It’s been nine weeks since I arrived in Italy. There isn’t a day that goes by when I don’t say to myself, “I can’t believe I’m here.” Nine weeks ago I was living in the United States surrounded by all the things I’ve been familiar with for the last 25 years. Now I am surrounded by the unfamiliar.
The best way to describe what I’ve been going through is to imagine you are tailor. You love being a tailor and are good at it. Some one calls and asks if would consider opening a clothing store using designs you’ve created. You’re excited. You’ll have an opportunity to showcase your talents and do what you love on a grander scale. The person tells you the store will open in Italy. Even better, right? But there’s a catch. You’ll need to leave your family behind and live alone in Italy for three months. For the first three months you will not be doing sewing or design creation. Instead you’ll be locating a place for your new store, working with legal issues, purchasing equipment, hiring staff…you get the idea. Your excitement becomes clouded with reality.
I think one the reasons most people don’t pursue dreams is because of the adjustment period. Adjusting from the known to the unknown is scary, unsettling and at times painful. I’ve shed many tears since my arrival. The circumstances I’ve had to deal with have been far from ordinary. Yesterday I was expected for an appointment to visit a local school. Feeling confident, I decided to meet my staff at the location instead of driving with her. Mind you I’ve only been driving in Italy for a week. I pulled out my GPS and headed on my way to the location. As I pulled up to the destination I realized something was wrong. There wasn’t a school in sight. I called for directions, but it didn’t help. I drove around searching desperately for the school to no avail. Finally I called to say I wouldn’t make the appointment. I drove back home feeling defeated.
Many times I’ve felt sure of a situation only to have it not work out. This happens to everyone, but when you are out of your element it happens a lot more. If I had gotten lost at home I would have called my husband, but here I had to figure it out on my own. I didn’t realize how dependent I had become on the support of my family and friends until I was no longer with them.
Although the struggles have been real it doesn’t mean I would change the decision to move here. Each day when I overcome a difficult situation I become more confident. When I try something new or different I become braver. Every time I accomplish a task I didn’t think I could do, I realize I’m much more capable than I thought. It’s a good thing. It’s a crazy, amazing, ridiculous, and wonderful adventure. I’m proving I’m adjustable to a new life. I’m proving working for a dream can be hard, but living a dream can be worth it.