Friday, September 28, 2007

Homesick?

This hasnt been the best week I have had in Venice and so when someone told me the other day that I am living the perfect life, I was quick to retort that its not all its cracked up to be. I know the first response from most of you is something like, 'it was your choice to move there'. And rather than get my feathers in a ruffle from hearing this, I will skip the details of my frustration.

But I have been contemplating why I feel its not all its cracked up to be. Dont get me wrong, I still feel incredibly blessed to be able to do this and I am still enamored with Italy. Its just not a good week, thats all. I wouldnt call it homesickness except as a sweeping definition of my feelings. I miss my family and friends but those of you who know me are aware that I can easily spend days on end by myself with no problem. So what is it exactly that generated that retort?

First, my life in Phoenix was overwhelmingly structured and scheduled. There was very little down time for me and I was burnt out with obligations. Here, I have absolutely no structure and no schedule. That was what the doctor ordered for a short time but now I think the pendulum needs to swing back to the middle.

Next, my job/career was less than satisfying to my soul. It was a means to an end (i.e. provided me many vacations!) but I never felt like it was what I was 'supposed' to be doing. Now that I am away from that arena and need to figure out what I want to be when I grow up, I get overwhelmed. The things that interest me are numerous, and most of them require me to recreate myself by going back to school, etc. I am not sure I am ready for that or if that is even a good idea, so I am a bit like a deer in headlights at the moment.

Third, despite my feelings about my job, I was part of something. It was a machine and I was part of the mechanism that made it run. Here, I am an island. I needed to be away from everyone and everything for a while to detox and destress. But I also know now how important it is to be a part of something or some group in order to have a sense of purpose and accomplishment. As much as I am an introvert and need my time alone, being part of a 'machine' is essential.

Finally, one of my dearest friends once told me that my brain is my biggest asset and my biggest downfall. I never stop thinking and have been known to take a nap just to get away from myself and turn it off for a while. So, with no structure, schedule or machine to distract me, I am thinking alot. Its good. Its all good. But, its exhausting--emotionally and physically. I am learning more about myself than I probably wanted to know! haha

Now that I have vomitted some of my musings to you, I should sum it up. Yes, I miss being able to go to Target or to go to just about any store on Sunday and know it will be open or to have an endless supply of peanut butter. But I also know when I return, I will miss the history and culture and the ability to walk everywhere and the best food I have ever had. So, no, I am not homesick. I am changing and developing and learning and sometimes, this isnt all that it is cracked up to be!

2 comments:

Farfallina said...

Ciao! Just discovered your blog :)

I studied near Venice, at the University of Padova. Very nice place.

Also, last year I worked in the Newborn Intensive Care Unit of a downtown Phoenix hospital.

You're on sabbatical? Sounds good! Hope all is well with you :)

tangobaby said...

I know this post might be old news to you but since I am just catching up with you since recently discovering your blog, I hope you won't mind my reply here.

It's very brave of you that you're where you are and living such a different life. Good for you for taking the plunge and challenging yourself. You can always return to America and experience the things that are familiar to you, but I wonder if and when you do, if you'll feel that they were worth missing at all.

I wish you continued success and growth and self-discovery because that's all good news.