I will fake it until I make it!

All about the escapades and thoughts of a girl who thinks WAY too much for her own good!

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Growing Pains

I have been down for days. It started off with a general bad mood that moved into a terrible head ache and now deep sadness. Yesterday I cried harder than I think I have since my former husband died. And as I write now, I have tears in my eyes. I am embarrassed to admit this. I mean, I live in Italy. I only work part time. I am “living the dream!” What’s there to be sad about?

I keep telling myself that I am just homesick; that the “honeymoon” phase of being in Italy is over; that I am settling into my life here and this is to be expected. I know all of this is all true. I know this is normal. I know this feeling will go away. I know I am growing from this experience. I know all of this. But, the fact remains; I am filled with sadness right now. And, although I am surrounded by wonderful new friends again, I feel completely alone.

This is the first time in 19 years I have had time to slow everything down and think. When I think about that statement I have to admit it’s in no way an exaggeration. Since I left for college I have filled my life with activity that has left almost no time for real introspection. Yes, of course I have taken time off over the years and had those epiphany moments (that’s how I got here!). But I have been in Italy for nearly four months. Four months of introspection while navigating a new culture is quite different from a week at the nearest beach.

The truth is I am afraid. Like most people I hate the unknown. I hate not knowing what’s next for me. What will my life look like after Italy? Will there be an “after Italy?” Will I ever meet this person that everyone thinks I “deserve?” Will I ever stop caring about meeting that person? Will I ever truly be okay with “just me?”

All of my friends (old and new) have been great. The pressure of finding a man or meeting “the one” is off. Well, the pressure is off from everyone else. I have realized at this point, the only one trying to force the guy thing is me! It’s not like I talk about it or am actively pursuing it. But in the back of my mind I find my thoughts moving toward finding a man way more than I realized or than I want. At times this has weakened my resolve and I have almost gone down paths I am sure I would deeply regret.

This frustrates the hell out of me! Why do I care so much? Is it really so horrible to be alone? Of course not! I know this in my heart, but as a reforming control freak I’m finding it hard to stop engineering every part of my life.

Right now my unknowns are pulling me back to the life that I know; work, career, and professional fulfillment. These are all honorable things. There is absolutely nothing wrong with having a successful professional career. I could move back to Washington, DC tomorrow, resume my old life and make a legitimate point about why it was the right time to do so. I could do that and most likely no one would blame me or look at me like I failed. Well, that is, no one but me. The truth is I believe I am destined for a different path in life. The fact is I have no idea what that path is and it scares the hell out of me.

Don't worry. I’m staying here. I’m riding this out to the end. But my god this is fucking hard sometimes.


  1. Val --
    This is a courageous and honest post. I'm feeling some of the same things; my relationship ended in 10/09. Thanks for giving voice to our fears of the uncharted course, and the sometimes difficult path of being a highly social bonder embracing a joyful existence as a single. Sometimes it's effortless, sometimes an act of will. There oughta be an award for that... :-)

  2. I cant tell you Val how often Ifeel like this!! Im going thru all kinds of crap ith men and career and also turning 40 and still being single. I just want you to know if you have to feel like this, Why not be in Italy? Im feeling like that in dumb old Alexandria!!! ;-)) chin up honey, it will get better i PROMISE.

    sherrie xoxo

  3. With reiteration and a heartfelt response...I LOVE YOU! Stop being so hard on yourself. I understand what you're saying, and of course you are the only one that is going to put the most pressure on yourself. We are so privileged to know you. Our smart, competent, brave, and yes...human...friend. You're right. No matter if the path that you end up taking is "normal" (coming back wouldn't be settling) it will still be different. You are the one that makes the difference.

    XOXO from afar,

  4. Thank you for sharing your experience with all of us. I know I will hear amazing things from you soon. That's what happens with amazing people. You can't keep them down :)


  5. Way to be honest with your feelings
    whether you are alone or in a relationship you have to be true to yourself !