did. What I hadn’t realized is that I had adjusted to Florence, but with him. I had walked everywhere with him, ate dinner everywhere with him, talked with him, laughed with him.

But now it was me.

As I watched Jared walk into the train and away from me, I noticed that my cheeks were wet with the tears that I had shed. I thought I was ready to be by myself all alone in Europe. But, I realized at that moment, that it was actually happening. Now was my time to grow up.

I walked out of the train station and realized that I had not a clue where I was going. I looked like an American tourist attempting to find a popular attraction. I became very self-conscious, thinking that somehow people knew that I was confused, didn’t know where I was going, and just coming from a heartbreak.

But, you know something?

I found my apartment. Then, after a few wrong turns, I found my school…and even on time.

I’m ok.

I think that’s a big step for me to take too, the fact that I don’t NEED someone by my side showing me exactly where to go, or someone washing my laundry, or someone telling me its ok every time something goes array. I think today marks a big day on my maturity scale. Today, I’ve realized how thankful I am for my parents, for my relatives and for my friends. I’ve realized that raising a child to be ready for when they are on their own is difficult. How do you prepare someone for what I went through today: withdraw hopelessness, and then a sense of courage and direction?

It’s simple. You can’t.

I’ve also realized that I have been equipped with morals, life lessons, direction, and faith. This is thanks to those who have been in my path along the way.

I’m thankful for the pastry friends that I have already made: Jessica, Lital, Coleen, and others who have made me laugh today when I needed it most.

I’m thankful for our lesson on cookies today (learning how to make ladyfingers), and how something so simple with so few ingredients can look amazing and taste twice as amazing. And, I’m thankful for the “C is for Cookie” Youtube link that was posted on my Facebook page today.

And that is just it. I think what I value most in life is those things that you couldn’t replicate if you tried; those things that are simple, pure, and will never change.

A few of those simple things, I have been able to fully recognize in the silence of being alone. In those times, when it’s just me, I’m able to breathe, take in my surroundings, and recognize who I am and what I will be.

The joy of family is one of those sweet simple things that I cherish most. There is nothing more gratifying to me than sitting on my bed at 1am talking to my mom about what stupid thing I did today, or about what my wedding party will look like, or about what restaurant we will go to tomorrow.

There is nothing more pleasing than playing soccer when my dad is coaching and looking over to witness the extremely large grin he has on his face; when we are both doing what we love and get to experience that special moment together.

There is nothing that makes me happier than watching a movie and ordering in good ole PA Original Italian Pizza and falling asleep with Blake, Val, Jared, Dad, and Mom all in the same room.

Some of those sweet simple joys I have had the pleasure of witnessing here, while in Florence.

Like the old keys that I have to my apartment.

Like the other day, when I was waiting for one of my roommates to finish up in our school building. I started whistling and the beautiful echo that followed caused me to be still. I appreciated the amazing noise that the ridiculously old building provided me. I began to sing and was stunned.

I was just stunned.

It was absolutely beautiful, yet so simple; something that no money can buy.

In a similar situation, I was walking to school (the long long walk to my pastry class) and I noticed a sound coming from an old building with bars on the side. I was able to hear the absolutely incredible voice of an opera singer preparing for a concert.

I just stood there in awe, enjoying every hint of music from her mouth.

I appreciate the pictures that aren’t just pictures, but are representations of who I am (and Jared is) as a person. Pictures that are simple, yet speak volumes…pictures like this 

I’m thankful for the grocery store. The place that I always know I’m at home in. The Italian Conad across the way from my apartment is no different. Yes, the wordage may be completely unrecognizable and the nutrional information more like a jumble of clever words, I still find myself at home in the cereal section or the bakery section. I’m thankful that making a sandwich from fresh ingredients from this store and the local market can make my whole ENTIRE day with how delicious it was.

It’s a little bit of home in a slightly different manner. That simple pleasure is just that…simple, yet oh so powerful.

I’m thankful for the ability to walk around this city and witness the small details, like the  street sign adhesive that artist Clet Abraham and his friends “stick” on street signs at night.

And this one….

And I’m thrilled for the ones that I haven’t seen yet…but will find very soon.

If you were going to fast, you would miss them.

I’m thankful for apricot shortbread pastry tarts, which are made from such a simple dough, yet yeild a phenomenally sweet taste and composure.

and….. I’m thankful that I NEVER have to eat this again –>

P.S. Gorganzola Gelato

Two words.

Never. again.