Three weeks before I leave Italy for the first time in 9 months and I am sitting down to write for the first time since my arrival in Puglia. I don’t know if this is my destined time limit before urgently needing to break for the boarder and make my way across the pond, but I am feeling that it is indeed, time to go home. Home perhaps is not the right word, but time to go back…..to the things that I know, to the people that know me and to the things that make here feel a little different. A month ago I would not have said this but something changed right around the time of my birthday. Perhaps it’s because the departure to Boston is growing nearer and perhaps it is simply the ebb and flow of living in another country, but today I feel more American than I ever have and frankly, I’m ready to get my American self on.
Let’s take a step back and look though. I am a legal resident of a town on the southern Italian coast. I work for a company where I get to plan culinary events and collaborate with the incredible food professionals I’ve met along my travels thus far. I swim in the aqua blue sea, shop at the market and delight in delicious food everyday. I have a kitten. I can conversate in Italian and I am currently drinking a lovely bottle or rose that I bought for 7 euro. In effect, everything I set out to do is happening. For this I am proud, grateful, amazed and bewildered.
A week or so ago I was skyping with two of my closest friends. Together the three of us have helped each other verbalize and figure out was to achieve our goals–mostly professional but the line gets easily blurred when you’re chatting with close girl friends over a bottle of wine (or 3) while mapping out each others lives. It’s been a big year. A book deal, a business launch and a move overseas. “So what are your long-term goals?” Suzi asked. ……………………..Silence. I had no answer.
For two plus years I had done nothing but think about this. A gut wrenching state of transition unclear of what changes I wanted to make just hoping to push down some new road. But these last 5 months I have been focusing so much on here, taking it all in and doing my best job that for a period I lost track of my long-term goals. This is clearly not a bad thing as I can easily say this has been a very happy time in my life. And that letting go? Yeah, knowingly one of my biggest lessons in life. But the time has come now to process and evaluate, as I am wont to do, and map out a plan that some includes some thought about the more distant future….whether or not it actually goes that way. I stand by the claim that getting what you desire out of life is a delicate balance between making it happen and letting it happen…….learning when to push and when to ride. And these coming weeks surrounded by the people I love, I think will give me the energy and perspective I need to begin to push again.