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!