I've dreamt for many years on how I wanted to live and experience Italy as a local. I perserved through all the chaos that is Italy and I made my dream come true. I worked my bum off to make a life here and to survive on my own two feet. I traveled far and suffered a lot with money, friends and jobs. I now want to experience something new... returning home.
It has been four years in July, that I've lived in a country, in a city that many people dream of living in. The thought of being amongst the Renaissance, the Medici, Michelangelo, Dante and many more, was something a person from a small town in the US strived to achieve since first stepping onto its cobblestones 11 years ago. Although my experiences have shaped me and helped me to grow as a person, I've lost the love of Italy along the way. The part of me that screamed, "You must at least try to make a life here" "You have nothing to lose, everything to gain" "Immerse yourself in the language". All of which I have accomplished, have helped me overcome and become the person I am today.
Being an English teacher in Florence was always a means to an end, I always told myself. I strived to become a BodyFlow instructor, which I did accomplish in 2010 but found it not fulfilling enough at least here in Florence. My other goal was to write about my love, Florence. Which is what I did for 2 years with both NileGuide and 10Best, both great learning experiences. But after you've lived in a city that was once a fairy tale waiting to come true, you become sucked into the daily activities of that city/country and see its flaws. These flaws then turn you away from what you've always thought of being a tunnel of possibility and at any second you could exit from that tunnel and succeed to your highest potential. Alas, you realized your highest potential isn't going to transpire here. My students have helped opened my eyes to what Italy stands for though. I will not list the things I believe have deterred me from living here since these are my opinions and I know there are many people out there that still have the same dream I once did. I am not one to rain on someone's parade. Go for your dreams and don't let what I am writing discourage you from doing what your heart says.
After much consideration and willingness to give into my true feelings of how and where I want to live my life, I have decided to return back to where it all started. What I have realized though, my passion has always been teaching. Not necessarily English, but Yoga, Tai Chi, Pilates. Something that I practice in my room every day and can't wait to be in front of a class again.
More news has come to pass when on our 2 year anniversary, my love Stefano, asked me, ever so softly,
Now, being a girl of a certain age, I truly never thought the day would come that the love of my life would be in front me on our 2 year anniversary asking me to marry him. I, at a certain point, gave up on the fact of ever tying the knot. But after meeting him and spending every second of every day with him these past two years, I thought to myself 'this man is IT, I can't let him go'."Mi vuoi sposare?" (Will you marry me?)
So now, spending 2 vacations with my family, he is convinced that he wants to skip town and head to suburban Illinois with me. Starting a life together where we will struggle, overcome and succeed in what we are striving to do, our passions in life.
After 200 days of not writing, I think this is a good post to end on, no? Not sure how much longer I am going to keep this up since now my dreams have come true with Italy. I've done everything I set out to do these past 11 years. Perhaps I need to change the name of this blog now.....we will see.
a presto amici!