The title of today’s post is also the title of one of my favorite Italian movies. It’s the story of a woman who doesn’t know that she has lost herself until her family loses her by forgetting her at a highway rest stop. She goes on an adventure, follows her heart, and finds her creative talents in the most unexpected ways.
Sometimes, when we’re not looking, life finds us, and then asks us to find ourselves. When I first came to live in Rome, I had saved just enough money to pay for a room for about 5 or 6 months. It was literally my life savings. After having worked for a couple years in the “real world” with my freshly minted college degree, and having braved by myself one whirlwind month here, I moved back in with my parents after 6 years out of the house, worked almost daily in a grocery store bagging and cashiering, as well as part time in advertising. Anything to get my little “nest egg” together to go for my dream, as fast as possible.
When I got here and started living day to day, I had absolutely no extra money. For anything. Even though I was managing to scrape together a bit here and there tutoring English, it was the first time in my life I had to ask myself questions like, “Can I afford shampoo and conditioner? Or just shampoo?” I am in no way trying to garner sympathy by telling you this. I'm fully aware that there are much bigger problems in the world. I guess I just got to thinking about Ms. Adventures in Italy’s comment on yesterday’s post: not everyone’s road to success in Italy is paved with living in a hotel while remodeling their dream home. And that’s a really good thing.
Anyone who has gone on this kind of an adventure knows that really making it in a foreign country involves an unspeakable amount of hard work. Embarrassment. Fear. And those who succeed can look back and know that blind faith comes into play. A lot.
When I had almost nothing else besides my family and friends back home, Alessandro, and my blind faith, I started writing down the things I wanted in my life here. Kind of a wish list, convinced that I was headed in that direction. I’ll never forget: one of the things I wrote, one of the goals I hoped I would reach, was to be able to afford flowers for no reason. Flowers, and a daily newspaper.
Yesterday afternoon on the way back from the grocery store, I stopped to look at these tulips. They seemed a little too expensive to me (8 euro). But the truth is, I so rarely buy flowers for no reason that I don’t really know what a good price would be. And that’s when I remembered what I had written back then.
So I went ahead and bought them. Because after all these years, I realized that I could. And now, the tulips sitting on my desk are not just adding a little extra color—they are a reminder of where a little blind faith and a dream can take you.
What steps are you taking to nurture your “crazy, impossible” dream?