Losing Yourself To Find Yourself
Start writing a post

Studying abroad can easily be classified as one of the most terrifying things I have ever done. So as I sit here in the airport waiting for my returning flight back to the US, I can't help but think about how much these past 6 weeks have affected my life. Diving head first into a completely different culture, while barely knowing the language or anyone else on the trip has changed me as a person entirely. I feel like a part of me is being left behind in Venice, but that just reaffirms the fact that anywhere can be considered home.

Home, to me, is the place where you feel most comfortable in yourself. Looking back on my first day in the city, I felt so overwhelmed. I kept thinking to myself that I was in way over my head and that this was the most difficult thing I had ever done. Even though at the beginning navigating and adjusting was a big struggle, I can confidently say I (almost) know the city like the back of my hand. Venice has become more than just another point on a map, it's become a place I can call home. Study abroad has shown me a completely different side of a place I've only seen in pictures, but nothing can be taken for its face value.

Some say that first impressions are always wrong, and after these past six weeks, I would have to agree. You can never really say you "know" someone or something until you take the time to actually get to know them. In the Italian language, there are two different words for the verb "to know." Sapere is used when you are referring to knowing a fact about a thing whereas the word conoscere is used when talking about something you are familiar with or know very well. While it can be confusing to differentiate when to use which word, I love how Italian is able to differentiate between these two types of "knowing."

In reality, you can know a lot about something or someone without really knowing them at all. You can read a bunch of books and do a bunch of research about a city and still not truly "know" it or its people. You can have a daily interaction with someone but still not truly know them as a person. You can know a lot of things about yourself (the things you like or who your friends are) without truly knowing you.

In my own opinion, the best way to get to know a place is to get totally lost in it. You will stumble among new places with every turn, you'll run into a lot of dead ends, but eventually you will end up going the direction you need to be headed. You can either take the main road or find a new way for yourself and be able to learn the hidden parts of the place. This is what makes a place home. By taking the road less traveled, you get to see the beautiful parts and the scary parts of the whole city and then you "know" it in a different way than any book will tell you. People are the same way.

You can either take a person for their face value, or you can take the time to truly get to know them. Obviously, you will not be talking to every person you encounter about your deepest thoughts, but the people who you share your deepest feelings with are the ones that are a part of defining home. My friend gave a toast at our last dinner in Venice and one thing he said really stuck with me. He said "There are people out there who are waiting to meet you." which is weird because I had never really thought about anything like that. There are SO many people in this world and we cross paths with a lot of them, but there are certain people who we will meet that we will impact their lives forever by just being ourselves. You being yourself can change the life of another person and they are just living their life waiting for you to stumble into it. However, the only way for you to "accidentally" stumble into their life is if you make mistakes, take wrong turns, and go off the beaten path. I am forever thankful for the friendships I have made on this trip because they are people who have changed my life forever.

Studying abroad had genuinely turned my life upside down. I feel like a totally different person is heading back to America than the person who left it six weeks ago. I took a lot of wrong turns, did a lot of stumbling, and eventually found my way. I felt like I totally lost and found again who I am as a person. As I said before, the best way to get to know anything is to get totally lost in it and sometimes the only way to truly know who you are is to get lost in yourself. Even though I still have no idea where I'm going or how to get there, I now know where I want to be. Being lost is not easy, but it will always be a positive thing once you find out where you're going.

To all my Italian friends: In boca al lupo.

Report this Content
This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
Health and Wellness

5 Simple Ways To Give Yourself Grace, Especially When Life Gets Hard

Grace begins with a simple awareness of who we are and who we are becoming.

1844
Photo by Brooke Cagle on Unsplash

If there's one thing I'm absolutely terrible at, it's giving myself grace. I'm easily my own worst critic in almost everything that I do. I'm a raging perfectionist, and I have unrealistic expectations for myself at times. I can remember simple errors I made years ago, and I still hold on to them. The biggest thing I'm trying to work on is giving myself grace. I've realized that when I don't give myself grace, I miss out on being human. Even more so, I've realized that in order to give grace to others, I need to learn how to give grace to myself, too. So often, we let perfection dominate our lives without even realizing it. I've decided to change that in my own life, and I hope you'll consider doing that, too. Grace begins with a simple awareness of who we are and who we're becoming. As you read through these five affirmations and ways to give yourself grace, I hope you'll take them in. Read them. Write them down. Think about them. Most of all, I hope you'll use them to encourage yourself and realize that you are never alone and you always have the power to change your story.

