Nearing the End (or The Beginning)

This morning I received my first official work email, in French. Along with it came 10 songs to learn for the first week of school; a mix of Italian, French and English. I also received my class roster, which looks slightly different that what I’m used to; Francesco, Leonardo, Isabel, Lorenzo, Aurora.. 23 beautiful names that I’ve previously encountered only in art history classes or when reading Roman mythology. I immediately called my mom and ran through the list, trilling my r’s and giggling at the unfamiliarity of it all.

At some point I thought it would all sink in that this is real, but stoicism seems to linger, clouding my head, and any rational thoughts that should be occurring. As I’ve been preparing for my move, I’ve felt an strange feeling of erasing myself. I’ve gotten rid of all my furniture, with the exception of pieces made for me by my father. I’ve canceled my cellphone and my yoga membership, taken bag after bag to the Goodwill, given away teaching supplies and other odds and ends. All of this is done with the goal of fitting everything I will need into 2 large suitcases, and I’m almost there. I feel a bit like a fugitive.

I’ve been taking time to see dear friends and family, traveling to San Francisco, Oakland, Bodega Bay, Palm Springs, Marina Del Mar, Santa Monica, Camarillo, Ventura.. I’m hopeful to come home for the holidays, but nothing is set in stone so chances are it will be a year before I see anyone. Reactions have been overwhelmingly sad, which is difficult because I’m overwhelmingly happy. Luca suggests I tell people to see it like a year abroad, but I’m not sure I’m fooling anyone.

For now, I’m focusing on the summer. July will be all business. I’m taking an intensive Italian course 4 hours per day, 9:30-13:30, and afternoons will be for exploring, reading, napping. In August, we’ll be free as birds. We plan to visit friends, slowly make our way to the boot of Italy for a week or so at the sea. I’m looking forward to cultivating my inner vagabond, quenching my thirst to wander without much of a plan in mind. Here’s to dreaming..

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