My parents roll their eyes every time I wonder out loud how life as I know it is about to be over. The past four years of little to no responsibility is ending, and the terrible horrible life of being a grown up with a job and bills is beginning. My mother always reminds me that life is just beginning. She assures me that every year of her life has been richer and fuller with joy, wisdom and experience.
She's right of course. I can't see how life could have been anything but infinitely more wonderful as she got older, because she had me as a daughter.
But despite my mother's correct advice, I still felt as if all fun things were finished, adventures were no longer feasible and I ought to look into buying a cat. With this impending doom of old age approaching, I bought plane tickets to Italy. One last adventure before osteoporosis.
To prepare for this European excursion, I had to drive home to the beach to pack up some of my few belongings that didn't make the cut of dorm room appropriate. As I was sifting through old clothes and photographs, I found a true gem. I found my journal from my study abroad trip in high school. What. A. Hoot!
Here are a few glances inside the workings of my 17 year old brain:
[on the flight to switzerland] "A toddler has been crying for about 10 minutes straight with no sign of stopping anytime soon. I have never wanted to tell a child to shut-up until RIGHT NOW."
[on the bus to Italy] "Our bus driver is named Francesco. Hot."
[first day in Italy] "The best part of our day is going to be lunch time, when we are on our own [no chaperones]. The educational part is important, but on our own time, I think, is when we learn the most."
"Italians are feisty drivers, but they are the best drivers I have ever seen. It's like there are no such thing as car accidents!"
"Cultural comparison of the day: Italy has better looking boys! I don't know what's going on in America, but we need some Italian men over there."
"The Sistine Chapel was more beautiful than I could have ever imagined."
[day trip to Capri] "We had two tour guides, Nello and Ivan. Nello was awesome and Ivan was beautiful. Enough said."
"In Greece, you have to pay for water. I like American restaurants better."
"My hotel bathroom has no shower curtain, and you have to hold the shower head up. I think I like American hotels better too."
Shortly after that trip, it was time to graduate high school. Life as I knew it would be over. My mother told me time and again how wonderful her college experience was. She did her best to convince me that adventures are yet to come. Oh dear, this is all starting to sound familiar. My mother reiterates her wisdom everyday, life gets better and better.
And it will. God is good and life is fabulous. Simple as that.