Funky as this title may seem, it was the only one that came to me as I tried to describe and define what it is like to be away from home—where I’ve spent the last 30 years!—this time for several months and possibly longer. A week into it, I have been walking around in a daze, wondering how I will make new friends, if someone will ever (ever!) invite me somewhere or enjoy spending time with me, a 50+ years old, recently separated woman who is trying to locate her new nest and tribe.
I am in a beautiful city, Rome, and I couldn’t ask for more. It is majestic, filled with Mediterranean pine trees (yes, there is such a thing!), jaw dropping churches, and loud, down-to earth Romans. I have picked it because, of Italian descent, I wanted a friendly crowd around—even in Italy the more Northern a place the more busy and individualistic people are—and in Rome it is just that: A city where a passerby gives you directions with a smile and often an extra, unrequested comment, and where still exist small shops geared to various edibles or vestibules which, by definition, spear start community creation.
In spite of all this, there still is the inner sense of having lost myself, even though, as I check every day, my whole body followed me, along with the extra pounds and all my daily vitamins aimed at keeping myself afloat.
I won’t delve into the topic of Spirit versus the Physical, I promise: too hot for that, too charged of a subject to embrace here. But I will say that this transition is forcing me to ask myself who I am and how to find true, long-lasting contentment, which brings up the subject of whether happiness and giddiness can be found outside of ourselves, or not, since for the moment I live alone in a foreign city with no one to cling onto for dear life.
To some degree we all grow up believing that a beach-house, a hot boyfriend (or girlfriend), money, flashy clothes and more of the same will give us a life worth a People magazine’s stellar review. But with time we find out that it is not so.
Happiness, satisfaction, contentment… they are much more refined states of being requiring the patience and the work of a monk; day after day, hour after hour, it is the balance between the physical, the emotional/psychological and the spiritual (here it is after all!), the willingness to intimately discover and get to know who we are and what are weaknesses are, and to, most importantly, love ourselves no matter what our flaws and perceived lacks are. And all of this, ideally, can be done without the help of support of others, because let’s face it, at times life requires us that we stare deep and straight into its darkness, alone.
Which is, by the way, what is happening to me now, in this enchanted and yet scary city, away from all that is and has been familiar to me for a very long time.
How am I doing, you may ask?
I am doing very well, all considering. I am finding that deep within there is a person who longs to be heard, a person who has likes and dislikes and shows up when stillness surrounds me and pats me on the shoulder when I say NO to something I don’t want, a person who is finally emerging after years of traveling so far from her true self (in search of approval and recognition) that she no longer knows who she has become. It is a pleasant feeling, I promise you, a fulfilling sense that requires, so far, nothing else or nobody else to compensate for the objective reality which I now inhabit.
I have recently read somewhere that we incarnate into our bodies to find ourselves again towards the end of our lives, and that boomerang process is akin to finding God, i.e., our true selves in our grandness and our beauty. I have no doubt that it is so, as I have felt and observed my deepest, most inner urge of being alone as the only way to test my strength and grow into the strongest Being I can possibly be (I don’t always recommend it, but the way).
It may sound crazy, but just in the last few days I have come to realize that someone is indeed spending time along, coming with me on this wild ride I have taken. And guess who that is? ME!