Monday, November 07, 2011


I woke up this morning and got an e-mail from a reader who wanted to share their opinion with me on my post, "Words of Wisdom". I love 'fan' mail (if I can even call it that...) and I always get excited when I see an unfamiliar name in my inbox. This is what part of the message said:
"When I was your age I could never do what you are doing. Its nice to know that an 18-year-old like yourself has your shit together."
Strutting my stuff at my high school graduation.
You think I have my shit together? Is that what I have portrayed myself to be in this blog? You think I have life figured out at 18? I don't. No, no, no, no. If this is what you think than I have absentmindedly fooled you. I absolutely don't have all my shit together. I'm organized and I admit... I'm quite intelligent, but I don't have the secret answers to the seven wonder's of the world or have the cure for cancer or even know what school I'm going to next year. In fact, reading that sentence made me realize that I don't have much figured out at all. I currently feel more confused than Miss South Carolina in the Miss America beauty pageant of 2007 (if you don't know what I'm talking about, youtube it). As a person who cherishes organization, this scares me. However, I have come to terms with the fact that I will not have every detail of the next 365 days planned out perfectly. This is ok too because sometimes, surprises are good and it would be impossible to detail everything in my future. Even if I could, I'm not sure I would want to. But this led me to thinking about what I'm going to do next year and where I'm going to be living. This past June, I graduated from Lakeshore Catholic High School at age 17. I was so excited when it was finally my turn to walk across the stage as the announcer said, "MichElle Pressé is an Ontario scholar. She will be traveling to Italy this fall before pursuing university..." But now here I am, wondering 
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where the heck I'm going to be next year. The truth is that I don't know, and I won't until late May when final acceptances come in. I'm not worried about it because last year, I was accepted into every school I applied to. I have a pretty good resume - I studied at a respectable Catholic school as well as a French school - in France
I was captain of the cheerleading team, was one of the founding members of the Fair Trade Club, had above the standard amount of community service hours under my belt, was on the honour roll, an active member of the school's Yearbook Committee, played tennis for the Port Colborne Tennis Club, and also found time to have a part time job. Basically, I'm an overachiever. I feel like I was underestimated by my classmates in high school because I got a facebook message from a boy in my grade who congradulated me on what I'm doing. He wrote, "I had no idea you were so insightful and that you kicked your ass so much. I wish I knew how talented you are and how your mind works because I would've really liked to spend time with you." Awe! 
I'm sure I will have to fill out a form on why I chose to pursue university one year after graduating, and I plan on starting by saying, "I'm an Ontario scholar currently living in Italy tutoring English so that I can become more aware of the world I live in as well as learn Italian as a third language..." And yet the thought of where I'm going to be next year is still unanswered. I don't even know what I want to do. All my life, I wanted to be a Journalist. I am so glad I decided to come to Italy instead of take that route, because the truth is, there are really no jobs for it. And there is a crazy amount of competition. I even thought about being a freelance writer, but the truth is that its too risky (even for me), and I can't imagine myself back home in Canada, working for some greasy fast food chain and coming home to write in my parents basement on the computer hoping that maybe someday, someone will be interested in publishing me. 

A proud moment in my life.
But really - someone thinks that I have my life all put together, and this blows my mind. I'm still young - I didn't even start winning good prizes at the carnival until this past summer! Suddenly, I feel as though I know nothing. What I can tell you is that I love what I'm doing right now - traveling around Europe and helping people improve their English skills while crafting my writing skill with this blog. I am so fulfilled by teaching, and at the same time, learning so much about myself, about history, about different life styles, about learning a new language... Wouldn't it be great if I could do this forever? Well... Why not? 
The longer I am sitting here in my Italian bedroom thinking about what I want to do with my life, the easier it becomes. I want to go home to Canada this June (basically I have to, because my 9 month tourist visa expires at that time) and go to University in Ontario in the fall. I'm thinkin' Ottawa.
Because really, what better place to study than my nation's capital?! I love politics, I love history (Ottawa was founded 20 minutes ago compared to Rome, but it will do), I can very easily practice my French there, and it is just so beautiful. My other option is Toronto, but its a mere two hours away from home, is crazy-expensive, and I've already been there so many times. It just doesn't appeal to me the same way as Ottawa does. I can actually see myself there next year studying to become a foreign language teacher. And so that is what I'm going to do. I hope I don't disrespect anyone when I say that I do not want to be a teacher at a high school or for elementary. It isn't that it isn't important (it is, and I have had some truly wonderful teachers in the past), but that isn't exactly for me.
I have until January 11th to apply to my courses and pick which school I want to go to, but the hardest decision is over. My only downfall about Ottawa is that it's freezing. The cold is where I am the most un-Canadian. Many Canadians like to enjoy the winters by playing hockey, skating, making snow men, having snow ball fights, building snow forts, sledding, skiing, snow boarding... Basically, embracing the snow. I avoid going outside in the winter much like a cat avoids water. When I do have to go outside, I spend about ten minutes finding my heaviest pair of snow pants, and layering myself with as much clothing as possible. The worst part is when my eyelashes freeze, causing me to shiver every time I blink. 
Kind of a necessity.
So I guess this means that between November and March, I will be spending my time drinking hot chocolate by a roaring fire in my apartment in Ottawa. We'll see what happens. But after completing my education in Canada, I plan on flying right back over to Europe where I will be the proud owner of a dual citizenship (Canadian and whichever fabulous European country I choose to live in). I seriously want to settle down here so badly, but first, I must skip my merry way back to school next fall. But for now I am going shopping in hopes of finding some cute new things to wear for the next time I go out. On my way home I'll stop at my favourite pizza shop and then take Giulia to her viola lesson, and maybe get some more pizza after that...

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