Major: Creative Writing English
Non-WMU Program Florence, Italy
I remember their faces; each and every one of them haunted my dreams before I left. I remember my financial aid officer’s eyes digging into mine as she told me I would never make it overseas. I remember my parents thinking I was high when I told them I would be leaving the country for the first time. I remember my own face reflecting in the mirror, exposing the same fear I once felt at 4-years-old when I got lost in the grocery store. These faces once spoke to me, telling me I would never make it; but now, I do the talking. I tell all the faces I’ve ever proven wrong: I made it; and I made it by my damn self.
The itch that jerked me out of bed nearly one year ago had me running around trying to piece together a passport, plan ticket, and a bundle of other things I’d never had before. That itch has resurfaced in such a potent manner that I feel its burn each time I wake up or clock in at work. I escaped this boring life once, but I’ve stumbled right back into it. The fun has ended, my smile is forced, and work seems to be the only thing ruling my existence. The itch to travel is yelling at me; screaming and thrashing in my eardrum; begging me to pay it the attention it craves. I listened to it once and was awarded the
most unforgettable experience of my entire life. As I sit here before work counting the minutes before having to do what I most dread, I can’t help but think: is it time to rid myself of this itch again?
Studying abroad taught me countless things, and one of them that you will never be able to make everybody happy. Let’s say time is like a freshly baked pizza; you give out a couple slices to another and suddenly somebody else gets mad they didn’t get any. You give them a couple slices to compromise which only makes yet another person angry. Sooner or later you open the box and realize all the pizza’s gone- and you never even got your own slice. If you spend your whole life trying to make others happy, when will you ever get your own slice of it?
Say you like your coworkers but hate the job, so you stay and say because you don’t want anybody to deem you as a quitter. Just like the pizza box, eventually you’ll spend all your time worrying about what others think of you that you’ll wake up and realize there’s no time left to spend on yourself. Outside this corny pizza analogy is the undeniable truth. We must not waste our time living the same day over and over again. We must not speak words without providing action We must never ignore the itch inside because that itch is urging us toward happiness. Ignoring the itch to make yourself happy is your surrender to living a life you never wanted to live.
Today I petitioned to graduate in order to distract myself from my itch telling me to flee the country and rediscover the happiness traveling gave me. But this distraction quickly vanished and the itch was reborn- transformed into words that are trying to convince you to listen to your own itch. Stop taking life so seriously because at some point, you will fail; and sometimes, you will fail miserably. It’s your decision whether or not you conform or pick yourself up and prove some people wrong again.