Things Never Work Out Exactly The Way You Expect

Things Never Work Out Exactly The Way You Expect

Sometimes you just need to adapt
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I'm the kind of person that really enjoys having a plan for something and I find myself getting kind of frazzled when things don't go the way that I had planned. I knew that going abroad was going to be different and I knew that there would be adjustments so it's not like I wasn't mentally prepared for what was to come. However, there is only one thing that is completely throwing me for a loop. THE FREAKING WEATHER IN ITALY.

When I decided to come to Florence I was under the impression that it was going to be relatively moderate in temperature and sunny pretty much every day. That was naive of me but when else are you supposed to think when all the pictures you've ever seen of this country are set under beaming rays of glorious sunlight? Since I've been here the only time I feel real warmth is when I'm taking a scalding hot shower or when I sit in my kitchen with the oven on and open (I'm actually doing that right now as I type this article).

Listen, I understand that it's winter and that obviously March doesn't mean summer temperatures but I really wasn't expecting literally freezing weather all day every day. When I packed my suitcase I left sweaters and coats at home because I thought it would be excessive to bring them since it was going to be warm anyway. HA! Now I'm really regretting only packing seven sweaters to last me the whole semester.

All of this to say, I'm still having a great time and I really am getting used to it but when you idealize something in your head it's never going to meet your expectations. I based everything I thought about Florence on the two days I spent here in the height of summer three years ago.

This whole experience has really taught me about being able to adapt to any situation and that even if it's the complete opposite of what it's like at home, you'll get used to it and everything will be great. So, I'll sit here in the cold waiting for it to actually SNOW in Tuscany like the weatherman is predicting for tomorrow. I'll embrace the fact that I have to wear four pairs of socks when I leave the house and when I get back home to my apartment. I'll deal with these things with a good attitude because eventually, it will get warm. Eventually, I will regain feeling in my fingers and toes.

I'll be able to eat a gelato in order to cool down instead of eating it and only having my teeth chatter even more. All the while I'll be even more grateful for everything because of the cold that I endured. And even when I'm walking around feeling annoyed and frozen I just need to take a minute to remember where I am and how fortunate I am to be here. Studying abroad has been the only thing I was absolutely certain I wanted to do in college so I'll be damned if I let a little (well a lot) cold ruin my time here.

Cover Image Credit: Ellinor Lindahl

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If You Give A Girl A Little Brother

You've given her the world.
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I remember back to my childhood, standing at the top of the steps yelling down to my parents "Why did you decide to have another child?" I remember riding in the backseat yelling "Mom, was I not good enough for you?" as my brother threw snow at me .

I remember crying when my mom made us share our first cell phone. I remember playing in a pool at a waterpark, and my dad couldn't play with me because my brother couldn't swim and needed my dad to be with him. I played by myself, thinking "They must have not wanted a girl when they only pay attention to him."

But now, at almost 22, I realized that the best gift God has ever given me was my little brother.

Give a girl a little brother, and you give her a pain in her ass.

Oh, he'll be annoying. He'll get in the shower just because you said you were going to. He'll start talking every time you do. He'll pull stupid pranks, he'll make you listen to bogus music, he'll make you watch stupid tv shows, he'll smell up the bathroom (and probably smell himself.) and boy, I promise there will be day's you will resent him. But he's just training for living with your husband one day.

Give a girl a little brother, and you give her a role.

As a big sister, I had somebody copying all my moves. If I did something, so did he. If I didn't eat something, neither did he. If I didn't like somebody neither did he. He was like a little shadow that did everything I did, so I was always motivated to make good choices and make him proud of me.

Give a girl a little brother, and you give her a rough side.

I wouldn't have done half the things I did if it wasn't for him. Play basketball in the drive way, spend hours on our bikes, spend the summer days in the pool, or down at the park. I wouldn't have learned that it's okay to get in the dirt and have some fun. I wouldn't have played half the made up, imaginary games we played every day. I wouldn't have played with Hot Wheels, or Lincoln Logs, or Leggo's. I would have played with Barbies by myself all day long, and what's the fun in that?

Give a girl a little brother, and you give her the best friend she'll ever have.

In the end, when our parent's both pass away, I won't be alone, because I will have my little brother. When the world gets tough, and everyone turns away from me, he will always be there. No matter where he end's up in life, I know he will drop everything and come running when I'm in need.

For Christmas this year, I bought my brother his first tattoo. We got matching tattoo's on our sides. Our lives our different now, because we're grown up and live on opposite sides of the state. But no matter where we go in life, if we look up, we will be looking at the same sun and moon. We are made up of the same matter, 'made' by the same people, and love each other more than I think we'd like to admit.

Alex is my true other-half.

Give a girl a little brother, and you made her whole.

Cover Image Credit: Abby Engel

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Stop Trying To Make Life So Black And White

Consider that you being right doesn't make someone else wrong by default—and vice versa.

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Life isn't black and white.

Perhaps that sounds like an obvious statement, but nonetheless, it still needs to be said.

Furthermore, life isn't just one giant grey area—it's several shades. There are so many twists and turns, so many unknowns and layers, that it's impossible for something to be 100 percent one way or the other.

At least, that's how my mind works.

It's difficult for me to stand stubbornly behind my own viewpoints without first listening to someone else's. For me, looking at things from their perspective is second nature. I could be spitting angry at someone, but I can't walk away from them because their perspective is glaring me in the face.

"Yes, what they did was wrong, but I get why they did it," is a line often uttered. This stance, of course, has its drawbacks. It has kept me in toxic situations far longer than it should have. It has allowed all sorts of people to walk over me like a common doormat. It has built up resentment in me for not having my efforts reciprocated.

It has also opened my eyes.

Democrat, Republican, Christian, Atheist, Religious, or Non-Secular—let's find common ground. Let's understand each other because, at the end of the day, we're all human. We all want to be loved and understood.

Maybe the first step is hearing each other. No, I don't mean listening until you can rebut, I mean really hear them. We all have our worldviews for a reason.

Why do you think the way you do? Probably because of how you were raised. Probably because experiences molded your mind and opinions.

We all have different walks of life. We each grew up differently than the other, so it's only natural that we should view the world through different lenses than our neighbor.

Next time, before you pass judgment on another person, consider the fact that maybe they aren't wrong. Also, consider that you being right doesn't make them wrong by default—and vice versa. Life is too layered for us to be right or wrong. Two people can be saying different things and both provide valid points.

Life isn't black and white, it's high time we stopped trying to make it that way. Besides, a picture is infinitely more interesting when it's shaded in and has more variety.

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