There is something to be said about selling 75% of your wordly belongings, packing 20% into an air-controlled storage unit, and lugging the other 5% back and forth over 6,000 miles of valleys, lakes, ocean, and mountains. There is something to be said for having the courage, or blindness, it takes to make that leap of faith. Something to be said for actually doing it, and not just talking about doing it. Yes, there is something to be said for that. What that something is, however, I have yet to discover.
Tomorrow marks maybe the dozenth time I have made this trip. The dozenth time I have said ‘goodbye’. ‘Goodbye’ either to Peppe when I am leaving to go to the states, or ‘goodbye’ to my family when I come back here. ‘Goodbye’…You would think after so many it would get easier, but every time I feel sad, every time I get that sick feeling in the pit of my stomach, every time I shed a tear.
This morning Peppe and I had an appertivo at our favorite local bar, which happens to be owned by the parents of my only Italian friend. As I said ‘goodbye’ to my friend’s mom, she asked if Peppe would be leaving with me. When we said no, she replied, “Oh, you won’t be together for Christmas.” We sighed and said that, no, we would not be together for Christmas, then I added, ‘come sempre’. Peppe and I have spent more Christmases and birthdays apart than we have together, and one month is a drop in the bucket for us, compared to the time we have spent apart. But, it doesn’t matter right now. Right now, I am sad to leave.
However, I read a post today on Expats where several Americans admitted they don’t like to go “home”. That is so strange to me, because, while I am very sad tonight, and will miss Pep terribly when I am gone, I am happy to see my family. I am anxious to see the look in my dad’s eye when I walk in the door, just before he shuffles to help me with my heaviest suitcase. I am excited to see my nephew run into my arms, and ask me when I will play Crazy 8’s with him. I am looking forward to talking to the old folks at my church about how much Italy has changed since they saw it years ago during the war. These things make me want to go home.
Then, there are the things I will miss here. I will miss Peppe waking me when he gets home from work in the mornings. Before he has the chance to sneak into the room to see if I am still sleeping, I hear him outside, playing with Sophia. I will miss that. I will miss Peppe’s dad, Nino, going through the grocery list of items in the refrigerator, trying to coax me into eating one more thing at lunch. I will miss looking out of the open window while I write, to see a dark starry night, and the outlines of the mountains in the background. These things make me want to come back.
Yes, there is something to be said for ‘living the dream’, isn’t there? I am not ungrateful for the opportunities life has presented me. But, there is something to be said about ‘having it all’. I just don’t know what that ‘something’ is…
And in 6 more weeks, I get to do this all over again….