Reality

People from home tell me I’m brave. I don’t believe that and you shouldn’t either. What I may be is stupid. Coming over here without a plan, without an idea, selling everything I owned, leaving the best family and friends thousands of miles away, abandoning my cats, and perhaps walking away from librarianship (a profession I love) is perhaps the dumbest thing I’ve done. But hopefully there is a reward for stupidity at the end of all of this.

When asked “what is it you want to do here?” the only thing I can honestly say is that I want to be able to write. I need to be challenged and maybe that is what I’m doing. I need fear to flow through my veins and I need the doubt, but most of all, I need to try and then reach the end having survived. It helps me think. Struggle saves. (ErinMcKeown says it better in her song “Aspera”.) Having to construct a life here with no language, little money, few friends and a resistant culture will make me understand things that staying in America would not allow me. Because, in the end, my life there is safe. A warm, comfortable, lovely, and safe life. My life here last year was also safe. More exotic, sure, but safe. Now the ground shifts under my feet and everything is a huge question. But in searching for the answer, I think I’ll find myself. Hopefully writing in the meantime.

So, I’m going to attempt honesty on this little blog of mine. Tomorrow I begin teaching English to Italians. I want to throw up thinking about it. At the same time, I’m ecstatic work is before me. Work. That is step one. Language will come later. But I need to work.

10 responses to “Reality

  1. I’m sending you calming vibes. It’s all going to be okay. Trust yourself. Be not afraid.

  2. waiting for your report on the first day. of course i prefer to think of you as a café-dwelling expat then as a toiling teacher . . .

  3. A step into the unknown, a new start with no safety net, it IS a brave thing you’re doing, and I think you’ll look back on it as having been one of the best; the journey can be as important as the destination. Congratulations on your new job, you’ll do great.

  4. The greatest gift is understanding and it is impractical to believe you can understand without experience. It requires special insight to understand family, friends and country and few even attempt the truly difficult task of understanding other cultures and countries. But you may be embarking on the impossible journey of understanding yourself. Your words paint the picture of your life and hold your soul up for all the world to see. Be careful, be free and good luck!

  5. I don’t recall my father ever telling me to be careful before so I’ll take those words to heart. As for being free, well, I learned from the best and it’s difficult for me to be anything other than that.
    Thanks for the words everyone. And Lori, don’t worry, I’m still a bit of a cafe dwelling ex-pat.

  6. Julia, You are doing what few people are willing to venture – escape from “comfort” and “security” the golden thread that keeps status quo and holds you back from finding yourself.

  7. You are brave! So do not say that you aren’t. Your cats were not abandoned. They are enjoying time with their Gam-ma and they know you love them. You are not stupid and have never been. You do not need to find yourself. You have known who you are since you were seven.Honesty is your core. You only need to write, that is what is lacking. Your warm fuzzy comfortable place will always be here waiting for you. You can have safety and comfort on both sides of the ocean, and you will.

  8. Mommy advise at night, now for my morning message. This from Mark Twain: “Twenty years from now, you will be more disappointed in the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore! Dream!”. Happy sailing princess!

  9. You have wonderfully expressive parents. What a lucky woman you are! Everyone supports you and your quest. Do you feel the love?

  10. So good to hear from you Sandra and Ray, and so happy for you, Julia, for taking risks. I often forget that you may be scared about the decisions you have made. I guess I just think, wow, she’s going to live in another country. She is brave and courageous.

    You underestimate yourself–I can tell you!
    L,
    ME

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