Learning to breathe again

When life seems to be…dare I say…easy for the first time in about 8 years, it’s hard to know how to react.

The absence of anxiety, toxic stress or sadness that have been either consistent or reoccurring themes in my life for almost a decade has taken some getting used to. I was almost unsure of what to do with myself. My body was like, “where’s all the extra cortisol?!”  For all these years it felt like I had a very heavy load weighing on me and now it has finally lifted. I can stand up straight and fill my lungs and exhale in peace. It’s funny but I almost didn’t remember how that felt. I also didn’t know what to do with myself. Where to I channel my energy when it’s not focused on staying sane? What do I do when I don’t feel the need to pound a bottle of wine at the end of every workday?

In the last few months I’ve felt my head clear, my mind start to wander to thoughtful and creative spaces it used to often go what feels like a lifetime ago.

I realize putting this out into the universe is probably just asking for something to fall apart, but until that happens, I’m going to savor every second of this!

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I’ve just spent time reading through old posts. I think it’s completely fitting that my last one was from the night before we left Italy.

In some ways it feels like that was just last week, in others it feels like much, much longer (a different life really). The last four years were challenging for many reasons. The obvious: hey, you’re 30, start your life over from absolutely zero, oh and the job you’ve been doing for the past 6 years doesn’t carry over here. While I was lucky to find a job right away and have been consistently employed since then, until a few months ago I found myself in environments where I would come home completely mentally drained most days. Then there is also emotional struggle of watching your partner deal with intense home-sickness, constantly questioning whether or not we’ve made the right decision, dealing with the feelings of guilt for all those we love who we left. Needless to say it all takes to toll on you.

Dall’ altro lato della montea (on the other side of the coin), this last chapter has also brought about the best thing that has ever happened to me: my son Matteo. I feel like I can just mic drop on life because of the fact that I (with the help of Fabio of course) made this kid. I know I am biased but he is truly the sweetest, most loving, intelligent and beautiful little human I’ve ever met. Life started making a turn for the better when we knew he would be joining us (we actually didn’t know it’d be him – waited until delivery for that one). Much to our delight his exposure to English, Italian and Spanish (via daycare) on a consistent bases hasn’t slowed down our little guy from expressing himself. Fabio and I are just can’t get enough of when he will say ‘car’ followed quickly by machina or dog quickly followed by cane. The first time I saw him practice answering the phone he said pronto! Life has provided me with many adventures, but being this guys’ mamma has been the best by far.

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My Matty

That quote I mentioned in my last post; “nothing is permanent except change,” which I had on my bedroom wall as a kid (some teenage girls have posters of popstars, I had a poster of a volcano….) has kept resonating with me. After all of the heartache and sacrifice, life led me here: wife of a loving husband, mother of an amazing kid, working at a place I really enjoy and being lucky enough to have fantastic friends and family nearby to share it all with. Is my life perfect? Hell no. My kid, while amazing, can completely wear me out (that moment when you check your watch to see when bedtime is and it’s still 2 hours away). My husband, while wonderful, can drive me crazy. But that’s normal, right? I’ll take the day-to-day crazy. It’s the absence of those huge, lingering life challenges that has me feeling like I’m light as a feather and luckier than ever. It allows me to slough off the ‘hard’ days, when I am feeling quite outnumbered by my two Italians (Matteo definitely has his dad’s personality and energy) and actually embrace the chaos.

This is just what my head and my heart needed!

About This AmerItalian Life

My parents took me on my first camping trip when I was 2 months old and I haven’t stopped traveling since. My curiosity for new people, cultures, landscapes, food, ideas and opinions has brought me to where I am today: living in Northern California with my Italian husband, dog an AmerItalian son. Having spent my formative adult years living in Tuscany and then starting my life completely over yet again back in the U.S., I have been able to experience life through different lenses. I started this blog several years ago because I felt like I’d explode if I kept all my experiences of living in Italy it inside. I was barely able to scratch the surface before be began making plans to move stateside. So here I find myself with 5 more years of post-expat experiences, just bursting to get out of my head. My intentions are simple: since I love to connect with people and share stories, I hope by putting mine out there, I might be able to connect with others who have their own to tell. I don't consider myself to be a writer and I am not the best at self-editing...you have been warned!
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