It was surreal. I stood there with a city before me. Wrapping around encompassing me. Images I had created in my 8th grade photoshop course flipped through my mind. Armature insertions of myself in front of the Colosseum and Roman forum mixed with slides from my freshman humanities course.
Slides my professor had shown us of his time in Rome began to come together, like a puzzle to create the view in front of me. “They call this the wedding cake. Because, well, look at it!” I hear the Dana center fill with chuckles from the freshman class as my eyes land on the Altare della Patria.
I have done it, I have made it, at last to Rome. I think to myself as I consider the phrase ‘Rome wasn’t built in a day’, lucky for me, I have more than 24 hours to see the spectacular city. I had 32. This knowledge didn’t worry me as I processed the panoramic view of ancient structures and narrow streets.
Just the memory of this moment calms me bringing me to a tranquil state. I can still feel the sense of accomplishment that came over me. Not from climbing to the top of Castel Sant Angelo, no, this sense came from about eight years of longing to be within the cities borders.
My bank account might be an all-time low, I might be unemployed on May 20th, but I was in Rome. I did something I wanted I got myself here. My parents didn’t give me a plane ticket as a gift nor did they drop money in my account.
I stood there independently taking in a city I had been studying since 2009. Whatever 2017 holds I knew in that moment I would get myself to where I want to go. Wherever that may be.