17 November 2009

Is "Work" a Four-Letter, Dirty Word?

How do I explain?

Work has often stood in the way of my living the life I would dream of living. So here I am. For the first time I am not on vacation, not a tourist in my beloved Italy, a place I have the privilege to now call home. It is not uncommon to spot me walking down a street with a devilish smile on my face for no reason other than I just feel so damn good being here. It's that simple.  I made it. I am here. Living in Italy was a dream that started to feel like it would never become a reality. It was and continues to be a specific dream that caused me to ache every time I had to return to Los Angeles and work those long hours and be in a mode similar to lock-down in prison just so that I could earn enough money to return to Italy as quickly as possible.

Don't ask me why. But ever since my first trip to Europe in 1995, I can't get enough. But once I took my first trip to Italy in 2003, I have been addicted. I always wanted to see the world. Once I came to Italy, I knew I would keep coming back. You've heard it said by so many people. I'm not unique. But it is the truth. I always felt like "This is where I belong." Since 2003 when I have made trips that didn't include Italy, no matter how wonderful the trip, I never returned to the States with the satisfaction I would have when I returned from Italy. One big caveat: I am never ready to leave Italy.

My plan? Well, let's say I've been envious of those that live in Europe. They can go by plane in one or two hours virtually anywhere in Europe. I, on the other hand, living in Los Angeles, could fly in one hour to San Francisco, Las Vegas, Sacramento, Oakland -- well, that's about it. Only one of those destinations is outside the state of California. So I never felt like I was going anywhere far, new, or exotic.

Back to my plan. My thinking has been at least I would be on the continent. Getting to many of the other destinations outside Italy should be relatively easy; right? I can jet-set from country to country and island hop -- oh, how I love the Mediterranean islands. This is still part of my plan except that my dollar is nearly worthless these days. The cost of living in one of the most expensive cities in the world is -- well, it's EXPENSIVE! So I won't be island hopping quite yet.  Besides, it's becoming winter, which brings me to the next two points.

I tried to save un saccone di soldi ("a big bag of money"). Not unlike the rest of the people impacted by the current global economic downslide -- oh, is the word "slowdown"? -- I fell far short of my goal. So here I am trying to creatively earn some money and slow down the speed at which my money burns.

The second of the two points: We're in the middle of an Indian summer in Florence. Each day since I've been here I've thought I'd better take advantage of the weather before this Southern California girl starts freezing her tushy off. Well, weeks later, it's still quite warm. November I am told is the rainy month of the year. Personally, I was under the impression that it always rains in Italy. I think it has rained only one day this month.

Anyhow, the weather is gorgeous, and I have work to be completed indoors. I provide a photo taken today from my bathroom window of the rooftops. Some things don't change. Quotidiano , the everyday, commonplace even boring activities that we don't necessarily want to tend to. No matter where we are, certain things still must get done.

Does it sound like I complain? It is part of the lesson. The truth is it is a very small price to have to pay to be living my dream, LIVING IN ITALY.

-- Josslyn 'Giosalina'
Florence, Italy

1 comment:

  1. Well, this all sounds well & good, but does your Dad know where you are?

    Here's a thought to increase your funds: Hire out as a tour guide. You could escort all English speakers, even those whose native language is not English, but who prefer the tour be in English. With so many tourists flocking to Italy, this idea seems like a natural to me.

    Oh, one more item: You do not post anywhere near frequently enough!