Four and a half months ago I arrived in a small, medieval town located on the Roman Coast. I left a successful career, said goodbye to my beloved family and friends, and departed from my apartment in which I lived for over 13 years. On paper, it may sound whimsical and romantic, perhaps exciting or maybe even scary. I don’t have interest to define it. But I can assure you, as in each and every one of our personal histories, there is more that meets the eye. For that reason alone, there is no point in judging ourselves and each other harshly when we don’t truly know what’s happening on the “other side of the door” — whether it be the entrance into our own home or another’s.
At times, we could be our worst critics as opposed to our own personal cheerleaders. We strive for perfection while trying to make the right choices and decisions, outweighing all possibilities, and analyzing from each and every angle. It’s tiresome and could spiral into hysteria — leaving us with our feet fixed to the ground without movement. In turn, this becomes actually more painful and allows for fear to win.
Despite what decision we make for better or for worse — we can begin to take cues, trust our intuition, and follow the lead of the universe that responds and gives us what it is we need in the most individualized way. Developing coping skills allows us to realize that no matter what presents itself, we’ll be able to handle it. We may even surprise ourselves.
Life doesn’t come with a quick set-up manual or a road map of directions to follow. There are no guarantees. Our internal thoughts, feelings, and perceptions are forever shifting, growing, and changing whether we are self-aware of this or not. Needless to say, the external factors are constantly in flux; however, none of it is in our control. We can simply make the choice to control our reactions to each situation and person that comes into contact with us; either with ease or resistance. One never knows, but the best way to find out is to take sincere action with the least amount of self imposed pressure and expectation as possible.
As straightforward as this principle is, the path to come to this realization could have an innumerable amount of twists and turns. But when we arrive in our own time, the details of the journey somehow become forgotten so we can create space for “ the new” that awaits.
I have always been an old world girl with an affinity for domestic responsibility, caring for and nurturing family and friends, awaiting holidays to gather everyone around the table, and finding tranquility at home. However, for many years, I went against my grain and developed workaholic tendencies to achieve academic and career success in order to create financial stability. I became accustomed to twelve hour days outside of the house-driving back and forth over the bridge while sitting in countless hours of traffic, filling up a schedule with work and social obligations, and not allowing myself time to think and self nurture. Yet, beneath the surface was always the sense of feeling out of place in one of the most contemporary and fast paced cities; professionally and personally. Simply stated, I couldn’t keep up appearances anymore and saying that everything was ok, when truly it wasn’t.
At the age of 12, I traveled to Italy for the first time with my four grandparents and immediate family. From that moment, I felt a sense of belonging. It was a feeling in my heart that I found my rightful home in the land of my ancestors and since then, life has unfolded in the most interesting of ways — directing me here one puzzle piece at a time.
It is the final puzzle piece that has been my mirror — reflecting my strengths and weaknesses as an individual and has truly pulled me from across the ocean. It has giving me the courage to make important decisions and materialize what I desire in my heart. Having to trust in the process as this path unfolds with the greatest of difficulties and beauties. This journey has been well earned and appreciated with immense gratitude. It’s the profound feeling of being at home and appreciated as seen through the eyes of the person who sees me clearly for who and what I am — without judgment. It’s only now, that’s I’m learning to see this for myself, which has been the greatest risk of all. But the most important one thus far.