Last May

This time one year ago, in May 2017, I was deep in the business of the biggest move I’ve ever done, from Italy back to the USA.

All my thoughts and actions were taken up with packing, tying up loose ends, seeing favorite places and people one last time, and pulling tendons in my leg from moving boxes (“Lift with your legs, not your back,” they said…).

In the year since, a lot has changed and a surprising number of things have not. I still work in Italian wine and speak Italian every day. I walk everywhere, carry my groceries home in tote bags, and wear a lot of black. I eat great food–dinner is still from 8 to 10–I drink wonderful (mostly Italian) wines, and I make caffè in my moka every morning. I shake my head (or pinch my fingers, palm up…you know that gesture!) in amazement at the general inefficiencies of everyday life. New York, surprisingly, shares many of Italy’s qualities.

But in NYC, everything is concentrated, condensed: my work pace is three times as fast and everything costs three times as much. I wonder how I once had time to cook every day, and how I wrote for an hour every day. And although here I am busier than ever, I feel healthier and better than before. I think some people take to this city, while it pushes other people away.

I’m beginning to find pockets of time to write, now. But to be clear, it was never about finding the time to write this past year. You can always find time to do the things that are important to you. It was about fitting into a new city, riding the stimulating wave of the New York day, and letting it all meld and turn and evolve. And in the end, it all came back to the page anyway; not a day has gone by that I haven’t written. It has just taken this long to let it unfold.

6 thoughts on “Last May

  1. I’m honestly so curious about this transition. I’m on the other side of it, having lived in Florence now for about a year and a half, but also obviously still getting used to it. I joke that Italians would have more time to work if they had more air conditioning, clothes dryers, and dishwashers! work – life balance huh

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    1. Ha — I often thought the same thing! I’ll be writing more about the transition now that I’ve had time to acclimate to everything, and I’ll be curious to read about your own expat adventure in Florence.

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  2. Wow, must be exciting to live in the Big Apple. I grew up about 20 miles away and thought I’d end up there, but so far, it was not meant to be. I’m glad you’re enjoying it – it sounds as though you’re blending quite well. Walk with quick, determined steps!

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