THE BLOG
09/29/2014 02:53 pm ET Updated Nov 29, 2014

Leaving Italy, Sort of ...

My body may have left Italy, but my mind hasn't.

I am so very very happy I went and I am so very very happy to be back 'home'. My year in Italy was truly a life-changing event in so many ways....

I came back to Massachusetts just about a month ago, and I am lucky enough to be able to spend an indulgent 're-entry', free from a lot of rigidity. I was in Italy for 10 days short of a whole year, and I continue to be amazed by it all and to try to understand so very much......

Everything in Italy was different for me, including, of course, the language, the community, the relationships, the environment....and now, once again everything is different as I try to re-adjust to whatever my 'normal' was and is - the language, the community, the relationships, the environment.

My pace is slow - I am still thinking 'piano, piano' ('slowly and lightly') many times a day, I find. Perhaps this is a good life lesson, learned by necessity in Italy, where every step was full of possibility and possible peril! I find I have been confounded by too much traffic, by strange parking meters, by glaring supermarket lights, since I am used to none of them any more.

And I am finding that, because I am a different person now, filled with adventures and memories I didn't have a year ago, I have had to give myself lots of space to think and re-live and re-enjoy; I don't want the memories to fade, and I must keep in contact with and in the heads of my Italian friends - I miss them all.

And I am wondering what I learned - about Italy and about myself.

My days are very busy - I am getting caught up with my paperwork and my friends and my doctors and myself. I am thinking about my options and I am thinking about how very grateful I am to have had the opportunities. I'm still trying to find time to write it all down before it fades...

And I did learn that I am tired of being alone, although I can handle alone-ness and often welcome it; I understand that I really do want someone to welcome me home lovingly and excitingly, so I am getting a puppy!!!....a new adventure begins....