05 March, 2013

Counting My Blessings Every Day

Talking about the life I'm living right now makes me feel really pretentious and spoiled.  Yes, I spent every weekend last month traveling to Athens, Prague, Paris, and Tuscany, and I will be spending the next few weeks traveling to Florence, Spain, Venice, Dublin, Beirut, and London.  And then once my program ends, I'm going to Budapest, Cardiff, and Edinburgh.  My life is unreal.  My life is amazing.  I just want to spend some time talking about that.
On the Roue de Paris with my mom!
The Heckel family at the Coliseum! Where dreams are
made of!
I am so incredibly blessed.  I have been given so much in my life, and I hope you all know that I realize that.  I know that I have an opportunity that most people do not have.  I know a lot of people who are studying abroad but aren't even leaving Italy.  My passion for traveling is an expensive passion, and I am so lucky to have had money saved up.  God has truly given me so much more than I deserve this semester, and I refuse to let myself complain about anything here.  There is nothing else I can call my life right now than my dream.  My life will never again be as free and open as it is for the four months that I am here.  I am able to go absolutely anywhere (except Russia.  Damn visas.) and do absolutely anything.  I am able to meet people from all over the United States and the world even (I have a friend from Pakistan!  Who would have guessed?!  And not only that, but she's published a book!). I am meeting people who have so many different life plans from me, and its incredible that our small lives could somehow cross paths in Rome.  My time here in Rome has changed me to help me believe that I can do absolutely anything and go absolutely anywhere and live the life I want to live.  I am in such an amazing place in my life in comparison to how I was last year.  Today, I dream of the future, not because I am sick of my current life, but because there are so many doors to be opened, so many paths I can possibly take.  My life has no direction, and I say that in the most wonderful of ways.
 I cannot talk about how blessed I am without talking about my parents and what they have done for me.  My parents always taught me that I could do anything I wanted to, as long as I put my mind to it, and I am so lucky to have this mindset.  My mom will do absolutely anything it takes to help me reach my dream.  I told her that my biggest regret about study abroad was that I only did one semester instead of a full year.  How does she respond?  "Do you want to go again in the fall?  I'm sure we can figure out something about your lease for the semester."  My mental jaw dropped.  Here's my mother, who has already given me so much more than she needs to, and she wants to give me more.  No, my family is not loaded and this semester is making a dent in my (and probably her) savings.  But she wants me to be following my dream so badly that she is willing to give me even more.  I refused, for I know that one semester is enough.  I need my full year at Gustavus before I graduate and start my "real life", whatever that may be, but that doesn't mean I don't appreciate what she said to me.  My mother is an amazing woman, and I would be no where without her.  My father gave me the drive to do whatever I put my mind to, and my mother gave me the mindset that I am worth it, and that my dreams are never too big.  I love her so much, and can't imagine where I would be without her.

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