Mmmm…how I love the taste of ladyfingers dipped in coffee fluffed-cheese that resembles the moist structure of a perfect caked-dessert. My mouth is currently in heaven while the rest of my body is lying on my air-filled mattress that I call, bed. I am staying at my mother’s house back in the suburbs of Philadelphia-yes, in the lovely sham of hors. (Only those who live here understand where I am coming from, literally) I moved out of my apartment in the city this past winter because my friend and coworker will be subletting my room for the Spring of 2014. Why you probably won’t ask? Well, I’m glad I thought you did because I will be studying abroad in Rome, Italy! Yes, I will soon call the Eternal City my new home! Well, as soon as I am able to use the public transportation without looking like a fish out of water. As a redhead, I won’t help but to stand out already as it is especially with my freckles and pale skin. I might as well walk about with a shirt containing an image of Captain America riding gloriously on the back of a bald eagle with a Bud Light in hand. ‘MERICA!…no. Even though I believe I am the least ‘merican American I know (As I sit here typing while drinking Korean Green Tea) no matter how far I travel, that stereotypical image of an American will always stick with me. So I guess that’s why I’m pretty nervous to travel abroad. I want to show Italy that I am welcoming the culture shock with open arms-ready to take on and discover whatever may cross my path. I want to learn, and grow as a person. I hope to discover who I am without the comfort of the place I’ve always have been contained within.
I have discussed with Ashley, one of my greatest friends who is also studying abroad in Rome this Spring, that a person changes according to the environment around them. As a Psychology major, I can’t help but think of many thought-provoking theories and some that don’t even make sense to me. When a person is introduced to a new environment, I see it almost as a new scene on stage- behind the characters stands a new background- a place that has yet to be acted upon. What goes on backstage is not known by the audience. In reality, it is pure chaos: people running everywhere to make sure everything is in place and set at their marks in the fastest time possible. Once that curtain opens, the audience will be able to see where they are now located, but no matter how incredible the backdrop may appear, it will never come alive unless the actors make it happen.
In terms of Nature vs. Nurture, when a person is ripped from their environment- their original comfort zone- all that is left of them is their self of nature- specifically what they were given at birth. That consists of genetics and personality traits that have been passed down from their parent’s, their parent’s parents, etc. It is simply God’s given existence of you. I don’t know who my Nature self will be until I arrive in Rome because I have, fortunately enough, always known my self in terms of both nature and nurture. Of course I have a basic assumption, but when the language barrier comes into play, I will find out then and there how to play the game. I know how to live in Pennsylvania because that’s where I’ve been living for my entire life so far, but when I’m in Rome, I will have landed on a property that I obviously do not own nor am I familiar with. I want to experience the shock of not knowing what will happen and ultimately find my core-self. I want to leave all of those materialistic and social media induced casts behind me. I want to step off the boundary lines of the board game. I once overheard a conversation in which a professor was telling a colleague that “Life is not about playing the game, but finding a way to live in it”. To him I respond with: You can even say ‘Sorry’ and kick my game piece back to start, but I’m not living the game, I’m living my life. So strip me of all the artificial, bland, and mediocre things which includes all of the unnecessary tricks and players within the game that consists of America, and just give me that damn Tiramisu!
Buona Notte, America!