As I watched the sun rise in shades of pale orange, rose, and eggshell blue over the Atlantic Ocean at 6:30 AM Euro-time, and 1 AM U.S time from the plan window, it struck me that just like watching the sun rise in the middle of my night, I am in totally strange territory. In one month, I assigned myself to living in a totally foreign country for three months. There was lots of last-minute paperwork, not much planning, and a sense of total disregard for reading any of the prepatory material. Watching that midnight sun rise, I realized that not only was I not traditionally "ready," I also have no clue what I am doing. After a brief moment in which my eyes suddenly burned with a wall of saline tears pressing against the back of them, much to my total horror and embarrassment due to my attentive seatmate watching me, it passed. I am here. I said I'd do this. I need to do this. Already, I am stretching boundaries, making new friends, and opening myself up totally to whatever new experiances find me (including a group outing planned for what will be dubbed "The World's Most Offensive Scavenger Hunt" to a park replete at night with prostitutes, transvestities, and drug dealers in effort to find the holy trifecta of a transvestite drug-dealing prostitute, just to say we met one,) and just rolling with it.
Something's different in the air over here. It's not just the 50 degree temperature. It's not the food smells, or the palm tree that grows below my hotel window. It's a different permiable attitude of "what will be, will be." I am far calmer and more out-going and humorous here than at home. It's easy to be with a group of strangers, as a stranger, when all the natives expect you to be different anyway. Don't get me wrong-- I'm still alternately scared shitless and asking myself what the fuck I've gotten myself into, but I'm pretty sure I'm in love with Florence, already.
I am pretty sure this is the craziest and most exciting thing I have ever done.
Thank you for letting me go do this. It means so much.
I miss you all.