“It’s the opportunity of a lifetime.” “When will you ever get to do something like that again?” ” How exciting!” ” Do you speak Italian?” “What about your job?”
All of these are true and valid thoughts. In fact, for the first few weeks and months after we found out we were moving to Italy for Michael’s job, it’s almost the only thing we heard from anyone. Weeks turned to months. Months turned to several months. Comments and questions gradually transitioned from excitement and curiosity to a decidedly more pity-filled tone.
“When do you guys leave for Italy?” “Why are you still here?” “Are you ever going to get to leave?” “What’s the hold up?” “What do you do all day?”
Again, all valid questions. To which my mind replies, “I have absolutely no clue and don’t you think I would tell you if I had an answer to any of these questions? I am perfectly aware that I gave up my job based on false information and lofty promises.”
My mouth knows better. I try my best to be polite and respond with a generalization, such as “Well, the paperwork has taken much longer than expected.” Or, “Hopefully soon!” Or, “Despite our best efforts to keep the process going smoothly, dealing with a foreign government can be tricky.” Many days I just feel like saying, “I am so sick of all of this pain-in-the-neck back-and-forth, and the never-ending postponing of departure dates that I just want my regular life back, so please stop asking me about Italy.”
The truth is, the whole process has been nearly unbearable. Every time we think we’re making progress, we take 2 steps backward. Frankly, not one detail we were originally given has proven to be accurate. Our life has been “on hold” for 8 months. You can’t really plan out a life when you know you’ll be leaving the country in some random amount of time. The phrase “as soon as possible” has lost all meaning. That being said, I am thrilled to have the opportunity. It truly is the adventure of a lifetime. Or at least of my life up to this point. I can think of few places that seem more magical and enchanting than Italia. I’m such a travel geek, and a food-a-holic that it really feels like I’ll be heading to the mother-ship.
Planning a move to Italy is not all about daydreaming of gelato and gondolas.
As of this moment, we still don’t have our visas. In fact, just last week we were told that I would need a completely different type of visa than originally planned, if I can even get one at all. After months of processing, Hubby’s work permit will supposedly be complete in the next few days. Cue my current motto: “I’ll believe it when I see it.” There are days when we are both ready to pull our hair out, other days we truly are excited and eager with anticipation. While some of the excitement has definitely lost its luster, I am confident that the excitement will return as soon as we know our firm departure date. Once we start packing it will feel much more real. (I can’t bring myself to start packing, since the chances are that things will get postponed again, and living out of boxes will disrupt our life even more.)
There’s another phrase that has entered the somewhat repetitive nature of our everyday interactions with others as of late… “Everything happens for reason.” Maybe it’s true, maybe it’s just something people say to make you feel better when there’s nothing else to say. Either way, it’s something to think about. Look for the positive in a situation that has compounded the population of gray hairs on my head exponentially.
I can do that.
A few blessings in disguise:
1. I’ve been given the gift of time. I had to tell my job that I was going to be moving so that they could find a replacement for me. Fast forward three months, and I’m out of work with no sign of departure in sight. I suddenly have time on my hands. Time that I didn’t have while I was working 12 hour days. Being home full time sounds boring, right? Hubby was worried that I would go insane being home so much. I was too, since I’m such a busybody. We were wrong. I love it. I may be a lot of things, but bored is not among them. I read…a lot. I cook and bake whatever I want whenever I want. I make dinner for my husband every night. I spend time with my Mom. I take online classes. I blog. Which brings me to my next point…
2. This little blog project of mine has been a life-saver. I know it sounds silly to those who don’t “get it”, but I truly, deeply love what it has brought to my life. I love cooking and baking, and I love having a way to keep track of and share what I create. I love having blogger friends all over the world. To all of you who are reading this right now, a profound thank you doesn’t begin to express my feelings.
3. I’ve been learning that I can bring value to our home and our life in ways other than bringing in an income. I had a pretty well-paying job until a few months ago. At first, I really battled an inner struggle of feeling as though I had switched from being an asset to being a liability (through no fault of anyone other than myself). I gradually realized that we were able to get by without my income for a while, and Hubby held no fault with me for being more dependent on him than ever before. In fact, he seems to enjoy being the sole provider. I enjoy it to. It has shifted my attitude in many ways. He has been so supportive of me, financially and emotionally. He is a proud supporter of my blogging aspirations, and he never overlooks the things I’ve sacrificed in this whole “pack up and follow the Hubby to Europe” scenario.
You might ask, Why am I writing all of this? Because this is my life right now. It’s raw and frustrating. I want to be able to look back with a refreshed perspective and say, “It was totally worth all the trouble.”
“Hopefully soon” we will have our visas in hand, and our bags packed and ready to go. Only time will tell. I do know one thing, it has already been a “once in a lifetime” experience.
Thanks for bearing with my rant. I think I’ll bake a cake now.