Ciao 2011 – it’s been an adventure
It’s 5pm on New Year’s Eve, and I am relaxing, just trying to conserve energy in preparation for tonight’s antics: multi-course dinner at home with my moglie – wife – and her boyfriend (yes, you read that right), followed by drinks with friends and wandering to the ancient Imperial Forum for the Negramaro – italian rock band – concert and fireworks. I hope I survive, something tells me that Romans, alcohol, and fireworks don’t mix.
Anyway, I am laying in my roman bed, in my roman apartment, texting in Italian on my ghetto roman phone, and thinking about how much my world has changed. This time last year, my world was Portland – a gorgeous city with my incredible family and amazing friends. My world was NCAA and NFL football games, summer barbecues, road trips, workout buddies, and line dancing. It was a world of comfort, support, and unconditional love. It was a life that I adored.
Portland is amazing. But as one of my best friends said, “For you, Portland is a cage. And no matter how beautiful the cage, at some point every bird needs to fly.” This time last year, I found my wings. I flew from Portland to Istanbul to Olympos to London to Lucca to Dubrovnik to Mostar to Rome on a one way journey. I allowed myself to dream beyond the beauty of Portland, beyond the comfort of home. As a result, my world is larger than it has ever been.
It now consists of Islamic mosques and Renaissance cathedrals, of paragliding and cliff jumping, of Olympos and Butterfly Valley, of ethnic cleansing in the Balkans and riots in San Giovanni, of Lucchese dialect and Roman slang, of stargazing and kaifing. In my world, I am now a foreigner, a wanderer, a bartender, a nanny, and an English teacher. In my world, I drink Turkish tea in the afternoon and Grappa or Limoncello after dinner, I eat menemen and carbonara, I dream in two languages. In my world, I am an aunt or a sister in the Gelli and Pierallini families.
Without a doubt, my world has grown and will continue to grow at an exponential rate. It has truly been an extraordinary year and I’m excited to see what curveballs 2012 decides to throw.
Buon Anno – Happy New Year!