Being abroad for a semester and then away from campus for another month, it has been nearly half a year since I raced across Copley Lawn or ordered a chai latte at Uncommon Grounds or avidly avoided the stacks at Lauinger Library. Even though Florence certainly gave D.C. a run for its money on the list of my favorite cities, Georgetown will always have a place in my heart as my college town.
When I returned home from Italy, the plane ride from Rome to Boston lasted for more than eight and half grueling hours. Though I thought nothing could top that, I forgot about the same lengthy journey required for me to travel from Rhode Island to the District. But instead of being cramped in stuffy and tight plane seat for eight hours, the trip to the D.C. saw me in the tight quarters of my mom’s SUV sitting next to my life packed away in boxes. Along with both of my parents, I spent this past Friday in the car as we drove the more than 350 miles separating my hometown from my college town.
While my mom was not exactly keen on the idea of me returning to Georgetown after only a short month home from my overseas adventures, I was thrilled by the opportunity to return to the city and work in the nation’s capital. After spending euros as if they were play money, I watched as my bank account slowly drained itself from my weekend excursions and epicurean lifestyle. In need of making up for such losses, I happily accepted summer employment from my employer at Georgetown. With my involvement coordinating another freshman orientation program, on-campus housing was a money-saving perk. The combination of free housing and full-time employment easily convinced my parents that D.C. was the place for me this summer.
After the painful torture involving eight-plus hours sitting next to drawers of my clothes and pillows, I finally could feel my legs un-stiffen as I claimed my apartment key and began the move into the place I will call home for the next three months. Though I thought the car ride was miserable, its misery was topped by the wretchedness required to move all of my stuff from the car into my third-floor apartment. Needless to say, there was a lot of pain, sweat, and some tears that went into carrying more than nineteen years of accumulated stuff up three flights of stairs.
It took a few hours to transform my mess into a neatly organized space, but together my mom and I conquered the challenge. By the end, there was nothing more relaxing than sitting on my freshly made bed and reflecting on all the things to come. Yet as I looked at the empty boxes and grocery bags on the floor, a sense of anxiety began to unnerve me.
Although I already finished two years of school and spent a semester in a foreign country, this would be the first time I would be living in an apartment setting, completely on my own for food and all other expenses. Knowing that eating anything meant stocking my own fridge, I felt uneasiness thinking about this and all the other responsibilities that accompany independence. As I hugged my mother and avoided the inevitable goodbye, she reminded me of my strength and endurance. “I’m sure it’s a little scary to be so grown up and responsible for everything,” she later wrote, “but you will feel so confident that you can handle anything by the time the summer is over.” Her words reminded me that this summer is just another chapter in the ongoing adventure that is my life.
So now that I am all moved in and I have calmed some of my independence nerves, what do I have planned for the next three months? Here are just a few of the things on my Summer 2011 Bucket List:
- Jazz nights at the Sculpture Garden
- Searching out Titian and Bellini’s Festival of the Gods at the National Gallery of Art
- Exploring neighboring weekend festivals and fairs
- Tasting my way through the city’s various farmer’s markets and using my bounty to create healthy, seasonal meals
- Discovering a spot for a cappuccino on par with those I enjoyed in Italy
- Avoiding the stress and fatigue that comes with a full-time job and a coordinating position
- Creating an Italian feast in my apartment kitchen that would make Flavia proud
- Ordering a different ice cream each time I am craving a cone
- Spending lazy afternoons at the park reading all the Ernest Hemingway and food-related books I can find
- Getting on a bus with no destination in mind and see where it takes me
As I work my way checking things off and adding things to the mix, I’m sure that as the summer progresses this list will see dramatic changes. What will be the first thing checked off of the list? I guess we will just have to wait and see what this week has in store.