Now that you know my age and that I am inching towards 30, let’s review the year, shall we? Contrary to last year, now I sleep in a real bed! Before moving to Italy, I was more or less illegally living in my sister’s apartment– on her floor, more specifically. I didn’t have a bed least of all a bedroom, but I did have a place to sleep and a car to share so #gratitude.
Earlier that year I was living with my parents #millenialpostgradprobs and working 3 jobs to save as much money as possible to ____. The thought was that I was going to do the “responsible” thing and go to grad school. In the lexicon of 2001, LOL! I had taken the GRE, I had applied, and been accepted. A few months into that plan and another exhausting Ohio winter under my belt and I knew I wasn’t doing that. So I decided what I always dreamed of deciding–to go back to Italy–in any way possible. Oh and somewhere in between, I was convinced I was going to move to China to teach English, had a job lined up and a Chinese work visa application underway. Forgot about that detail.
Fast forward to the end of a sweaty-ass summer and I was starting over again in Ohio after moving back from my au pair experience in Italy. I had spent (almost) all of my slave-saved money travelling (what else is new) and I had to get back to a more reasonable economic status for my age. With minimal cash, no car, no apartment and no job I was a walking regular disaster millennial–all while faithfully paying my monthly student loan bills #you’rewelcomegovernment.
I spent the next million months working in what can only be described as a ritzy bakery in Columbus, Ohio. We were overworked and well-compensated for it and as a bonus, I met some genuine co-workers that were also searching for direction in their lives. Sidenote-now that I have a fitbit, I am acutely aware of how many millions of steps I probably took per day working that job. I had ditched my grad school plans and de-railed my life yet again. What was I going to do? Where was I going to live? Hopefully not on my sister’s floor forever.
A few quick months later, I moved to Florence, Italy to marry my Italian. By no means does that mean I have it all “figured out”. I’m far from my family at Christmastime, which always sucks. In compensation, I do have my new Italian family, including an Italian mother-in-law that sneaks money into my coat pockets against her son’s will (remember Angela? Yeah she took pictures of half of our wedding with her phone case covering the camera lens). Italy is becoming my permanent home and it always seems to hit me when I’m riding on the back of Ivan’s scooter thinking, this is my real life and also, I might die right now ITALIANS DRIVE LIKE MANIACS!
Going into 2017, I’m still learning how to properly bidet (apparently there’s a forwards and backwards bidet routine?!) I’m trying to teach my husband how to correctly pronounce the “th” sound in English so that he doesn’t end up sounding Jamaican- way harder than it sounds.
I’m more aware now than I ever was that I have no idea what I’m “doing” with my life. I can say, however, that I have gained a real skill in the ability to start over. So while I continue to work on “figuring that out” (how does one do that exactly) –in the meantime I’m writing and running and teaching myself how to make sourdough bread. Anyone have a good podcast recommendation? Ok, just checking…
I don’t have a “real job” right now, but at least going into 2017, I sleep in a real bed. Progress.