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January 10, 2012


when i went to florence, i caught the flu from the three planes it took to get me there: chicago-->new york-->frankfurt-->florence. i was horrendously sick for the first few days. the only solace i had was lying on the bathroom floor, the only cool place in our apartment. i passed out in the cell phone rental store. luckily one of my roommates, the fabulous katie who just visited me, was an RA and there to catch me as i fell, literally. great first impression to make on the people i'd be living with for the next five weeks.

i remember sitting on the terrace, hiding, praying, calling home, crying. so far from my family and friends, so far from my dogs. in a country with a language i didn't know, miserable heat, and five roommates who were strangers. sitting on that terrace, over the balcony, i said the following prayer:

please let me let this place change me. let me let myself be happy. please grant me the grace and courage to do that.

the grace and courage to be happy.

happy is a hot bath, purifying face mask, and a beautiful travel book. a book about food, of all things. the love of it, and the nourishment and life it symbolizes. happy is learning to understand that. happy is a set of freshly-painted dark purple toenails. (always with the dark. why so afraid of light, huh?) happy is the most supportive friends you could ever ask for. happy is a christmas tree you just can't bear to take down.  

grace is taking a compliment, accepting it, appreciating it, not making a joke, not belittling it. grace is living each day with more forgiveness and less fear. 
one of my favorite songs/poems/things ever, ever, ever.

it's an anthem. it fits, every line fits me. every line makes me smile.

the grace and courage to be happy. i'm going to pray for this daily.

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