But as time goes on, I am reminded that this is not a vacation. Moving to Rome has been quite an adjustment process... I said goodbye to my Dad after the first week of being here, and then to my Mom as her month with me came to a close. It definitely feels odd that I am no longer 5 miles away from them.
In starting a new school year I am searching to find my role in this new community… I'm adjusting to a new age level of students (middle and high school) that brings new challenges and forces me to step out of my comfort zone... I'm also adjusting to the new subjects I am teaching, choir and drama, and desperately trying to stay just one step ahead of the game.
And when I’m not focused on school, I am trying to acclamate to the cultures and norms of a new country… figuring out (what feels like) odd hours that stores are open, because restaurants don’t serve dinner until 8pm, hardware stores are not open on the weekend and some shops don’t abide by the hours they post on their window, making it difficult to schedule errand runs… being aggressive at the deli counter to place your order, because if you wait in “line” you’ll never get to the front… living in a country where English is not the primary language, and that no matter how much Italian you learn, you can never seem to learn the right words you need to use that day :)
And then there are challenges that a small town girl faces when moving to the big city… Waiting and waiting, and then waiting some more for a bus that was scheduled to arrive 20 minutes ago…. Constant blisters on my feet from walking EVERYWHERE (I did not bring the right shoes for this). This list goes on and on.
It is exhausting. There are often days where I go home and go straight to bed, but lie there restless and awake because I can’t stop thinking about all the things that didn’t go right that day and what I could have done better.
This is why I’m doing this, I keep telling myself. I chose to move here to be challenged, to learn, and to grow as a person. The hard days must be days where I am learning and growing a lot, right?! :)