June 11, 2011

Finding Balance

Ciao Yall, well the last month has been another whirlwind of activities. I realize now that my life living in Italy is just that, filled with endless adventures and new experiences of living abroad. I need to make a promise to myself to write more, but it has been difficult lately since I have had so much going on. I am still on the never ending quest for "balance" in my life living in Florence. How do you fit into one day work, yoga, friends, boyfriend, activities, moving apartments, and most importantly : eating. I am exhausted, however, its a good feeling to be active and have rich experiences in life. I do feel very lucky to have the best family who supports me living here, boyfriend who loves me for exactly who I am, a steady job and some of the most extraordinary friends, many I have met here in Florence.

All the girls for Valerie's Going away dinner

One of my dearest friends who lived here last year came back to visit for month, so naturally there was much to do around & about. Valerie has an amazing way of bringing all of us girls together, so she had us on a pretty full itinerary for the month. I was one of the lucky ones that got to steal her away to the Italian Riveria for a few days. We relaxed at the beach, ate incredible seafood, had long talks and to put it simply...breathed. Visiting the Italian coast still remains one of my favorite things here. There is a deep calmness by being close to the sea. I have added this to my bucket list that one day I want to live near the water, preferably in the Ligurian area of Italy.

Valerie & I in Portofino
Oh, Portofino!

A few days later, I was headed to Terracina with Antonio to visit his family. I have to admit that being with him has made my experience here so much different. I have always felt good living in Italy, even through all the differences and challenges that I have been faced with. I have mentioned before and in previous blogs, my friendships are like my family and my rock. I love being able to be in Florence one morning, the coast that afternoon and Rome in the evening. This is one of the biggest advantages of living in a small country. The diversity of the landscapes, language dialects, foods, wines.

With that being said, really getting inside the culture because of my relationship with Antonio has help give me perspective on why certain things are the way they are. I find frustration that to get some things accomplished you go around & around in circles instead of just going from Step 1 to Step 2. I do not know if I will ever find the balance with this. I like setting goals and achieving them, quickly. I do not like how women are perceived and treated here, it is so old fashioned that many of the men think that the woman should be at home cooking & cleaning. I thank God everyday that I am with an Italian man who loves that I am independent, I like to work and be successful, but I also do not mind doing laundry. Again..... balance. It is important that he does not expect me to be the stereotype of what "a woman's role" should be. I like that he sees beyond living in Italy, many people never leave their hometowns, which is perfectly fine if they are happy, but I need to be with someone who sees more. The future has endless possibilities!

Circeo National Park, Terracina

When we went to his hometown for a mini-vacation it was so great to spend time with his grandmother, who is a very simple, sweet woman with a soft spot for Antonio. He went to the local port to buy 30 euro worth of seafood that fed 5 people that night. Her house was plain, with Madonna & child over each bed, and a few photos of her children and late husband Antonio. Like most mothers, she remains the foundation of the family there in Terracina. She loves unconditionally and welcomed me into her home. I felt honored that Antonio wanted me to spend time with her because I know how important this woman is for him. She calls him every Sunday night to say hello from her phone shown below, and she asked me politely to love & treat him as good as she does. If that does not pull at heart strings, I don't know what does.

Nonna Gina

Can you see Antonio's name? 

 Finding balance can be difficult. But I do feel like I am getting closer to finding the reason why I moved here to begin with. I do recognize that being in love with an Italian has contributed greatly to this overall understanding. My friendships here have forced me to learn things that I never thought were possible. This has helped me open my heart up more to things that are different. I am learning patience. I value good food, I cherish my friends. I do not take one day for granted anymore. 

La vita è bella.

Beautiful street in Centro Storico, Terracina


Anonymous said...

I really enjoy your blog, I love Italy and your honest reflections are great.

Deborah Gregory said...

I am so happy for you dear Cousin... I think that you have finally found your place in this world....
Much Love,

Christy said...

Thanks Deborah! Miss you & see your new addition soon! Love ya, XO

Murissa Maurice said...

Such an intimate and inspiring post!
Congratulations on all you have learned and all the friendships you have created in Italy. It is a dream that so many of us have - to live in Italy or any foreign country and be able to make a happy life there.
Of course there may be cultural set backs but these are only present in your own life if you let them be.

Lovely post!

The Wanderfull Traveler

Val said...

Thank you for writing this. Much love Christine!

Pieni Lintu said...

Lovely photos! :)

Sue said...

This was a great read. Sounds like you are having some wonderful experiences there.


Kelly Lund and Kids said...

Oh my gorgeous pictures!! I love reading about your adventures in Italy :) Happy Tuesday!!

leigh said...

I just love your life there in Italy and all of the wonderful things that you are learning about yourself.

You are growing and it's amazing to get to check in with you and watch you transform.

Lucy said...

Wow! I just stumbled upon your blog and I'm glad I did! You write so well. I'm so glad, and very jealous, youre enjoying your time in Italy!

Light Trigger said...

lovely post and nice photos!

via 52 Weeks of Happiness
Light Trigger: OUR ENTRY

Keogh of 2 said...

I love your blog it gives me a little taste of how living in Italy might be... I would love to move there as well, but have two kids--- Would I be totally crazy?

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