(Or, Holy potato, what are you thinking?!)
I've changed my facebook language to Italian.
This is not a big deal. I can figure out that 'Gio' is Thursday and 22.20 is 10:20 pm. I know that 'oggi' means 'today' and, shit, I can translate almost anything when it's in exactly the same place as it's always been, even if the words aren't familiar. But it's reminding me that there will be a lot of little things that are going to be different over the next few months. It's the first of many changes to come.
I actually made a lot of progress today: filling out forms, acquiring property insurance mostly so that if anything happens to my laptop I won't have to live long in a state of Internet deprivation (it's questionable that I would live for long, really), making a detailed packing list that's forced me to start making painful decisions about which books to bring along, and trying to hold off the freaking-out point that I'm dangerously close to. I'm not sure what level of freaking out this one's going to be, but I've had a few already, and I think I'm due for a big one.
There are lots of reasons to freak out. There's also a pretty good reason not to: it doesn't help in the slightest. However, this rationale does not fully eclipse the crazy situations I'm concerned about: what if I can't communicate with my host family? What if I hate Italian food, or it makes me sick? What if I get lost between the airport and my homestay? What if all of my stuff gets lost? What if I get there and find that I've packed way too much? What if I leave something very, very important behind? What if I'm going to a foreign country where I don't speak the language and don't know anybody? OH, WAIT. Yeah...I signed up for this.
Okay, those are some of the things that could go wrong the first day.
I'll spend a couple more days relaxing. Maybe I'll schedule the freak-out for Friday. That seems pretty reasonable, right? So, on Friday, you should call me up and calm me down, or send me a really funny e-mail. Or just fix all the paperwork and take my place on my flight to Rome and get me settled in at Amherst; that works too.
Arrivederci, amici. I'm in for quite a ride.