Well, considering that I started this blog in honor of my move from Italy back to the US after 15 years living abroad, I guess I should have something to say about the matter. Something moving. Something deep. Today as I walked through my new life, I tried to make some sense of how it all feels. I receive e-mails with queries like, "So how are you then?" "Are you settled?" "Are you missing anything?" "Have you adjusted?"
I never quite know how to answer these questions. My responses feel like they must be fake. Living in Italy for so many years in Jenny's shoes must have left some indelible mark on me somewhere, but I can't quite seem to find it. Maybe it's right there on that spot in the center of my back that I can't reach when it itches. When I try to imagine what has changed for me apart from the obvious, all I see are images of myself spinning around in a blender. There I am stumbling off the train as I first set foot in Italy. There I am 9 months pregnant balancing four plates of pasta as I served lunch in our restaurant. There I am driving like a bat out of hell on the Italian highways (when in Rome...). There I am the foreigner, the expat, the americana, the bionda...
Then there are the images of now, of the mountains, the silence, the screeching sun. My clawfoot bathtub, my children stumbling around in English, racing down the hillside on their mountain bikes, my husband searching in vain for real parmigiano at the local supermarket. There I am forgetting to speak English to the store clerk, and she is cocking her head at my Italian babble. There I am getting a thrill from my new checks because they have bears on them! There I am strapping the garbage cans shut in the evening so that the real bears don't come down the mountain in the night and wreak havoc.
All of these images spin and blend and their colors run together, making up that mysterious thing that is me. I really am mysterious to my own self.
How am I? Happy I think. And very alive.
Am I settled? God, no. Never have been and probably never will be...
Am I missing anything? With a tiny twinge of guilt, I must say NO. No way.
Have I adjusted? To being me? Probably. For now.
All I can offer in honor of my new life in a blender is a new profile picture of me taken by my son. Now I'm smiling!