Friday, February 19, 2010

Week III: High's and Low's

One minute I'm walking down the street appreciating every breathe I take in and am completely high off life, the next minute I step directly into the biggest pile of crap I have ever witnessed. (based on a true account)
Luckly, I laughed it off. It was the first time I looked directly up into the sky while walking. So I got what was coming. Even though this happened just once (well twice with the crap thing in one day), this sort of metaphor represents my entire week.
One minute I love the life I'm currently living, the next I feel vulnerable and trapped. I miss my home, I miss my boyfriend, and I miss my friends- but those are all physical beings that will be there when I return. I need to keep reminding myself that this trip isn't about the social aspect of meeting new people and making a good impression. This trip is about who I am and what I'm capable of doing/thinking. Because in the end, I'm going to return home and we will all go our separate ways. And when I go to sleep, all that will be there is me, so why not just work on ME?
Anyways, I am in my third week of Study Abroad and all that I have gained, so far, are buddies and weight! By no means am I complaining, I am just rethinking my outlook on this trip- which is a very good thing. I think I now know what it feels like to be the freshmen at a four year college. I have freedom! And boy does it feel good. No I am not going all out and partying everynight, but I am letting myself go (not just physically). Does that make sense? I'm forgetting what I represent, I am forgetting who I am trying to become. A genuine, humble, and kind soul!
Funny this is though, I was told the other day by one of my buddies, "man Erin, I was wrong about you, you're chill as hell and just like one of the guys." hahaha okay, maybe I am the same person I was before I left- but I want more than that. I seriously need to do more reflecting. I need to write, draw, type, paint. I need to do more reflecting! My mind constantly runs with new ideas, thoughts, and opinions, but are never shown into the light. I swear I have ADHD, but that's besides the point. Anyways I need to start doing more of these things but I am just way too lazy. Maybe I can finally get my postcards written and mailed out this weekend. All and all I just need some more alone time. I already have a shit ton, but you know
me, I always need more than the average person! haha I don't know if I can call that independence, but whatever it is I'm completely satisfied with it.
After I clean up today, while trapped inside from the rain, I will take pictures of my new place. I know many of you are dying to see. Well I apologize, or not, for having this blog be more about thoughts than action. It all just depends on my mood, really. And nothing too insane has been going on to report about. Just thoughts =) Alright well I'm off to... uh do something. Who knows what. Love you all very much, and you'll be hearing from me soon! Ciao!!

- Erin Willis

(in this bottom photo, doubt you can tell, I tried to capute the beautiful snow fall that hit us last week)

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Not feelin' too amazing, guys...

"I wish that I could say what it is I like to say
Instead I got my tongue twisted up and tied away
I’m tryin’ to do my best
Yes I know that failure is a lesson
I’ve been guessin’ and stressin’ and tryin to make up my decision and
Oh…guess that’s how life goes"

- Rebelution, Out of Control

Thursday, February 11, 2010


Bonjuorno! (no clue if that's how you spell it, but I definitely know how to say it!!) Today is the 11th of February and I am as busy as I have ever been! I cannot believe how much reading us students have in these courses! It has literally been the talk of the week. Everyone has been piled with so much that we cannot actually go out and enjoy our surroundings!! It is very, very annoying but I suppose part of life. Other than the long days and sleepless nights, I have become much more comfortable with living in such a new world. Italian men and women are beginning to recognize my face rather instantly as I walk into their local cafes and grocery stores. I feel like I am looking less and less like a tourist, as well. (It may be the new leather jacket I purchased two days ago?) You'll love it Mom!
Now that we've got to witness the Leaning Tower of Pisa, the green surroundings of Luca, the crazy passionate football fans of Firenze, and the beautiful sounds of the local Opera, we will be hoisted off to the Carnevale in Venice on Valentine's Day this Sunday! I am far too excited for first finding an outfit and and then having all the crazy fun I can get my hands on! So, wish me luck. ;)
But back to the Opera, I went to go see La Traviata on Tuesday night. I felt so pretty with my new dress, necklace, heels, and coat. I felt this experience was beautiful. It reminded me, especially seeing the two little girls sitting in the front row, of when my parents would take me to these small performing arts theatres all over the Bay Area. This church wasn't at all like I pictured. It was held in a very small and cozy room with the audience surrounding the stage like a U shape. Very up close and personal. Even though the amazingly angelic voices nearly put me to sleep, it was still a wonderful experience that I can't wait to try again.
Well it's time for me to pack everything up and walk around in the rain so i can find objects for my "scanvenger hunt". Ugh. Ciao!! Love you most! :o)

(I move into my actual apartment tonight so pictures WILL be posted accordingly annnddd may have hopes in internet connection in this location)

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

FINALLY a posta! ;)

(This blog was written on, I believe, the 8th of February! Would not load until now)

