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, April 22, 2010

Letting Go

If you know me or if you’ve read my blog profile you understand that I’ve had quite a lot going on over the last 5 years. Some things fun, many things not so fun.

I have often wondered why these things happened to me. What did I do, or who did I piss off to make this bad karma come my way? After a while, difficult events became so commonplace in my life that bad news didn’t upset me anymore. So in January of 2009 when I was called back into my doctor’s office (10 days after we buried my former husband) and was told I had a suspicious lump in my breast that needed to be investigated more thoroughly, I actually laughed out loud. I remember thinking to myself, “Are you kidding me? What else could possibly be thrown my way?”

Eventually, I noticed I found an unexplainable satisfaction in telling my friends yet another story about something crazy that happened to me. I had this weird need to talk about my sad story even with people I didn't know very well. I think most people would keep these things to themselves. After all, some of my stories are kinda humiliating. Why would anyone want to tell anyone, especially relative strangers about it?

I recognize of course that part of why I talk so much about things others would not is because this is how I process things. Others in my family are more cerebral. They think their way through things and don’t take action or even talk about it before their thought process is complete. I’ve tried to be more like this; to think more and talk less, but I can’t do it. It’s just not the way I’m made. I’ve got to talk things out or I literally feel like I’ll explode!

I’m also positive a large part of me needed validation from those around me. I needed to hear that I did not deserve these bad times; that I was a good person, that I deserved better.

The talking helped. The validation helped. But what also happened was I became defined by these bad events. I wrapped them around me like a security blanket and I found a strange kind of comfort in the, "Don't you feel sorry for me?" role.

The problem is when you hold on to pain, or resentment, or self pity it’s hard for the events that caused these emotions to become part of your past. It's hard to move forward.

But taking this time for myself; to think, to write, and to just “be” me has brought me to a place where I am ready to move on. I am truly ready to forgive. I am ready to throw away the security blanket and let go of my precious pain.

Yeah, some tough stuff has happened to me over the last few years, but that is not who I am. That is not how I want to be defined. I want to be defined by the woman I have blossomed into; confident, happy, goofy, and content.

Friday, April 9, 2010

The Sounds of Italy

I am sitting by my open window sending emails to friends and absorbing the sounds floating into my new home. The sun is shining. A church bell is chiming in the background. The smell of fresh flowers and an occasional cigarette from my neighbor's window is filling my nose. Italian is being spoken by the construction workers in the courtyard below.

When I can simply listen to Italian, without the pressure of having to understand what is being said, I am reminded of the absolute beauty of this language. I hear the music of its cadence, and I get lost in its rhythm.

Of all the major Romance languages, Italian retains the closest resemblance to Latin, which was spoken by the Romans and forced upon Italians during Rome’s reign of power. Until the 19th century Italy had no national language, but was filled with local dialects. It was common that Italians from the North could not communicate with Italians from the South (or any other region) because the languages were completely different.

Italy’s unification in 1861 produced profound transformations including mandatory schooling which caused an increase in literacy and resulted in the adoption of the national language, based on Tuscany’s dialect, with less native dialects. As a result, the modern and beautiful language of Italian was born.

Okay, the construction workers have started to speak again. The echo of their words are rising up through the courtyard of my building. The church bells are once again chiming; time for me to get lost in the sounds of Italy.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Embracing Home

For months I felt off kilter here; definitely not like myself. I didn’t understand why I wasn’t happier. This was my reward for my last 4.5 years of hell. I was supposed to be living my dream, but there was an underlying uneasiness; an underlying sadness that I could not shake. Insecurities I had hoped were gone forever came back to me. I felt ugly. I felt out of place. And maybe hardest of all for me was I felt invisible. “Ugh,” I thought to myself more times than I'd like to admit, “After all I did to get here, I made the wrong decision! I gave up too much, and the “prize” wasn’t worth it.”

I arrived in Rome on October 11th. By December 5th I wanted to come home. I almost did come home for good, but my friend Nat convinced me not too. She didn’t say, “Don't come home,” she just asked a lot of good questions about motivations, frustrations, and personal goals. Nat understood where I was coming from because she moved from her home country to live and work a foreign country and had to essentially start her life from scratch. She understood where I was in my head. Truly, if it were not for her, I don't know where I would be living at this moment.

By early-March I was still not feeling like me, and then my friend Sherrie came to visit. She was just what I needed; a slice of home, a kick in the ass, and a reminder of whom I really was. The day she left something inside me switched back on, and I felt empowered. I realized that my destiny was not to live in Italy. I stopped fighting the desire to go back home and set a date to return in August of 2010. I felt back on solid ground again. I felt like a weight had been lifted from my shoulders AND my heart.

This decision allowed me to relax and enjoy the ride much more than I had been. I’m smiling more. I’m laughing more. I’m flirting more. I’m dating more. I’m speaking more Italian, and I’m forgiving myself more for not being better at speaking Italian. Life is good, but it’s funny where life takes you. The day I decided to move back home is the day I felt the most comfortable in Italy. I’ll tell you what though, learning that your real life is better than your dream is a fantastic lesson to learn and a lesson that, I believe, was worth moving to Italy for!