Nordic Sweater: c/o OASAP.
Plaid Skirt, Cream Blouse, Cut Out Boots, Necklace: Thrifted.
Going to Europe for four months changed me in a lot of ways, but at the core of it all I'm still the same. I suppose I thought that this big life change would weed out all of the parts of myself I didn't like. I really don't know why I thought that, but I did. I thought that if I did this trip which was so outside of my comfort zone, that I would become this outgoing and socially confident person.
I'm still not.
A struggle that I've found since not even being back a week in Ohio, is that I simply can't find the words to talk about my trip. I keep running into people I know around town who saw my trip on Facebook or instagram or my blog and of course, they ask how it was. And I never, ever know what to say. I usually start by saying it was great, but I'm glad to be back, and then I always get the same perplexed stare of: "what the hell is wrong with you?" I stutter and stumble around trying to explain that Italy was nice, but it just wasn't what I expected and that it was hard for me, and that I'm glad to be home because I missed it. But how do you explain to someone in a two minute small talk conversation everything you went though and how it just wasn't what you thought it would be? How do you explain the homesickness, the awful roommates, the not fitting in, the realizations within yourself that you found that maybe you didn't want to find? People don't want to hear all that. They want to hear how great Italy was.
Sometimes I just want to say that. "Yeah it was the greatest semester of my life and I can't wait to go back." It would be so much easier. I probably wouldn't sound like a complete idiot when they try and ask me questions I don't have the right answer to. I probably wouldn't sound like a complete spoiled brat who just spent four months in Italy and didn't completely enjoy it. And I probably wouldn't feel the shame, disappointment, and strangeness when I tell people-- "it was just... okay."
There were times when it was great, times when I was having the time of my life. But as a whole, I didn't. I just didn't. It's not my fault, it's not Italy's fault, it's not anyone's fault. It is what it is. And there's so much I can't explain to all of these people where I feel I can give an answer that satisfies me that they understand what I went through over there.
I just don't know what to say to anyone.
With much love, Lauren.