So far I have been in Firenze, Italia for 9 1/2 days. I feel right here. I feel, well, good. There are, of course, a few differences here compared to California. For instance, their doors are to be pushed in rather then pulled out (I had to learn the hard way.) Another difference is the bathrooms. Each “stall” is it’s own room that is equipped with a toilet, a sink with a foot pedal, and individual trash bags. There are usually no mirrors, but not to worry because even though everything is personalized, you still have the main lobby with a mirror and a couple more sinks. Wonderful, I know. Another huge difference would be the volume we, Americans, carry our voices at. Oh em gee! I never realized how loud we talked until I moved to Florence. The Italians speak so softly to one another. If not softly than definitely at indoor voices. Man I never once thought I was generally a loud person until now- especially when I get excited (hehe)
My first day here I was a happy camper (<----- looking at my first picture taken, it was really sunny too!). As I walked the streets with my new buddies Addy and Sarah, I noticed my smiles were reaching no one- and I mean no one! Not one person smiled back at me when I shared a smile with him or her. I took it personal, of course. It’s a different culture here in Florence, I thought. I thought that maybe everyone was a little too reserved and a little too aggressive. But when I asked about it, it made much more sense. In any city you go to people will act as if they have a time limit, at least in the city streets. So the very next day I stuck my nose in the air, walked fast, and walked with aggression- and boy did I fit right in. I wish I brought nicer clothes... I may have been the girl who literally packed the lightest, but I am also the only girl in this program who lacks the style. I look as if I’m camping! Ugh. Maybe this just means I have to buy nicer clothing. Especially for the Opera tomorrow night. =) I gotta say though, having one third of your money being lost in the exchange rate is a bit discouraging while out shopping. When it comes to living on my own, I got used to it pretty quickly.
I have two wonderful roommates with the names of Jessica and Sarah (the one in the picture with me). We are all pretty compatible yet can still do our own thing. Sarah and I are the closest of the three. This is mainly because Jessica’s boyfriend,
Blake lives on the floor under ours so she is usually with him and Sarah is my roommate (for the time being then we all will be). I find myself mostly hanging out with Sarah, Spencer, and Addy. Jeannie, Lina, Avi, and “the other” Sarah are my other girlfriends but I barely see them since we live in different areas. All the rest of the kids here are super chill, too. I’ve only been here for a week though so I haven’t been fully able to get to know everyone just yet. One major downside to living here is the lack of communication I have with my family and friends back home. I miss you all so much and the internet connection, or lack there of, really doesn’t help. I’m supposed to find out if I got a promotion today but now I won’t know until the next morning (and it’s only 10:30am where you guys are!) I didn’t even realize how much I would worry about the ones back home- especially my mom and Drew. I’ve actually been having some pretty scary dreams while I’ve been here, but I finally had a nice, yet still emotional, one last night. Could I be getting more acquaint with living so far away? Hm... maybe.
I have had some really fun nights so far this week. Some of the best would be the ones where we would all just hang out at a friend’s apartment. I love getting to know people, especially the ones I am surrounded by in this program. I had no idea I’d click with so many different personalities!
Now even though I have had many many many fun moments so far, I have definitely had my share of real shitty ones too. About two nights ago Spencer, Addy, Lina, Avi, and I went to Discoquec Space, which is a nightclub down the street from Spenc’s place. Towards the end of the night I was dancing near a ramp minding my own business until all of a sudden I was pushed out of someone’s way incredibly hard. My initial reaction was to turn around and call the boy a jackass. And oh man... was that the wrong thing to do. Right after doing so the kid turned around and spit in my face. Yeah, SPIT directly into my face. And ha, oh man, was that the wrong thing to do. Right away I pushed the kid as hard as I could and he went tumbling. I haven’t been so disrespected and so completely and hysterically pissed off as I was at this point. Spencer right away held me back and tried to get me out of there as fast as he could. I was so mad I couldn’t even be touched so apparently I elbowed Addy pretty hard (sorry Addy!) while he tried to get me. Seriously though, who does that? Who spits in a FEMALE’S face. After you push her first? Well, you got me but it did happen. I started to actually hypervenilate while trying to somehow find revenge on this little boy. So they took me back to Spencer’s, I was put in a cold shower, and Avi gave me a massage. Wonderful people they are =) All and all the only good thing about that night was that I ended up getting in for free (you pay at the exit) and that I was reminded of how much I was cared for. PHEW.
Last night was the soccer game. FIRENZE versus ROMA. And holy sh!t were these fans crazy! I wasn’t even watching the game as so much the fans. Two men, by the end of the night, literally pulled out a stadium chair when Firenze was called off sides while the other one kicked in a chair when Roma made their winning goal. Worse than the Raider’s, I must say. It was a pretty fun experience. Alright well I just wrote way too much but I needed to inform you anxious kids. I am doing well and I am very happy to be here. Having no internet does suck, but I am much too busy for it anywho. ;) I think I am just going to write it in a document the night before then post it once at school (like what I am doing right now) Well ciao now! Talk to you soon ;)

(NOTE: I have to add photos to this blog later because they won't load right now, or for the past couple days, but words are more important so bare with me!!)