Oh, the places you’ll go. . .and have gone. . .and are going. . .and will go. . .and are now. . .
Where were we again?
Ah, yes. Social media. To take a break or not to break? Er. Right. We don’t purposefully “take a break.” Rachel’s hysteria is proof of the “break trap.” (If you’re totally confused, check out the last post. It will bring you up to speed.) I think the last I told you was that I stopped social media, purely out of busyness and, well, was trying to live my life while I was back in the states. Understandable right?
My problem was that once I arrived “home” (Italian home), I couldn’t get back in the swing of posting, or anything for that matter. I had little (more like zero) motivation. Plus, nothing seemed good enough to post. The longer I was away, the harder it was to return. I mean, the “return post” had to be killer, right?
Enter: high stress levels. Stress’ encore was sickness. Sighs of relief filled my sick, congested air. Now, I had a legitimate excuse to continue to not post. But, time did not stand still. We were now into February. My birthday was around the corner. I knew I needed to rally. But how?
Let me back up a bit and share one more piece to this beautiful, messy puzzle. While I was home, I got news that my husband was injured. (He was technically already injured, but we got the word on the exact issue from a specialist.) We had an Italian opinion but didn’t feel comfortable with the next step of action without a second opinion from Taylor’s doctor in L.A. When we received the word from back home—about a week after I got back—the news was, hm, how do you sum up multiple emotions into one word? Confusing? Frustrating? Exciting? Painful? Right. Get to the facts—
Taylor has/had a 50% tear in his quad tendon. The best course of action was surgery. This meant we would fly to Northern Italy for the procedure (which all in all was not too invasive). He then, would be on crutches for 2-3 weeks and out for 2 months. After 2 months, depending on pain, he could ease back into practice and eventually games. Here’s the kicker: 2 months took us, basically, to the end of his Italian season. This left us with two options:
- Surgery in Italy. Rehab in Italy. Maybe make it back for 1-2 games. UNLESS, the team made the playoffs where he might be able to play more.
- Return home to L.A. Rehab in L.A. Prepare for the summer and hope and pray for great opportunities next season.
Soul bearing time.
I have LOVED my Italian adventure! Taylor and I have grown and experienced SO much since we moved. That being said, it’s not all dreamy villas and delicious pastas. It. Gets. Hard. Living overseas, especially in a more traditional (i.e. less English speaking) town is extremely isolating. Add a 7-9 hour time change from friends and family and communicating with ANYONE can be difficult and even impossible, at times. Sometimes, even going to the grocery store can feel like an abnormally more challenging chore. Still, I knew we were here for a purpose. After all, this is where YOU and I met.
We prayed about what to do. With each prayer, my heart ached more and more for home. I hadn’t really been homesick while living in Italy. That is, until I went home in January. It wasn’t that I didn’t miss home or the people, I just didn’t realize how MUCH I missed it. So much so that I became primarily focused on just going back. I began to see any and everything wrong with our Italian lifestyle. I became less motivated to cook, less motivated to work out, less motivated to blog, less motivated to experience adventure. Couple all those feelings with the uncertainty of our lives. Would we stay? Would we go? When will we know? Life seemed to go in slow motion as we waited for answers.
Fast forward to one answer. Surgery. The team scheduled Taylor’s surgery in Bologna. This short, little trip immediately promised two things: (1.) it was going to get me out of the house (2.) I had another legitimate excuse to not post. (Seriously, how annoying are my excuses and lack of drive right now? You have every right to be annoyed with me. Just please don’t stop reading. Not yet.)
Surgery was a success—for him. I on the other hand, started running a fever, which led to a week long case of the flu. You know what’s next. Excuses, excuses, excuses. Oh, one more thing. Remember my husband is on crutches. At this point, I have lost my voice. Bonus, he can’t drive anywhere because our Italian car is a manual. Guess what? Even though I had spent months out here, my driving skills have NOT been very clutch (pun intended). Anytime we needed food, I had to drag my sick butt out of bed and into a jerky, stalling car while Italians shouted (I’m not quite sure what all they shouted. I imagine it wasn’t pleasant). Anytime we needed medicine, I had to make it happen. Anytime he needed to make an appearance at practice, I took him. (I am pleased to tell you that I can, finally, cruise around our town. I’m not “James Bond clutch” yet, but I can use the clutch with ease). In addition, my 29th birthday was creeping and lurking (full of a bit too much disappointment this year than I was willing to admit).
I desperately wanted to play that annoying Chumbawamba song on repeat, but all that seemed to play was LL Cool J’s “Mama Said Knock You Out”. I felt like I had gotten hit—physically, emotionally, and mentally. Don’t worry. This isn’t a pity party. I did, eventually, “get back up again.” (You’re welcome for getting that song stuck in your head for the rest of the day!)
Slowly—like what felt like snail speed—I became more and more inspired to post on Instagram. I still hadn’t managed to write this novel yet. Baby steps. With each IG post, a little flicker of creativity and hope sparked inside me. It took me far too long to write this post than I’d care to admit, but each writing day fanned the flame. Now seems appropriate to wrap this all up with a moral.
Moral? Really? Who do I think I am? Aesop? Well, the moral, if you can even call it that, is two-fold. Er. Two-part. One part lesson; the second part news.
First, I want to encourage you. Life happens. This year is in no way what I imagined. We started 2016 out right, remember? We spent New Year’s making goals and dreaming bigger dreams. Even though that plan began flawlessly, life got in the way and turned my plans upside down. Goals are good because they give us focus, something to strive towards. But, when life happens adjustments must be made. Not abandonment, adjustment.
And that is EXACTLY what we are doing now. As I write this today, I am packing up my Italian life to head back to the states, a few months earlier than we planned. When I post this, I will actually BE in Los Angeles. I feel a wave of emotions—typical for the direction this year started. I’m sad to leave. After all, this is where I first met YOU. At the same time, I’m probably more excited to get back to friends, community, and all the many conveniences America has to offer. I’m not quite sure what these next few months hold, but you better believe I am preparing for the best!
Join me on my journey BACK to the States. Let’s see where this crazy thing called life takes US next.