Italian poet, Cesare Pavese:

“Travelling is a brutality.
It forces you to trust strangers and to lose sight
of all that familiar comfort of home and friends.
You are constantly off balance.
Nothing is yours except the essential things – air, sleep, dreams, the sun, the sky – all things tending
towards the eternal, or what we imagine of it.”

All of the in between.

After a weekend roaming around the beautiful coast, we are back home in Rome. We arrived by train late at night. There was something comforting to walking from the train station to home. Home. Our home is in Rome. In the heat of the midnight breeze, the headlights of just a few cars and the sidewalks empty, us walking hand-in-hand on streets that are now familiar, there is a comfort. It’s nice to feel settled. Or at least sort of settled. But then reality chimes in.

Truth is, we’re not settled yet. Not really. My papers have not been accepted yet and we may not find out if they are (or not) until days before we are technically supposed to leave the country. After 3 months of limbo, I just want to get on with life, be it here or there. I just want to know.

And that makes me ask myself “What will make me happy in life?” Is it location, my dream home, success with work?  While downloading all the pics from our recent travel, I stumbled upon some from 3 years ago. Combing through nearly 600 photos of birthday parties, graduation, summer trips, days in Seattle, bonfires and vacations kind of woke me up. We have the best friends in the world. Friends who let me drink just a little too much and laugh a little too loud in public. Friends who tolerate Nick’s jokes and business schemes/scams. Friends we have celebrated the years with and friends who have struggled with us as our lives morph into what it demands. Before coming here, I thought Rome would make me happy. It has, most definitely. But that probably has just as much to do with the newness of it all, the freedom from working like a dog, the sense of arrival. It is here and it is good. But it won’t be forever. What then? Then what will make me happy? Rome could be on its way out. But I think that’s okay. Perhaps it just a coming to terms that brings this all on. Time will tell. Either way this goes, I’ll be happy. I’ll still forever hate the rain and clouds, but life in Olympia’s got a lot of good going for it.


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