Keep Reading... Show less
Entertainment

Breaking Down The Beginning, Middle, And End of Netflix's Newest 'To All The Boys' Movie

Noah Centineo and Lana Condor are back with the third and final installment of the "To All The Boys I've Loved Before" series

303942
Netflix

Were all teenagers and twenty-somethings bingeing the latest "To All The Boys: Always and Forever" last night with all of their friends on their basement TV? Nope? Just me? Oh, how I doubt that.

I have been excited for this movie ever since I saw the NYC skyline in the trailer that was released earlier this year. I'm a sucker for any movie or TV show that takes place in the Big Apple.

Keep Reading... Show less
Lifestyle

4 Ways To Own Your Story, Because Every Bit Of It Is Worth Celebrating

I hope that you don't let your current chapter stop you from pursuing the rest of your story.

190567
Photo by Manny Moreno on Unsplash

Every single one of us has a story.

I don't say that to be cliché. I don't say that to give you a false sense of encouragement. I say that to be honest. I say that to be real.

Keep Reading... Show less
Politics and Activism

How Young Feminists Can Understand And Subvert The Internalized Male Gaze

Women's self-commodification, applied through oppression and permission, is an elusive yet sexist characteristic of a laissez-faire society, where women solely exist to be consumed. (P.S. justice for Megan Fox)

92732
Paramount Pictures

Within various theories of social science and visual media, academics present the male gaze as a nebulous idea during their headache-inducing meta-discussions. However, the internalized male gaze is a reality, which is present to most people who identify as women. As we mature, we experience realizations of the perpetual male gaze.

Keep Reading... Show less
Lifestyle

It's Important To Remind Yourself To Be Open-Minded And Embrace All Life Has To Offer

Why should you be open-minded when it is so easy to be close-minded?

286102

Open-mindedness. It is something we all need a reminder of some days. Whether it's in regards to politics, religion, everyday life, or rarities in life, it is crucial to be open-minded. I want to encourage everyone to look at something with an unbiased and unfazed point of view. I oftentimes struggle with this myself.

Keep Reading... Show less
Swoon

14 Last Minute Valentine's Day Gifts Your S.O. Will Love

If they love you, they're not going to care if you didn't get them some expensive diamond necklace or Rolex watch; they just want you.

172244

Let me preface this by saying I am not a bad girlfriend.

I am simply a forgetful one.

Keep Reading... Show less
Student Life

10 Helpful Tips For College Students Taking Online Courses This Semester

Here are several ways to easily pass an online course.

114736
Photo by Vlada Karpovich on Pexels

With spring semester starting, many college students are looking to take courses for the semester. With the pandemic still ongoing, many students are likely looking for the option to take online courses.

Online courses at one time may have seemed like a last minute option for many students, but with the pandemic, they have become more necessary. Online courses can be very different from taking an on-campus course. You may be wondering what the best way to successfully complete an online course is. So, here are 10 helpful tips for any student who is planning on taking online courses this semester!

Keep Reading... Show less
Lifestyle

Take A Look At The Extravagant Lane Woods Jewelry Collection For Valentine's Gift Ideas

So if you are currently looking to purchase jewelry for yourself or as a romantic gift for your S.O., you should definitely look at the marvelous and ornately designed Lane Woods Jewelry collection

335093

Just like diamonds are a girl's best friend, so are pearls, rubies, gold, emeralds, and any type of luxurious jewelry you can get your hands on! A woman is incomplete without a piece of jewelry on her and it is a gorgeous accessory required for all occasions. So if you are currently looking to purchase jewelry for yourself or as a romantic gift for your S.O., you should definitely look at the marvelous and ornately designed Lane Woods Jewelry collection.

Keep Reading... Show less
Facebook Comments