Italy, how I’ve missed you…
Coming back to Italy after being gone for so many years is a feeling I cannot explain for the life of me. All my life, this has been a place I’ve come to, family, friends, and our beautiful little hometown of Casalvieri. Over the years, I’ve travelled around the country and Europe as well, but my heart will always belong here. The simplicity of life is something I cherish and miss when I’m back home in America. I lived here for almost a year about 10 years ago, and I remember when I got back to America, the struggle was real… life is a much different pace in Italy. People here work to live, not live to work. They enjoy their food, their vacations, their weekends, and their coffee.
I came back to visit 6 years ago for a nice long vacation, but had to go home after 2 weeks because of a kidney infection. I was in the middle of a long flare at that point, and my body just wouldn’t allow for it. But this time, back in Casalvieri, with my mama, it’s a whole different story. I’m tasting everything, enjoying every moment of the scenery, the people, the gelato… It’s definitely worth the plain and simple way I live back home to be able to enjoy these moments. My mom also hasn’t been back for 10 years and she is exuding happiness and is so joyful… almost childlike with excitement.
20 years with Lupus, most of them dealing with the effects or the side effects from the drugs, and this is the first time I’m here completely healthy. Not only that, I’m a totally different person now than I was 10 years ago… I wasn’t crazy, but i definitely had my share of fun, playing cards at the bar with the older men, drinking beer and spending all day Sundays at the bars as well. My health wasn’t a priority, I came to live here for my mind. I was overwhelmed back home and needed a break. This town, slower moving and simpler than CA, was just what I needed at that time in my life. I think it’s so interesting the phases we go through in our lives. From someone who has always been positive throughout my illness, over the years the emphasis of what I valued most at each given time has changed.
When I moved here, I valued mental clarity and calm. I came here to remove any bits of stress that had been preoccupying me at that time with work, and I literally unplugged and did nothing. I got my DaisyBug, and lived calmly with no responsibilities. But when I got home, my value became health, first and foremost. And I’ve been on a mission to achieve and maintain that ever since.
I too, like my beautiful mama, am overjoyed to be here. I am overjoyed to be in a place that brings out the calm in me, the place that puts the carbs in me, and the place that puts me in touch with the deepest appreciation for life’s nonmaterial treasures.