October 22nd, 2019

Dear Future Daughter,

Back in 2019 when I was your age, I went on the trip you are about to go on, to Cortona, Italy. I was a little bit nervous before leaving, and ready to just go and be in Italy instead of talking about it. When I arrived, it took a few weeks before I was completely settled in, and homesickness came in waves. We started out in Rome, where everyone was getting to know each other, and our schedule was packed. However, once we got to Cortona, everything slowed down in the best ways. I got closer with friends in the group, and even though not everyone was the same age, not everyone was a studio art major, not everyone had the same experiences and upbringing as me, we all shared an interest in art. Throughout my time in Cortona, I remember the bonds I made with others, and the bonds I witnessed grow stronger. I value the times I stopped and stood still to watch people loving each other’s company, enjoy leaves falling off the park trees, or discover anything different and unpopular. I benefitted from slowing down to think, pausing to remember, appreciating the little things, and stopping to find something new. I remember being able to see beauty all around me, no matter where I was or what I was looking at—beautiful art, sunny buildings, perfect weather, and memorable people. I never think about the what ifs, because all I think about is how much I have gained from going on the adventure that you are just now starting.

Much love,

Your mother

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