Let me remember that anything is possible. That there is no limit to what I can do here. That really the only thing stopping me is my own fear and self-doubt. Let me not forget this.
Firenze, December 7
The days continue to be a jumble of fun wining and dining and walking around the city and crossing off things on my to do list. Tie up job stuff, call T mobile, figure out how to get birth control, import olive oil, send affidavit for green card. It’s a funny thing here, or anywhere new I imagine, getting things done. Each errand or thing that needs accomplishing requires a certain amount of learning. Weighing and pricing produce yourself at the market, understanding who exactly sells envelopes, waiting a full hour and a half for the wash to finish its cycle, figuring out how to order meat in kilos. There is fun in that and when the task is complete there is a sense of victory. Little victories everyday.
Florence is an easy city to move to as an ex-pat. There are so many resources here for us that I can’t believe I didn’t do this sooner. At this point I wouldn’t give up my small circle of friends for anything. It is there company that make the days pass with pleasure and keep my mind off the sometimes overwhelming things that lie ahead. At the same time though I sometimes stop and wonder, is this too easy? I know for sure my language isn’t progressing as fast as I’d like because I’m surrounded by English speakers and I’m pretty sure that there are cities that feel more authentically Italian. There is a difference between being an ex-pat in Florence and living in Italy. The Canadian woman I am renting this apartment from has lived her fifteen years and has never really been South. That’s crazy to me. Eventually I would like to get out of this city but for now it feels a bit like home and I like that.
Thanksgiving Day. I am feeling a little under the weather sitting in my kind of cold apartment drinking tea and listening to church bells. There is a chill to this city that just seeps deep into your bones. It a humid chill that is tough to shake.
These days have been a swirling confusion of day trips with Mom and Alan to the country, mornings spent looking for apartments and/or taking care of the business necessary for moving to a new city, trying to get caught up on school work and sleep, catching up with friend and colleagues, fretting about the plane ticket I need to change and worrying if I will ever find a job. And of course, missing the mezzogiorno. It could be the warmer temperatures that I’m missing, this is likely and it is also true that I am not speaking hardly any Italian up here, what with all the people I know being American, Canadian or Italians who speak fluent English. You could really move to this city and not speak the language and do ok. My most memorable day in Florence so far was in fact one that I spent talking, in Italian, and drinking wine with a man from Basilicata. Thinking of fields of olive trees and the stark white of the med. Walking around this afternoon, after lunch, the streets were full of people, the shops had people in them and life was open for business. It is the pace of the south that so makes me feel whole. I feel this incredible tug down there.
There are so many movable pieces to how this thing, this life, this career I want will fall into place. I cannot expect to at all to know how it will all land and I bump up against that, causing myself unnecessary anxiety. Let go. Day by day. BUT, when I read in the newspaper about a conference in Milano about heath and nutrition and the Mediterranean diet, I KNOW that this is what I am here to do. And when I look closer and realize that a few of the speakers are people I know and/or have had contact with along the path so far, I feel that I could be one of these speakers in not so much time.
There is something about this trip that feels different. And I’d like to think that it’s not because I’m thinking of staying, Something feels easier. Like there’s more room to find my way and lose my way in the process. The language for one is clicking without as much effort. Maybe I’m just trying less, trusting more.
I need this because everything is a bit confusing right now and it makes more sense than anything else.