November One-Month Challenge
~ Outfit Details: Drop Waist Dress with Bows on Sleeves…
~ I know this isn’t my usual kind of post on here, but I do feel a certain responsibility to keep all of you updated. I’m so grateful for how you have followed along and supported me on this journey this past year! I have been so touched by all of your encouraging words and sweet comments on instagram and facebook. I know I have been MUCH quieter than usual on here, and I just wanted to give a little bit of an update. I’m currently in a sweet, yet uncertain, phase of “in-between.” Half of me is SO READY to throw myself into my new career, though half of me is SO incredibly grateful for this sweet time with my friends in family that I probably would have only dreamed about having years ago. I’m so lucky. I know that!
But, let’s start where I left off? I had to leave my flat in Milan and move home to the US, without much of a plan in place. No matter how often I’ve moved in my life (*OFTEN), it doesn’t necessarily get easier. I don’t like moving. I especially don’t like moving by myself. Starting in 8th grade, I learned how to make each new dorm room feel like “home,” and this is a skill that I am forever grateful for. I can make anywhere a home (truly), and right now, that looks like couches and guest rooms of the sweetest friends who are like family to me! But, back to the moving part…
Packing up my tiny studio in Milan was NOT fun. It took days and it took longer than I had anticipated. When you have to put all of your belongings into suitcases to move…things get a bit trickier. If you followed along on my instagram story this year, you saw how much time and love I put into making my flat feel like home. Well, the one saving grace about leaving this cozy little home I built is knowing that it is being passed along to a friend who wants to keep and appreciate all of that work I put into it. My dear friend, Rebecca, who is a fellow American, will be moving in soon with her boyfriend and wants to keep everything from the headboard I made to the gallery wall. I re-covered the couch for her and made little arm-chair covers as well (you can’t just let that fabric go to waste?!). Just as it was when I left my townhouse in CT, I have a much easier time leaving places and belongings to friends who I know will love and appreciate them. I’m so glad Rebecca is moving in! It made leaving this place so much easier for my heart to handle.
The night before I left Milan, I only got one hour of sleep (* there were SO many little odds and ends to tie up). Getting all 6 bags (4 checked, 2 big carry-ons with electronics, books, and diplomas) down from my 4th floor walk up before my cab arrived at 6:30AM was no easy feat. However, I’m glad that I was deliriously tired that morning. It somehow made everything a blur and I’m grateful that it was!
I kept saying “it’ll hit me when I land”…which turned into, “it’ll hit me in a few weeks”…but I’m still not sure that it has fully hit me just yet that I’m not in Europe anymore. Maybe it will hit me when I’m settled into my new place, wherever that might be? I’m not sure, but all I know is that I’m focused on ensuring a solid future career AND enjoying the time that I have now. I’m a firm believer that I can continue to explore current opportunities on the table and continue the job hunt from ANYWHERE. SO…knowing that, why not take advantage while I can?
SO…what have I been up to since my feet touched down in America? Well, I had one day in PA at my parents’ before heading down to AVALON, NJ (one of my favorite places) to surprise my nieces! My sister-in-law, her sweet sisters and their daughters (under the age of 7), and her mom all head down for a week each year, and I was so grateful that they let me share that time with them for a couple of days! My oldest niece thought magic somehow brought me back to the states, and kept asking “MOM HOW DID YOU DO IT? HOW DID YOU GET HER HERE?” My youngest niece might be the only person in the world who I think might have missed me almost as much as I missed her. After asking a slew of questions to ensure that I wasn’t going back to Italy or back to school, she asked “CAN YOU COME OVER TO MY HOUSE EVERYDAY?” Their cuteness was too much to handle and I had so much fun spending time with them and their 3 adorable cousins! 5 little ones calling me “Aunt Nana” on the beach was too sweet to be true. I love all of them so much!
The day after the beach, I left for a long weekend in Annapolis to visit some best friends from college. It’s been such a sweet time! I’m staying with my friend Alison (who’s wedding I was in back in June) and it’s been the most amazing weekend so far. I’m so incredibly grateful for this time and for these friends who welcome me into their homes always and who always treat me like family. Making dinner with my friend, Lauren, tonight and holding her little baby, Chase, I couldn’t help but feel more grateful than ever to just be able to do normal life things with them, even if just for a little bit.
Where am I going next? Of course, this is all depending on future career opportunities, but over the next few weeks, the plan includes (*but is not limited to):
~ PA, because I still need to finish unpacking…which also means re-packing into storage containers for my next move. My label maker is back in action.
~ CT…I NEED TO SAIL and see my IHYC family and all of my loved ones in CT! I cannot wait.
~ Martha’s Vineyard, AKA my FAVORITE place in the world (STILL), but to volunteer in the kitchen at FOCUS and cook for one of their middle school programs! I can’t wait to see my old co-workers who are like family, and hopefully some of my middle school students. I know this will be my favorite part of the summer because serving FOCUS always gives me the most joy.
~ Stratton, VT! I cannot WAIT to have a weekend of hiking, being outside, and seeing close friends. Stratton is one of my favorite places to go in the summer. The waterfall…the wildflowers…it’s all so beautiful! I’ve missed this place a ton, and being in the Dolomites had me thinking about it a lot.
This time is a gift. Having this time at age 28 feels more special than it did at 22. I know that it might never come again, and I know that every day counts. It’s easy to be consumed with worry for the future, but I just have faith that the job I am meant to have will come to me, somehow. There are still some moments when I have doubt, but tonight…I am feeling very optimistic and hoping that maybe some of that “magic” that my niece thinks brought me back to the US will lend itself to the job search, too 🙂
Gratefully with love,
I can’t go without thanking ALL of my friends who have offered their guest rooms and couches to me, knowing my situation. In such a time of uncertainty, it has made me feel so loved and taken care of and that has really meant everything!