Wednesday, September 1, 2010
Nikon D60 with appropriate accessories such as carrying case, tripod, and extra memory cards; check. Brand new Italian-English Dictionary with a crisp, ready-to-be-tested binding; check. Recipe book and a stack of blank cards awaiting inscription of Italian cuisine; check. A GPS navigation device with newly uploaded maps of central Europe; check. Four seasons worth of clothing (including a pair of skinny jeans!), footwear, and cosmetics; check. All of the above packed comfortably into two bags; hmmm... So I'm not quite ready yet, but I'm getting there.
Here I am two days away from stateside departure, and I still cannot believe that I am headed to Italy. The idea of living in Europe and absorbing another culture has always been intriguing, but it's not exactly in my biological make-up to put my career on hold and move to a foreign country because I am simply intrigued. Suppose everyone I have ever met collectively authored a book "Sarah Christine in Three Words". Now suppose, as the title implies, the book contained all combinations of words contributed by each one of these friends, family members, students, colleagues, and acquaintances to describe me. I can bet you all of my savings (I'm a teacher... don't get too excited) that nowhere in that book would you find the word ‘spontaneous’. I'm not saying that 'organized' and 'meticulous' (two words that would probably appear in this book) are negative attributes. Had moving to Italy never become a viable option, I would have continued living a perfectly wonderful life. A perfectly wonderful, meticulously organized life. But, moving to Italy did become an option, and I do believe that it is healthy to step outside of your comfort zone when possible. Since meeting Kevin, I have become increasingly accustomed to doing just that.
Over the course of our relationship, despite my resistance to all-things unplanned, I found comfort and happiness in Kevin's "don't worry about what you can't control" philosophy. For six years, I've taken baby steps towards spontaneity. To celebrate our recent marriage, doesn't a giant leap in that direction seem appropriate? So, here it goes. We are moving to Italy for hockey season #7 to see where it takes us. We will be spontaneous. But I guess we can't plan to be spontaneous. That would be contradictory, wouldn't it? We will have to be spontaneously spontaneous! (You can see why I don't teach English).
Perhaps the primary objective of this introductory blog, regardless of any seemingly irrelevant digressions, is to reflect on what I hope to gain from this experience. "What will you do?" people ask with an unidentifiable emotion behind their emphasis on the word "do". Are they implying that I will be bored, or are they excited about the possibilities? Whatever the case, my response to their inquiry always involves listing off my various job titles. Wine connoisseur, gelato specialist, backpacker extraordinaire, mobster... The truth is, I don't exactly know what I hope to become over the next eight months. I have no plans or preconceptions. I can only hope that if I leave myself open to learning new things, I won't be disappointed. As Kevin and I embark on the first adventure of our married lives, I think we can use a few words by Confucius as our mantra: "Wherever so you go, go with all your heart."