There are some things that loom larger than life in your future, and then there are the things that sneak up on you unaware. I had a moment yesterday where a "larger than life" part of my life managed to sneak up and catch me by surprise at the same time.
I was walking in Parco di Monza and admiring the wonderfully refurbished Lo Scrittore* sculpture. It's all shiny and looking its best after they worked on it last month. I was wondering how long it would take before it started looking worn again, with peeling paint and the wood falling off. Then I realized, I won't be here to see it. I really won't be here. I burst into tears. What I've known at an intellectual level forever finally hit me at an emotional level. We're moving in three weeks. Three weeks. I will no longer be here, living in Italy. No longer walking in Parco di Monza everyday.
It's interesting, how I can hold two realities in my head at the same time. The reality of living in Italy and the reality of living in Oregon. Both seem so comfortable and real. What is completely unreal and hard for me to even grasp is the reality of living in Oregon after living in Italy. What will it be like to be there, as a completely different person? Because my time in Italy has changed me, changed all of us in our little family, more than I ever imagined. And I'm so, so happy with the changes.
What I have finally realized is that I'm not returning to my "old life" in Oregon. I'm moving to a new life, that happens to be in an old place. Going back to an old place doesn't mean going back to an old life or an old me. It reminds me of the time, four months after my son was born, that I finally realized life wasn't going to go back to "normal." There was a new "normal" with the addition of my son then, and there will be a new "normal" for my life in Oregon now. In a way, this realization is kind of freeing. I'm open to redefine things however I like, as long as I avoid falling into assumptions that life has to be the same just because it's the same place.
I think I've been writing this blog post in my head, over the last 24 hours, as I've wrestled with some of these realizations. There was the little, planner part of my brain that said, "No, no, you're doing Scotland photos this week!" But as always, what I need to write wins out over what I planned to write. This blog is about my creative journey, and I can't write anything else and be true to me. I think that's why I've avoided calling myself a travel blog, or an expat blog, or even a photography blog. Because my blog is all of those things and none of them, depending on the day. Conventional wisdom for "growing a blog following" is to know your topic, know your audience and write for them. Today I'm saying aloud something I've felt for a long time: To hell with conventional wisdom. I write this blog for me.
This blog is about one woman's creative journey wherever she may be. I write about what is important to me, fascinating me, challenging me in that moment. It happens that I have a passion for photography and can't help teaching when I'm passionate about something, and that's why you see a lot of photography. I love art and creativity and reading inspirational books, so you get that too. Since I've been living in Italy, I write about my life here and our travels. All because it's who I am right now. Where my life happens is going to change, but who I am will stay the same.
Thanks for joining me on this unpredictable journey. The fact that my little life and interests can connect with others is one of the most rewarding things I've ever experienced. From the bottom of my heart, thank you.
*Lo Scrittore is a sculpture by Giancarlo Neri, installed in Monza Park (Parco di Monza) in 2006 to celebrate the 200th anniversary of the park. The sculpture is painted plywood over a metal frame. The table measures 7.5 meters high and 11 meters long, and the chair is 10 meters tall. I captured this picture while they were working on it last month, to give a better idea of the scale. I absolutely love this sculpture.