Being in a different timezone in Rome, I realized my appreciation for technology. There's only so much emotion and connection that can be exchanged through series of 140 character messages, but it feels infinite when you're thousands of miles away.
I would wake up and realize that my friends were asleep, unknowingly being thought of in the Old World. My replies to emails probably seemed comical to the recipients because it appeared as though I had sent a non-urgent email in the wee hours of the morning.
I'm always stuck in the wrong timezone, like somewhere, somebody is waking up in Boston and I'm falling asleep in Rome, and they are going to be the catalyst for something in my life if our worlds could just cross.
I don't understand why I haven't found them yet, or if I should even keep searching desperately for some fateful coincidence to walk into my life.
It made me realize that fate won't always match up, and you're never going to completely feel like the people around you are on the same page. You're going to feel that someday, no matter how far off, somebody is going to walk into your life and you're going to understand the time deficits between people. And that's not meant to be some hopelessly romantic statement because that's not how it's supposed to work. It seems to be that for most people, the forces that change them are random, unexpected, unprecedented.
I'm reeling at the idea of missing things, both literally and physically. I've checked my pockets tri hourly for the last two weeks in search of my phone, hoping to avoid pickpockets. I feel as though I miss something every time I leave home, like everybody I love is together and conspiring against me in my city when in reality they're doing the exact same things that they would do if I were there. I feel like I've blinked and people have moved on and morphed into strangers really fast. I feel as though I am still a fifth grader, scared of talking to a boy I like; and sometimes an adult, drinking black coffee and worrying about a mortgage. I think I'm missing it because I can't find where I'm supposed to be. I'm terrified that I'm not going to be able to keep up with the ever-changing expectations and rules that come together to govern the choices of young adults. I feel like I'm fitting my stereotype in every way, and not at all at the same time.
It's the age-old teenage story: feeling happy and sad, lost and found, infinite and already dried up, scared and fearless. I'm old enough to choose the right fork at dinner, but young enough to not know how to use it. It seems to fit the high school student cliché just as much as comparing yourself to Holden Caulfield, but the stereotype of the "lost teenager" had to come from some truth.
Somebody told me a few weeks ago that I "would blow them all to the wall when they realized that I was going places." What does that even mean? Is that measured the amount of small talk I can make? Is it the facts I know? Is it the number of people who have told me they loved me, and meant it?
It makes me return to my obsession with the idea of "missing things:" What do I not understand about what that man said to me? What am I missing?
After a few hours of thinking, I tried to rest on the idea that the comment was made as a compliment. And as the sun began to set in Rome, I felt for a second like I wasn't missing anything.
My favorite part of the day is the short moment when the majority of the world is awake, time zones cross over somehow and the world is alive. It makes me think that the people of the world are here, awake and thinking, waiting for me to find them.
How to vote
Vote-by-mail ballot request deadline: Varies by state
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General Election: Nov 3, 2020
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