Friday, November 5, 2010

Like a Forever Stamp...

I wish suitcases were expandable. I wish that inside the pockets of each pair of pants that I have packed I could shrink a friend s mall enough to fit within. I wish that when I pulled out my shoes on the other side of the Atlantic that there’d be a little Jack in the shoe popping out, a friend who would say “Surprise, bet you didn’t know I could sulk up like a slinky.”

But I know that in this year, this decade, possibly this century, and most definitely this lifetime, that will not ever be possible. This is something I have to do on my own—this is something I want to do on my own.

In just a few hours, I will arrive at JFK, swipe my Passport through the scanner, drop my luggage onto the conveyor belt, brace myself for body scanners, sit in a terminal alone, and board a plane across the Atlantic. I will say goodbye to large sized coffees, most of my wardrobe, and all the best of friends. Ten hours later, I will walk off a plane into a land where the exit signs read “Uschita” and where Dunkin Donuts are replaced with local hole-in-the-wall shops. I will say hello to cappuccino con chocolate, beautiful romance languages, a months worth of wrinkled clothes, and a world filled with wonderful people that have stories to share. I will be home…I will be in Italy.

I use the word home to describe a place that I once lived for three months, a place that welcomed me with open arms, a place that granted me safety and security, a place that provided me with happiness.

Like a forever stamp placed carefully on the corner of a fresh letter to be mailed, the value of my love for Italy never seems to change. I have not gone a day since leaving Italy without thinking of the kindness of strangers, without dreaming of the cobblestone roads, without imagining the scent of the steam radiating from the wood burning ovens. I have not gone a day without missing Italy. I have not gone a day without missing home.

Returning to Italy means seeing old friends and making new ones. It means rediscovering nooks and crannies placed all over the wonderful cities that I once conquered. Most of all, it means returning to my significant other…that’s right…Italy and I are in a serious relationship, and while I have had my serious love affair with New York City, I think that Italy will forgive me. No—I know that Italy will forgive me. Despite my heart and mind wreaking of city subways and alleyways, Italy will embrace me the instant that I return, it will grasp me so hard that I will find it so very difficult to release myself from it’s pull 6, 7, 8 months down the line.

And while I’ll still carry a long distance relationship with New York City, I know that Italy will completely have my heart. I won’t look back—I’ll never look back.

I’ve talked of going back to Italy since December of 2008—when I first returned to the states—when I first forgot how to say “Thank You” and “Hello” and instead belted out “GRAZIE…” and “CIAO!”

And while this week has offered me some difficult challenges to overcome in the days leading up to my travels…I know that they were not meant to deter me. Rather, I believe they may have occurred in order to keep me busy—to keep my mind from questioning the next eight months of my life, to keep me from even thinking about cold feet.

But I almost broke down twice…I almost lost all hope for today coming and myself being prepared. But I am ready—I am ready….I am SOO ready. I’ll see you on the other side folks. I can’t fit you in my pockets…But won’t you join me?

I’ll take a cappuccino… how about you?

1 comment:

  1. Awww Libs: Once your weary plane travel stops and you once again experience Italy in everything your mind takes in... there will be no doubt, I'm sure, that you have made the right choice... Enjoy your new home, have a cappuccino for me (or two) and don't hold back.. I look forward to more blogs....I'll await being in Italy through your blogs - so keep up!!