Here + There
I’ve recently relocated back to the US after having been living in Italy for much of the past two years. I enjoyed my time there to the fullest and embraced everything it had to offer.
I admire the Italian way of making the most out of each moment.
Rather than waiting for a two week vacation in August, the Italians are masters at savoring small moments daily. They live out loud with passion and gusto. Hand gestures, voices, and the love of simple delicious food surrounded by family.
Meals are not a sprint, settle in for a marathon.
I have possessed a healthy love of Italy and the Italians for most of my days. It’s just been recently I had the opportunity to experience it up close and personal.
I now understand the meaning behind Sunday lunch. We ate like kings. Sure we did, it’s Italy. But it was the gathering of loved ones. The reconnection, weekly of family and friends. It is watching your nephew grow incrementally and hearing about his latest music lesson.
It’s a robust disagreement where everyone is allowed to join in and voice their opinion. Often more loudly than the last. It’s the resolution without the blinking of an eye with no hard feelings harbored to be brought up again at a later date.
I’ve seen it all spill out at the table. It’s the home’s version of the confessional. Tears, yelling, and hand gestures bigger than the house. And it’s all ok.
I love their admiration and reverence for the older generation. Give me a grandparent, anyone’s, and I’m happy. Often living in the same household, the close connection of the older generation influences the next round of children. I can get behind this.
Gun violence is nil. A few weeks ago I saw a video clip on the local news of a bank robbery in Italy. The guy holding up the teller had a knife. A KNIFE. I was astounded in the best way.
Is Italy perfect? Of course not. Neither am I. Or are we.
I’m also an American at heart. I tear up at the National Anthem. I get misty eyed at our flag waving in the breeze. I love this big, beautiful piece of land and us living within it. I love our can do attitude. I love our out of the box solutions.
I love our entrepreneurship. Our ability to stand up and voice our opinions how we wish. The fast pace and the slow, when we want it.
I love that “that’s the way we’ve always done it,” is not our mantra. We are the people of industry, progress, and innovation. I have more and more friends that own small, successful businesses. I say Brava! Good for them. And us. This is who we are.
I am both. A lover of another culture, and my own. I pick and choose the best from both. There’s no need to limit myself to one. And when I’m living in the States I don’t wish for Italy. And when I’m there, I’m all in.
I don’t stand in one and wish for the other.
My friends, stand where you are at this moment and look for the goodness. Look for the gold in all situations. If you find it a bit lackluster then by all means it’s your job to make the gold appear.