August 3, 2010

The Grass is always greener




So I am in Atlanta, after one year of living abroad, and I am having a little bit of reverse culture shock. I am so happy to be home, with my family right now since the last few months in Florence have been less than desirable. I think I mentioned in a previous blog how I have been having problems with chronic headaches, many  turning into migraines. Often I am in so much pain, I cannot do much of anything and feel terrible about all the "wasted time" that has made its way into my life while being in Florence. Now that I am back in the US for a few weeks, I am praying the doctors can manage the challenges, so I can return to Florence with a new beginning. 

But before coming home, I started to think about all things from the South that I missed. I couldn't believe I was actually saying how much I missed Atlanta. I knew I missed my family & friends, that is a given, but I am speaking more about tangible things like home cooking, (BBQ sauce!!) southern accents, clean toilets, appliances that work, air conditioning, my church and all the green spaces that make up this city. When Mom picked me up at the airport, it was the weirdest feeling, almost like I was having a dream (which could of been the pain medicine & jet lag setting in as well!). The freeways and cars were oversized, people were driving so fast, and the city looked gigantic to me. In Florence, all the buildings are about 4-5 stories high, other than a few famous towers & the beautiful Duomo. So seeing skycrapers again was strange, but it felt good to see something I remember seeing everyday, and now I missed it. 

We made our way back to the neighborhood, with all the beautiful southern homes, tall green trees and we pulled into the house I grew up in. Coming into my house after a year of being away was awesome. It still smelled the same, a mixture of lavender & coffee, and some smell other scent I cannot place, it just smelled like "home".  I was so excited to be here, and with my parents again, the feeling was overwhelming. I think I have relaxed more in the days I've been here in Atlanta, than I have in the last ten years! Sleeping in big cozy beds, snuggling with my cat Eme and eating hearty food has been delightful. This last weekend I got to see my beautiful grandmother Kiki, my brother Jeff, Kimber and my two precious nephews. Wow, how much a year can change little boys, they are all grown up and talk like it too! 

My friend told me this the other day, a quote from Confucius : "Wherever you go, you are there". I think it resonates how I am feeling right now in a simple way.

I am glad to be back in the South, until I make my way back to Florence with a rejuvenated heart.....(and hopefully head!!) 

 "Coming Home"

1 comment:

Val T said...

Oh Christine. I love this post and I completely know how you feel. It is so good to be "home" but yet, Italy felt like home too. Maybe the key is to not be away so long. I'm not sure, but I know this. You are a special friend and I am so happy I met you!

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