I was over at Expats in Italy, looking at my profile to see if any edits were needed. My attention was immediately directed to the fact that I have been a member of that site for 8 years. EIGHT YEARS. Eight years since I started to dream of a life that would suit me in terms of my own preferences, desires and personal growth needs. Eight years since I cried on the trip home from Siena to Seattle, wishing I could have stayed. Eight years since I began, along with members of my family, the long process of obtaining Italian citizenship.
It is not very nice of time to fly this quickly. I will be 35 very soon and while this is a good period for me, I wonder how fast the next eight years will fly by?
I had tea the other day with a blogger friend (whose blog is no more), and this person reminded me to consider how far I’ve come, just how much I have done. It is true – I get so caught up in today that I don’t often pause to see what I have done to get here. I look back and I am astonished.
I think back to 2007 when I finally had just enough translation work coming in to justify quitting my temp job – and I did. I had my ups and downs and learned a lot about the industry on the way, also thanks to some generous and more experienced colleagues, and I have arrived at a point where I have good regular clients and a steady monthly workflow. This is my work.
I do this work in a beautiful European city with good public transportation, lots of tango, plenty of restaurants to discover and an international community. I have wanted to live on this continent since I was very young, and I am content to look around me and see that I do, and that I am doing okay.
About tango. I started in early 2003. If you had told me then that within the next nine years I would live in Buenos Aires and dance with the milongueros, perform twice – no, three times – at my favorite milonga, Cachirulo, DJ at milongas throughout Italy with confirmed plans to tour other European countries, and meet plenty of interesting people along the way, I don’t know if I would have believed you.
My friend was right: I really have come far and done a lot. And with that, I will pour a glass of wine and leave you with a song that I have posted on this blog in the past, in sadder days. Now I see that the message in this song is just right for me. It’s a good attitude to have. Happy Sunday evening.
So we’ve moved to Bologna.
It’s not that drastic of a move; in fact, it’s less than an hour from Faenza.
I look forward to exploring this city in depth, with its arcaded sidewalks, the floors of which make you feel like you are in someone’s sitting room – adding, somehow, to the intellectual vibe of the city.
My hope is that I find the inspiration to write more often in this blog!
Been a while, huh.
Well, while I think of something to write, I’ll share a picture I took in the hills of the region where I live, Emilia-Romagna (in this case I’d like to underline Romagna). It looks just like a postcard of the absolutely gorgeous neighboring region, Tuscany, doesn’t it? I adore Tuscany with all my heart, but hey – we have our beautiful hills too, not to mention great wine and olive oil. Emilia-Romagna is also a cherry, peach and kiwifruit growing region.
This was an interesting time in my life.
That particular visit set off a lot of processes for me.
Kind of funny how at the time, I thought I would die if I couldn’t move to Italy a.s.a.p. Once I stopped trying to control a situation that was going to develop at a pace of its own whether I liked it or not, and focused on making a life for myself wherever I was, I wound up in Italy! Not necessarily by magic (though it is possible), nor by insistence. By patiently accepting my situation and focusing on the urgencies of my every day life, and checking off goals as they were slowly achieved.
Do I regret having tried to rush through it prematurely 6 years ago? After all, it was like I was trying to force my life to be exactly like this dream I had. And we all know that you can’t force anything. That said, while I do think that if I had taken a chill pill, things would have run a lot more smoothly, I also know I would not have had a lot of the cool experiences I did, and maybe I would have never found myself living in Buenos Aires for that short time.
In the end, I am here and I have certainly learned a lot.
Now that the sun is back and the snow is gone, I am in a good mood! Lots of good produce is in season, I can wear heels when I go out, I can walk around outside without a jacket or a scarf, sitting outside for an aperitivo is fun again, and Italy is just prettier in the sun. I even got out on my bike the other day. As you can see, Mako the cat is enjoying the season of spring as well, from his favorite spot on the windowsill.