Pursuing the expatriate life in Italy–“So very hard to go”–thank you, Tower of Power

If it’s been three or four days, then it’s time to write. I am having a hard time pulling a rabbit out of my hat for things to say. I’m totally tuned out and just biding my time to get to Italy. Everything is done and there’s nothing to do now except wait, wait, wait.

It’s been three weeks and five days since my visa application was received by the Italian Consulate in San Francisco. Yesterday I spoke with them. They have assured me that my visa will arrive by the end of next week. Cutting it close, but it gives me enough time to finish every last minute detail and get my euros.

In two weeks I am flying out of Portland for Rome. I shouldn’t have to change my flight plans again and spend yet another several hundred dollars. I just want to get there and get started on this next chapter of my life.

As I’ve said, I’ve checked out and I’m trying to fill my day. I stay up late. And I mean late. It’s not uncommon for me to be up watching Frasier or Cheers until 2:00 a.m. Of course, I then wake up late in the morning. Corporate coffee at Starbucks then beckons where I pack on the pounds by downing a grande latte with two pastries while my waist line expands, competing with the Tropic of Cancer for girth. From there, who knows? A drive through the wine country. A drive through the Willamette Valley. Hack around Portland. Anything to keep the boredom at bay.

But now that it truly looks like I will be leaving on the twelfth, I’m a little nervous. This is really going to happen. I’m really leaving, leaving everything I’ve ever known for the unknown. Sure, my family is in Italy and I’m looking forward to that. But still, I will have to acclimate myself to a new life. The lifestyle will be unfamiliar. Every day is going to be a learning experience and while that can be somewhat exciting and exhilarating, it can also be frustrating and nerve-wracking.

And then I’ll be leaving everyone. I’ve been invited to parties, dinners, lunches, coffees and I’ve been able to hold back the emotion because the departure seemed so far into the future. Sometimes it seemed like it wouldn’t get here. That feeling made it easy to distance myself from the reality that I won’t be around anymore. I won’t be able to phone up my friends and plan coffee or lunch. No road trips.

I will also have to deal with the fact that it’s truly over with my ex. Sure, he could email me or contact me through Facebook. But distance will slam the door shut meaning that it’s not only over (obviously) but that any chance for another relationship is going to be next to nil. I will have to prepare for the very real reality of remaining alone.

And when I get to Italy, I won’t have time to dwell on what I’ve left or the difficulties that I will face in order to get life in order. Sometimes I fear that arriving around the holidays will result in two lost months, making it difficult to to jump-start my new life. Who knows? As with everything, it’s just a matter of playing the cards I’m dealt.

I’m thankful for all the aforementioned dinners, lunches, coffees and parties. I didn’t think so many people would want to say goodbye. Even though I have to make this move, it will still be so very hard to go.



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