I wanted to write this post to my fellow expats. To those of you who have made the move – and made a successful life for yourselves in a new country. And by success, I don’t mean monetary riches or wordly possessions – but those of you who have made the move and feel planted.
I planned to write out my daily routine for you, which I expected to sound empty and meaningless. I thought my life, when written down on paper (or in this case, a computer screen), would look dull. I thought you all would have a world of advice just waiting for me when you took one look at what I do everyday.
But, I was wrong.
I realized I actually have a very full life. I am awakened almost daily with coffee in bed. I get to spend the entire morning with the love of my life, working hard on a business we will own. All of my meals are prepared for me (which, if you knew how well I cook, you would realize is a very-good-thing). In the afternoon I get to take a nap, and then wake up and work on another company I started with my best friend. In the between moments, I am planning, what I imagine will be, a beautiful wedding.
So, what is the problem?
Fellow expat in Calabria , “Bleeding Espresso” (whose post I would link here if I knew how) recently wrote about lifelong friends in Italy. Everything she wrote is true. Peppe has a core group of friends who have been his best pals for 20 years. And, let me tell you, they are wonderful. These guys are the tops. Sometimes if Peppe is working, his friends will pick me up and take me out – just to get me out of the house. I have all of their numbers programed in my phone, and I have no doubt they wouldn’t be there for me in an instant if I needed them.
So, what is the problem?
They are Peppe’s friends.
They aren’t mine.
My one true moment of shining glory came a few weeks ago when I was still in Texas. Peppe was at a bar and saw a somewhat familiar -looking face. The man smiled and when Peppe looked uncertain he replied, “You are Peppe, right? Cherrye’s fiance?”
In a world where I have become known as “Peppe’s fidanzata” or “Nino’s nuora” or the americana” it was a welcome change.
I need more moments like that.
So, my fellow expats…my successfully planted counterparts – my question to you is this.
How do ya do it? If we can’t break into the “circle of trust” that Italians created for themselves many many years ago, and, if living in American-sparse Calabria doesn’t offer many expat-gathering opportunities – how do we make this move and become successfully planted?
How do ya do it?