I had a temporary freak out session this morning. It went something like this:
I have had more free time the last few months than I’ve had since elementary school. I have gotten to see Rome and Tuscany and Capri and Brussels. I’ve made great friends, been challenged, improved my language skills, enjoyed good food. I am blessed, lucky, privileged. And I have no right to complain.
But lately, I have been missing home a lot. It’s happening to everyone a little bit. We’re not direly homesick, but we’re just…here, and we miss the happenings back in the States. I wish I could pause study abroad, spend a few months back in Charleston, and then come back to Italy when I start to miss it and reminisce. I hate to not appreciate this last month as much as I can. For goodness sake – my next three weekends consist of traveling to Venice, London and Budapest! But more than the exhaustion of travel itself, I’m getting tired of living for myself. My classes provide enough structure that I probably should be doing something, but they’re easy enough that I don’t need to focus on school all the time. I’m basically a horrible relaxer. I need more purpose, and I’m stir-crazy in this apartment. The only stress in my life is that which I give myself from wondering what I should be doing. Georgia texts me and says she has to write two papers in the next three hours. And though I don’t really want to do that either, her days are filled, and mine are loose. I remember wanting the world to pause so I could catch up and feel on my A game. Now I just feel like the world is going on without me.
This morning when my alarm went off, I was fully rested, but I stayed in the dark warmth of my bed for thirty more minutes, battling with myself.
Get up, Jessica
Why? I have nothing to do.
Quiet time, shower, letters. There’s always something to do.
I don’t want to. But staying here makes me feel even more lazy and useless.
The rational side of me thinks of dozens of things I could be doing – learning to cook new recipes, reading difficult literature, meditating on Scripture, writing. Basically the things I’ve always said to myself, “Someday, I’m going to do that.” What’s more, the things I have made time for in the past are harder. I’m feeling flabby and weak because there is not really great place to exercise. I have no Biblical regimen, I’m just floating from one thing to the next. Here I am, feeling kind of helpless and apathetic. Yet at the same time, also feeling selfish and stupid for complaining at all. I’m just ready for a little more purpose.
A few hours later, I’m feeling better. I still want more purpose, but I went on a walk and listened to this past Sunday’s sermon. I took a shower, ate vegetables, and decided there is no reason that I shouldn’t be reading Manzoni’s The Betrothed and studying C.S. Lewis more closely. It takes time to learn to articulate what you believe, and right now, I have that time. That is a beautiful gift, and I should take advantage of it.
This is by far the most unedited, stream of consciousness blog I’ve posted. I am writing it, though, primarily so that you know that as amazing as this semester is, as much as I love adventure and travel and new friends, I’m struggling, too. I have moments of missing those I love, yearning for Charleston, even desiring a more rigorous academic workload. Today is November 13, though. In exactly one month, I will be on a plane back to America. No more griping. I am going to make this month count.