Thursday, December 30, 2010

Time for Some New Shoes

“Don’t look fate can only find you

You can’t choose for something to surprise you

Set sail without a destination

Just see where the wind will take you”

--Lee DeWyze

No one said that the amount of time you spend in a place is what truly makes it worth your while. No one said that you had to live somewhere for three months, six months, or a year to really understand it, to really grasp it, to really endure it. All you really need is a mind and a heart for adventure. In the last week, after being met with several obstacles, I have made a decision on the next month of my Italian excursion…

….Drum roll….

…I have made a decision on what will be my FINAL month of my Italian excursion…

Yep that’s right—it’s time for a new pair of shoes—or in other words—another change. Instead of returning home in April, like my flight home was booked for, I will be returning home the first week of February, but not before going north, east, and south in Italy, not before getting a taste of every cappuccino on the compass, not before seeing Italy.

A year ago, I had saved up a piggy bank of money to return to Europe over the summer for a backpack trip that clearly never happened. Part of the reason it never happened was because I had never made the leap—taken the chance—and booked the flight. I was scared. Then, when I finally went to book the flight, a volcano erupted, (literally in Iceland), and my plans shifted again. I never jumped.

Then I did. And now here I am struggling to find a job in Italy, but is that what I ever truly wanted to do anyway?


I wanted to explore. I wanted to find new alleyways. I wanted to find cobblestone I had never walked on before. I wanted to go on an adventure.

Did I want to spend time working and worrying about money?


Did I think I’d cut my trip short.

Absolutely not.

Was I worrying about all the wrong things when I was debating cutting the trip short by three months?!


I was worried about what other people would think of my decision to come home. Like I was giving up or that I was running away. Like I had failed. It took a certain someone reminding me that people at home wouldn’t be disappointed in me—that I wouldn’t be failing—that I would be returning to people who loved and cared about me…that they wouldn’t suddenly hate me for making a choice to come home to them. And now I know where I want to be, and what I want to do and I think it took coming back here to realize it. I do want to continue traveling, and I want to continue writing, and I want to continue producing, and I want to get started on my company…my production company…My dream.

And under the circumstances that finances will eventually run short, that I will soon be an illegal “alien” (or a new-wave Italian) here in Italy, and that I will not have had the opportunity to see outside of the box I have squeezed myself into, I think it only seems right. They say that distance is what you make it. I think that goes for time too. You can live in a place for your whole life and never SEE it. There are people here who have been here their whole lives and who have never seen the Colosseum. There are people in New York City, who have lived there their whole life and have never made it north of 125th street because “It’s scary.” This is not the route I want to take. I don’t want to be scared. This is not the way I ever want to spend my life…I want to see everything. I want to take the route where I buy a train ticket and spend one month of my life seeing everything I never knew.

A friend asked me where I was looking to live in Rome, a few weeks ago, and I told her “Prati.”

“Didn’t you live there already?”

“Yah, but I loved it.”

“But you need to look at new places…you need to SEE new things.”

“Naw…I love Prati…”

And I love Rome—but my friend is right. Prati is not the place for me to return to, and I am starting to think settling down here isn’t for me either. I really am meant to run all the miles in my shoes at marathon runner pace—I really am meant to move around a bit. As much as change scares me—it’s the only thing I truly know.

Like I mentioned, I was worried that if I came home sooner than planned—that I had failed. But that’s not true. If I come home sooner than planned, and before then, I find a new world of exploration—a new world of cobblestone—a new world of cappuccino--a new world—then I will probably have exceeded my expectation of this trip—and I will probably be more content with the outcome. I will be happy to board a plane home with memories of fulfilling one of my main goals in coming back here: Discovery.

And discovery can take on so many meanings. It can be in the way that you travel to new places. Or it can be in the way that you discover new things about yourself. I like to think I got a taste of both—I am going home seeing my cappuccino cup (well over 150 cappuccino cups) as half full, not half empty.

Watch out New York City…I am coming home.


  1. Beautiful and potently expressed. I think that you have a wonderful grasp on the beauty and importance of a life well lived and I believe that it is these anxieties that contribute to wonderful lessons such as this one. The quote at the beginning is incredibly beautiful, and like the singer himself (not super well known on a national level) one must find his/her own inspiration, and take the steps to solidifying and understanding it constantly! I once heard a quote that people who do impoortant things fail more than people who don't. You've already done amazing things, and though you really didn't fail, you have that much more of a grasp of what your destiny is and what you want out of this crazy, thrilling, possibility-filled world.
    Big hugs from America and can't wait to see you soon!

  2. Yaaay!! You'll be back in time for the housewarming party!! This was adorably sweet by the way.

  3. This is amazing!! I'm so excited for you :) Wonderful post!

  4. Coming "home" is not failing my dear. Coming home is simply coming home... that is it. You will only ever have one place you can call your home town. It has a unique feeling about it and it holds a special place in your heart. It can never be considered a failure to return home... and don't ever let someone tell you different. So, come home and chase down your dream. Who knows, you might have been searching for it in a place too far away. And when you do get home, please stop in to see me at Spring Garden.
    Mr. S

  5. RJ--Thanks for the lovely words You know how much I am looking forward to your adventure.

    Grady--YES I'll be there!

    Emily--Thank you so much

    Mr. S-- No stop Spring Garden Elementary : ) Thanks for the comment and reminding me that the choice to come home is totally okay. I have no regrets yet !