How to reconcile with your guilty conscience…

imagesby: Daniela Noemi Fanelli

I open my planner, blindly flipping through the weeks left until May 16th.

I close it.

I open it again and I count through it carefully:



  1. this week
  2. pre-midterm week
  3. mid-term week
  4. spring break week
  5. lake como week
  6. grandma’s birthday week
  7. week with long weekend
  8. easter monday week
  9. another week with long weekend (thanks labour day)
  10. pre-finals week
  11. finals

That’s it. That’s all the time we have left here in Florence and right now it feels like it could pass by within a breath. Not to be a complete Debbie Downer, but there are simply not as many days left here as there were at the beginning and it’s just starting to set in for me.

Looking back, most of us travelled from our homes to the small orientation location of Tuscania to the whirlwind of possibilities that is Florence with one main goal in mind – to continue travelling. Some of us leaped fearlessly onto airplanes to unknown lands, others onto wine & food tastings and onto a thousand other opportunities. No matter how big or small the step, we’ve all done great things. I was not certain that my main priority was to travel but I reached a certain familiarity with the Florence territory and created a routine for myself that I am proud of. But what happens now that time is dwindling and I’m realizing there is still a lot more I can do?

“Now is the time to really panic!” proclaims triumphantly the voice of my guilt, wagging its invisible finger at my past: “How many weekends did you spend inside your apartment? How many chances did you miss just because you were that unorganized?”. As it pipes on about unexploited time and unrealized trips, I remind myself about all the little great things I have done, although small.

“But you should have visited Morocco by now and skied in Switzerland and” those things are all great but my sensationalist guilt still ignores the fact that happiness and self-discovery can happen regardless of your geographical location. Thus, for those who feel chocked by time, their guilt and society’s expectations, I call on you to reconcile now with what you think you should have done, value the things you have done, as small and as unexciting as they might sound to your conscience, and plan the things you still want to do. Not be an optimist, but there are still 11 weeks left and you can make anything happen.

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