Halfway

I don’t want to write this blog post.

In fact I’ve been doing pretty much everything I can to avoid it (including binge-watching my guilty pleasure on Netflix and hosting an impromptu photoshoot with an unwilling cat I found in my building).

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(his name is tigger)

But here I am grudgingly writing again. ‘Grudgingly’ because this isn’t just a blog post. It’s a big, ugly flag marking the halfway point. Blog number four of eight in the Switzerland series.

Where has the time gone?

Despite my reluctance to write this post in particular, blogging has actually been a really cool experience. My original intent was to create Liminal Space as a way to keep in contact with people back home and develop a storehouse for my memories. Maybe allow myself to tack “blogger” onto my resume if things turned out really well. As time has gone on though, I’ve also noticed it slowly becoming a means of emboldening myself.

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Full disclosure: putting myself out there doesn’t always come easily to me. I can be tentative. I overuse diminishing words like “just”, “only”, and “probably”. I beat around the bush, I overthink, I preface. The first time I wrote a blog entry, it took about an hour of staring at my screen before I was able to convince myself to post it onto Facebook. Something about it felt so presumptuous – assuming everyone would want my thoughts headlining their newsfeeds.

What I’ve been noticing though is that with each blog I post, the hesitation lessens. Being intentional about spending time with and sifting through my thoughts forces me to be present. It urges me to be more self-assured in my unique perspective. And most importantly it’s been teaching me to attribute my own thoughts with more validity. It’s not always easy. But Liminal Space has helped me to realize just how much I needlessly doubt myself and how ready I am to change that.

If I’m being honest, reader, I’m not sure exactly when or how this change will take place or what it will even look like. But in the spirit of continued separation from my hesitant self, here are the details that have built up the last two weeks of my life:

The week before last began quite unremarkably, with the exception of a soirée hosted by LAS midway through the week. The entire school gathered in Belle Epoque, dressed to the nines, to mingle and eat delicious food. It was a fantastic evening, but the real fun didn’t begin until the next day. On Thursday afternoon Jessie, Rahul, Leo and I skipped out on work early and ran to the train station to begin our much-anticipated trip to Italy.

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milan-bound

After five short hours of travel, we arrived in mountainless, bustling Milan. It was a totally different world from quiet Leysin and Leo, back in his hometown, was totally in his element.  As we wove through the train station crowds he looked back occasionally to give us valuable pieces of advice: check your pockets to make sure you still have your wallets; walk slowly, but aggressively; don’t use your bus ticket unless there’s transit security there to check for it. I nodded vaguely, trying to take all of it in. The motorcycles, trams, and traffic filling up the streets. The restaurants and gelato stores at every corner. The indecipherable Italian chatter buzzing all around us.

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duomo di milano

The next three days in Italy flew by faster than I could comprehend. We weren’t able to make it to Venice, and pasta-making lessons weren’t in the cards as I had guessed, but our time in Milan was incredible all the same. We exhausted the weekend visiting museums, exploring Sforza Castle and the Piazza del Duomo,  meeting some of Leo’s family and friends, and eating as much pasta and gelato as we could manage. We stayed in Milan until the last possible minute, and arrived back in Leysin, bleary-eyed but content, at 10:30 on Sunday evening.

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museo del novecento

Since Italy, life has been mercifully calm. Following an easy-going workweek, the co-ops and I joined some of the other LAS staff at the Top Pub for a Friday night of live music and dancing.

Saturday was spent on the ski slopes of Verbier with Jessie and James, another LAS faculty member. Anthony had warned me previously that Verbier was “one of the most intense places” to go skiing, and I had not so much as picked up a ski pole in two weeks, so to say that I was intimidated would be an understatement. With the exception of the excruciatingly long lines however, we had an amazing day with blue bird skies and an unexpected beautiful view of the Matterhorn!

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verbier – perhaps my favourite place in switzerland so far (pc: james davidson)

Sunday was comprised of resting my post-ski jello muscles and planning out the intricacies of my upcoming March Break trip to Poland and the Czech Republic. The week ahead will likely (hopefully) be similarly quiet, mostly consisting of a few ski days in Leysin and further March Break planning!

Anyhow reader, it’s getting late and I’m still hoping to get this blog out before Monday reaches its end, so I’ll leave things there for now.

Until next time, ciao!

Emily

PS. While we navigated through the hoards of tourists and fended off selfie-stick vendors in the Piazza del Duomo we passed by a street musician several times. Most of his setlist consisted of Italian songs, but a handful of English acoustic covers made the cut as well. This is what Milan sounded like that Friday afternoon:

  • All of Me – John Legend
  • Don’t Look Back in Anger – Oasis
  • Johnny B. Goode – Chuck Berry
  • Someone Like You – Adele

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