This is your life, and it’s ending one minute at a time

Posted on February 5, 2012

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I am one of the biggest football nuts around. A die-hard Chicago Bear fan and when at home often am seen wearing some sort of Bears apparel. I quote stats from players all over the league and am usually up to date with every single last move the franchise is making. Yes I am happy with the hiring of Phil Emery.

The Super Bowl is starting any moment now and instead of drinking vast quantities of beer and eating from a seemingly endless smorgasbord of junk food, I sit in Southern Italy. Of all the emotions that you would expect from a hard core football fan, missing the grand mother of all sporting events, I am feeling none of them. Instead, I feel content. Sure it would be fun to be back home enjoying the Super Bowl, one of many things I took for granted, but instead I find myself inSouthern Italyand for some reason I’m perfectly fine with missing the big game.

This will be the first Super Bowl I’ve missed in years and traveling has done more than fill the hole that’s been left. I suppose the point of this post is the fact that most of the things you think you’ll need to bring or that you’ll die without.. you won’t even miss after a few weeks. I can’t speak for everything but I know I’ve done very well without daily rituals I used to do in the US. I was an avid gamer and haven’t touched a controller in over a month. I was a regular t.v. viewer and haven’t seen the flicker of a television set for longer then a few seconds as I glance up in a store I happen to be in. None of these things I used to do daily even cross my mind anymore and it even feels good to be rid of them.

It throws into sharp relief the fact that many of the things you own are not necessary for your everyday existence. They are luxuries that should be treated as such. When I return home I’m sure I’ll have a long gaming session on Madden as I stomp the Packers with my fantastic Bears team, but I plan on staying away from the system much more then I used to. I am sure I’ll keep my t.v. in my room but the electric company will be sad to see it will be receiving very few hours in comparison to what it used to get.

As I have begun to travel Italy I’ve found other activities that serve much better purposes then these previous habits. Writing letters and post cards is something I was terrible at, after this trip I’m beginning to wonder why more people don’t do it. Much more sincere then a quick email, letters can brighten someone’s day and only take a few minutes to compose. Everyone loves getting mail but no one seems to want to send it. Another thing that I’ll be doing is learning languages, I’ve fallen in love with trying to speak Italian and while I’m not great, I would rather spend hours on end trying to learn a foreign language then reach the next level on Skyrim. Having a foreign language under your belt is very beneficial, it looks great on a resume and can open up many doors in that capacity and it also makes traveling easier. Locals are always very grateful when you speak in their own tongue, or at least attempt to. Even if it’s very obvious are a beginner, they truly appreciate the effort and often will go out of their way to help you just because you tried. If nothing else you’ll get a laugh and smile from them as they correct you on your pronunciation of a certain word.

One of my favorite movies of all time is Fight Club and one of the quotes becomes more and more relevant as I tear myself away from my old lifestyle. As Mr. Durden so eloquently put it; “The things you own end up owning you.”

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Posted in: Reflection