In our last night in Rome, my friends and I went out to dinner in Trastevere. It was a beautiful little place down a tiny side street with twinkling lights and bad service, like all great Italian restaurants. My friend Alex had pasta with rabbit (delicious) and I had a risotto with the entire ocean in it (also freaking delicious.) I learned that when you are given an extra side plate with a dish of seafood, you are supposed to put the shells on said side plate and that shrimp are deceiving little bastards because when you're done taking apart all the undesirables such as the shell, legs, eyeballs, and poop shoot, what's left is only a fraction of the monster they put on your plate.
But I also learned something more extraordinary than that. My friend Alex asked us all what was the most important thing we had taken away from the experience, what was the lesson that had changed us as human beings? We all thought and it occurred to me that the biggest lesson I had learned in Rome is that I don't have to do anything with my life. Just kidding! Okay kind of. What I realized is that when I graduate from college, I don't have to immediately get a career and settle down. I can still travel, meet new people, do exciting things, I don't have to choose what I want to do with the rest of my life right now. In the words of some old wise guy or another, the world is my oyster. In the words of Lady Gaga, I'm a free bitch baby. And so on.
I used to think that as soon as I graduated I would have to get a career and start paying off loans, stay in one place, start a life. But there are so many ways to live a life. I have not seen enough or done enough to start mine yet, and all I have is time.