I haven’t updated the blog in a while and to be honest is was for a good reason. I haven’t been in the best place, mentally. When we decided to move to Italy I knew I could handle it. I was a pro at all the chaos, the changes, the newness, and the adjusting. Sure, it would be hard but I’d spent a lot of time in Italy before. I had also gotten used to not being in a place for very long. We had moved 4 times in the last year one of those moves being super difficult. When you think about 4 moves in less than a year, you think “Gypsy”. Yes, I should rename this blog to the “Gypsy Family”. As we know from living in Hungary, being a gypsy is kind of a negative thing…
So why was I so mentally unstable? Well, first off if you don’t know yet, we are expecting our third little boy in October! I will write another blog soon on how we found out the gender! Its super awesome… so stay tuned for that.
Pregnancy isn’t easy. The first trimester which lasted through our move was really hard. I was pretty sick everyday. Eating was a challenge, worst of all I hate pizza apparently. Or the baby does. It makes me sick just thinking about it right now and I’m almost 20 weeks.
Aside from the sickness the hormones were out of control. Sometimes you can’t see the darkness until you get out of it. Living in the hotel got to me. It wasn’t so much living in a hotel, the hotel was super nice. I look back and realize it was more the unknowing of what would be happening. No dates, no one day to look forward to.
A little behind the story:
After we found a house on the third day of house hunting I was super excited. We had heard it could take a month to finalize everything and we’d be holed up in the hotel for a bit longer. The worst part of the hotel was just the eating. We bought a microwave half way through which helped but how may TV dinners can a person eat? The blender and grill just weren’t feasible either. The messes I had to make to accomplish dinner just made me angry. I had to wash all our dishes in a tiny bathroom sink and I wasn’t down with that. I just assumed order out if we could help it. We met some amazing friends that just happen to be from Charleston and they started feeding us dinner on the weekends. I seriously don’t know how to repay them for helping us when we felt that desperate. My husband is less easy going than me but somehow he dealt with the situation much better than me. He would try to calm me when I had just had enough.
We were supposed to be set to move one Monday. That Monday came and went without any sort of GOOD explanation why we couldn’t move in. A week passed and we got a call from Hank’s company that the deal was falling through and we needed to look for another option. Option?? Like perfectly furnished homes are just willing and ready to go??? I cried so hard I could speak. I had enough. We had two kids, a big dog, and I was getting more pregnant by the second and just needed the comfort of a home, a kitchen, and couch. I saw the next two months in a hotel and I couldn’t handle it. How did this happen??
There was a lot more drama when it came to the house that I can’t really share with you but it felt wrong. We felt in the dark about the situation. The next day we went looking for another hotel, one preferably with more room and an actual kitchen. We could be in a hotel for anywhere from 1-3 more months and I couldn’t just keep “surviving”. We looked at one place but it just felt dirty. There was no yard for the dog, the flies were everywhere… for me I might could have dealt with it but I still had a glimmer of hope that we might still get the house. We looked at other houses including temporary base housing which to me, looked like the the projects of Chicago. Each time we looked at a new place I got more discouraged and more upset. I realized that kitchen or no kitchen, the hotel we were at was best for us even for the long haul.
Skip to several weeks later, we got a call that our company had received the information they needed and we could move in that Thursday. I cried happy tears. For the first time I felt the black cloud lift. I realized that it wasn’t hormones, I was legit in a depression. Adjusting to Italy was hard but learning I might be LIVING in a hotel for 5-7 months… NO.
I chose not to write about my experiences because I knew it would be too dark and depressing to read.
Here I am sitting in my new home, doors open, kids playing in the yard, music playing, and its cozy. I feel so incredibly happy. I am so happy that experience is behind us. I’m so happy to have a home.
But I have a confession. We miss America. Its hard. No matter how many times you do this, its hard. Some things get easier. We deal with things much better than a first timer. We both agree that the hardest most annoying thing about being an expat is the language barrier. Before Italy, Kuwait spoke English everywhere you went. Maybe thats why it was easy to stay so long.
Two days ago I had to go to an “in town” dentist. “In town” meaning that I couldn’t see the dentist on base since Im not active duty. So I had to have a translator and a bus driver take me downtown. I ended up talking to the translator in the waiting room. She was Italian but had lived in America for a really long time. She said adjusting to her own culture when she moved to Italy was really hard. She didn’t understand why things were so difficult. She finally admitted to herself that those were her people and should couldn’t compare them to her former life in America. She said, ” why do Italians do the things they do? Why do they beep their horn for no reason, why do they stop in the streets?” She started to realize that it’s because they don’t know any other way. This is the way they live and she had to accept it because she lived here now. In the end, you have to be accepting of the culture you live in, to be understanding and see the good in the situations. Things will be more difficult here. Everyday tasks are just harder. Going to the grocery store and trying to translate everything, what a pain. But one day this year will be a tiny blip on the timeline of our life. We will have experiences no-one else may get. We will cherish Italy, its culture, its funny parts, its hard parts, and living there just like we have with Kuwait and Hungary. We will be okay. We go overseas for a reason, sometimes we forget along the way why. We get so bogged down with the negatives we forget all the positives. The worst part is over, for me. Hotel living overseas or anywhere is not fun.
The translator made the most fabulous truthful point ever. I told her I hadn’t talked about how hard it was to move because people always say ” You live on the coast of Italy, you are living the dream! I would die to go there!”. Yes, they are right. I live in a tourist destination. I live where most people can’t even visit. But as the translator said, “Living somewhere is MUCH MUCH different than vacationing somewhere.” Vacationers know they are leaving soon, they don’t mind the little things bc its temporary. When you live in a place, you have to deal with everything everyday. It isn’t beach and fruity drinks. Its traffic, its work, its adjusting for the long haul. People won’t ever fully understand what you are going through, they can only see the surface. They see the pretty pictures.
I couldn’t have explained it better but we are adjusting like we should…
We have so much to look forward to. We have made friends here that are so awesome. School is almost out. My husbands mother is coming for a visit in less than two weeks. The baby is due in 5 months. And before we know it, it will be the holidays. Then after that, a year will have passed. Time flies so fast, I want to try to enjoy the good times. Nothing is forever, one day we will miss this place.