Thursday, 6 December 2012
What a year it has been!
Happy Anniversary! I have just passed the one-year mark of life in Italy, and I appreciate having all my friends and blog readers along for the ride.
I can't quite believe that I've made it past the one-year mark. Not because I didn't think I could survive emotionally, but for financial reasons. However, I'm scrapping together enough to live on - not luxuriously, but well enough - and so why not carry on? I think I'll stay put here in Rome and see what happens next.
Things have actually gone very well. I'm learning Italian, the work with the Italian news agency is always interesting, I've made a few new Italian friends, and been able to spend time with the friends I already had in Italy before I moved here.
I've also published my first novel, and am well into writing a second novel, so all in all, I feel as if I've accomplished a lot.
I'm still not as patient as one needs to be to live a foreign country. Things are done differently in Italy than in Canada and because I don't always understand why or how, I become frustrated too easily and waste a fair amount of time. Fortunately, since I'm under-employed I do have some time to spare.
Rome can be chaotic with too much traffic, too much noise, and too little space. Yet, the city's beauty can be staggering and it can be found everywhere. Fountains in small courtyards, orange trees and rose bushes along sidewalks, random street shrines. The other day, I walked past an elderly man who almost crashed his bicycle because he had let go of the handle bars to make the sign of the cross as he pedaled past a pretty shrine to the Madonna.
Most important of all, I am continuously being reminded of the necessity (for me, anyway) of accepting the fact that I don't know everything that is going to happen to me. This is hard, for I am such a control freak! But it's impossible to know the future, a lesson I'm re-learning all the time. To think I can control everything is a recipe for even more frustration and disaster.
I turn often to the brilliant professor of religious studies, Joesph Campbell, who basically said that in order to live a full life, you have to make your own way. You can't imitate someone else, or try to live a life that others expect of you, or chose a life that you think will be safe. If you try any of these, you will be miserable. However, what this also means is making your own way, and learning to accept uncertainty because you can't tread in someone else's footsteps.
Campbell said it much better:
“If you can see your path laid out in front of you step by step, you know it's not your path. Your own path you make with every step you take. That's why it's your path.”