Ciao amici!

Can you believe it? Everything I’ve criticized about the internet, texting, sexting, spacebook, j date to eliminate, intergalactic messaging via blackberry secret society has gone out the window. It’s blog time baby!

The focus of my blog is to document the next year of my life in Florence, Italy. I will be getting a Masters in Museum Studies and will hopefully “find my passion” along the way. Orrr more than passion, maybe a nice job to fall in to so as to avoid another post-college transition into the “real world.” My last post-college year started out bright where I worked as a counter girl at a health food store near the beach. This involved organizing shelves of flax meal and hemp milk, taking orders of carrot juice and hummus and sprout sandwiches and allowed for general happiness as I pranced around bra-less and free for a few unforgettable summer months. The scary part of post-grad life began upon returning home, where ones insecurities/fears/doubts seem magnified when trying to sort out your issues in a room stuck in time circa 2001 – just at that brink of adolescence when barbies are out, boys are in and ones identity is conveyed through picture collages of your bffs splayed across your bedroom walls.

Anyway, that tangeant set us completely off track. After 2 months of self-loathing and Craigslist searching for random gigs (I mean random: my friend and I applied to dress up as Disney characters for children’s birthday parties in the Bronx – AND DIDN’T GET THE JOB – talk about questioning your own self worth…), the stars aligned and the angels sang and I got a job at a local art museum. How does an insecure, quasi-depressed 22 year old land a job in the actual field they studied? Well, in my case, I think it was a little bit of charm, some good old local connections, and a shit load of luck!

Soooo, the last 18 months I’ve worked in the education department of a contemporary art museum. Don’t get me wrong – 85% of my job was administrative with many days filled tending to the needs of 60 docents – a motley crew of local volunteers ranging from perfectly charming to slightly senile and kooky to unbelievable needy and OH MY GOD, YOU JAMMED THE F-ING COPIER AGAIN?!?!? – but all in all I felt at ease. I was generally entertained by the people I worked with and feel like I left on a high (as I was advised is a smart thing to do?) with some potential life long friends and a new confidence gained by the support of those around me.

As I finally get to the point of all these words – and if you’re still reading this I’m shocked! – I’ve created this blog because I want to share as much of my experiences – both the highs and lows – of living abroad with you, my friends and family. I’m excited to be on my own in a new, yet familiar city and also a little weary of what’s to come. Sure the art, food and culture will be intoxicating, but what about when it’s like a Wednesday night, I’m alone sitting by an open window (emo, yes) listening to the world go by and all I’ll want is a familiar friend. Some one who will dive unapologetically into a bag of Stacy’s chips with me or who knows my hermit tendencies and will push me to meet them in NYC for a drink or long dinner. Well, my natural inclination in the first weeks of college was to mask my loneliness through exploring the refined taste of Milwaukee’s Best with my hall mates and hoping to God that one of those freaks would suffice as a friend. All worked out in the end as the girl across the hall with unbrushed hair and questionable smelling Ugg boots, who on the first day of classes wore cut off gray sweat pants and a fake vintage Mickey Mouse t-shirt ended up being my best friend.

I know Caroline will be annoyed if I don’t clarify, she is presently a fabulous dresser who appreciates fashion as an art form, something created and developed over time. Like most 18 year olds Caroline and I were simply exploring our style options – from Car’s grungy/optional shower mentality to in my case trying to compensate the extra 17 pounds I put on by embracing flair leg spandex pants. I could write a book on that horrifying first year at school, but you can spend better use of your time following Caroline’s new blog focused on fashion: http://dontmakemesing.wordpress.com/2010/08/19/fie-on-airplanes-fie-on-the-checked-baggage-fees/

This week saying goodbye to friends I’ve known since kindergarten was sort of surreal. Most are living in the city by now and while I do get to see them on most weekends, living at home has put me in this limbo of feeling detached from everyone while also knowing that we’re all just trying to find our place in this world and being distant from friends at certain stages in our lives is probably normal.

The person I’ll miss the most is my wingman from the last year – my Mom. I wouldn’t exactly call my Mom my friend, but after some bumpy times in high school and post college, we have been in an amazing place the last few months. I guess living in the ‘burbs will do that to a girl. Our weekly schedule for the last year has involved Tuesday night movies, Thursday yoga, all day cooking Sundays. My Mom and I clearly thrive on routines and what’s great about being with your Mom is that she’ll sometimes pay for yoga, will let me pick the movie each week, and will smile through my weak attempts at Asian and Vegan cuisines.

Ro and I 

There is so much to share and I have to admit, rambling, editing and rewriting for this first blog post has been quite exhilerating! I guess the next post I’ll have will be quando in Italia!

Ciao e buona notte!

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About Lauren Raffaela

Ciao ragazzi, mi chiamo Lauren. I am writing from Florence, Italy where I am in school for a Masters in Museum Studies. When not in school I spend my days strolling the streets, trying to look like a local. I love to people watch, go jogging before the city is awake, have small talk with old ladies and am constantly stopping to read menus in restaurant and cafe windows just to see what they're up to. My favorite gelato flavor is noccioloso and I try to control my intake to one (or two...) a week. My blog focuses on my adventures and discoveries - both about this beautiful city (and country) and about myself. If you would like to touch base or have any questions please feel free to leave a comment on my posts and I'll be sure to get in touch. Grazie and ciao!
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One Response to Ciao amici!

  1. Ky says:

    Lauren. Ju kidding me?
    ” just at that brink of adolescence when barbies are out ”
    Please, BRINK, is the best word to classify this circumstance. BBC (BAR-BIE CLUB) last well into our … no comment.

    UGHH! MISS YOU.

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