I’ve purchased my airline tickets for the holidays. Arrive in Rome, hop a bus to the family compound (I know, that sounds mafioso!) in Ascoli Piceno for about seven or eight days, then up to Turin for a few days with my cousin. From there it’s a five hour train ride to Paris where I will ring in the New Year. Just can’t freakin’ wait!
This time around I am more motivated to look for work in Ascoli. I’ve got a couple of contacts to help me out. I really am going by the seat of my pants. There’s so much to consider–health insurance, living quarters, transportation, taxes, passport, moving, liquidation, storage here in Oregon. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg.
Yet, as I consider it, I’m warming more to the idea of a move to Italy. I know there would be a learning curve. I know there would be times when I would be cursing under my breath the Italian lifestyle of “La dolce vita”, when I’m trying to get things done. But you know, maybe that would be good for me. Many times I think I’m wound a little too tightly (NO comment from the peanut gallery) and that I need a break from the rapid-fire pace of American life.
I mean, after all, that’s one of the reasons I’m drawn to Italy. I’m really sick of the American attitude of relentless acquisition and success at all costs–family, relationships, spiritual health, emotional health, mental health, physical health. I want to savor life and I can’t do that at Target. I can’t do that sitting in traffic on Interstate 5. I can’t do that with a family that is scattered and doesn’t really exist anymore except in my distant memory.
I run the very real risk of elevating Italy and my family to unsustainable levels. If I move there, I will see them for who they really are–fallible people with problems, issues and idiosyncrasies that are hidden from me during pristine, temporary vacations. And they will see me for the weirdo that I am, with all my foibles and my identity insecurities. Yet, I’m ready for that. I always felt that God gave them to me for a reason. I always felt that it was more than serendipity, more like divine providence, that they were given to me two years after my (adoptive) dad’s death and two years before my (adoptive) moms’s death. I mean, both my Italian cousins got the chance to meet my mom and create a bridge between the two families, the two identities that I have. That did wonders for my psyche.
I miss my family tremendously. I love them deeply. I want to be part of a family again. It’s been too long.