Yesterday was my anniversary. A year ago, Cinder and I were just arriving here in Montepulciano on a fog-filled chilly morning. I was excited and nervous about the new life I’d chosen. Looking back, I can honestly say that I made the right choice. I love my new home. I love the people, the town, the olive oil, the wine, being surrounded by nature, the pace, the intimacy. And my Italian has definitely improved.
That being said, it hasn’t been an easy year. The work issue has overshadowed what otherwise would have been a fairly smooth transition. There were of course the language issues, the fish out of water feeling and struggles for connecting with people, but these things were easier to overcome than the empty job prospects. I’ve learned a lot this year about an Italy that I had never really seen on vacation trips. Little things like in Tuscany they say good evening “buona sera” as early as two o’clock, to more important lessons about living in a small town and the hazards of everyone knowing everything about your life. (As much as I enjoyed my first romance with an Italian, I’ve learned that “separated” is still married.) Most of the good, the bad and the ugly has gone into the book I’ve been writing about surviving my first year here–the reality of what it means to follow your dream. I’ve tried to find the humorous side of even the most difficult things I’ve encountered. I’m almost done with the first draft of the book, and have been writing a lot these last few weeks. This is the reason I haven’t been so good about keeping up on the posts, as more than one of you has pointed out to me. I’m glad that people are still enjoying to read about my life here and I’ll try to keep the posts coming with a little more frequency.
I hope in the coming weeks to be able to report that I have a job, and I’ll admit the amount of near misses are dizzying. The fact that I was ready to wash dishes and shovel manure should tell you I’m pretty much game for anything. With the latter, I even got so far as a starting date before being hampered again by paperwork. I’m now awaiting the director of the Tourist office’s call. We’ve spoken, they need help and maybe just maybe this will be the job for me. Of course when he told me he’d call me right back it was yesterday, but I just figured he’s on Italian time and I’m not giving up hope!