Monday, October 14, 2013

My Tuscan Transformation

For most of this blog, I've written about places I've gone in Italy, things I've seen, recipes I've gathered, but today I'm writing about something very personal.

Simone at the Vatican Museums this past July

I met my Tuscan, Simone, 3 years ago this month. When we first met, I was intrigued by him. The way he spoke seemed almost poetic. His point of view and way of thinking was quite different from anyone I had ever encountered before. His cheeky sense of humor was incredibly appealing and his playful nature drew me in. Within the first couple weeks of our initial daily conversations, I realized that talking to him was the highlight of my day, and that I was looking forward to hearing from him each afternoon. When he declared to me on an afternoon in late November that he had fallen in love with me, it was one of the best days of my life. I had fallen in love – really and truly in love – for the first time in my life. Any “love” I had experienced before fell very short of what I felt (and continue to feel) for Simone.

Simone and I on the beach this past June

Many people have told me that they see my life as an incredible story...that I should write a book about it.  They see the romance, but despite the romantic part, our relationship has not been easy. The extremely long-distance between us, the 6 hour time difference, the language and cultural differences have been hurdles that we have had to face and overcome. Spending time with him in his country made me realize how different our backgrounds actually are. He has taught me a lot over the last 3 years, and he has learned a bit from me too. Sharing our cultures – the good and the bad...accepting and adapting as we have needed to do...has helped us stay together and as our understanding of each other has deepened, so has our love.

Simone and I under an olive tree

During my time spent in Tuscany, I noticed that I have undergone a transformation of sorts. I had never thought of myself as a “spoiled American”, but I was. In some ways, I still can exhibit signs of being spoiled, but I try to squash those tendencies when I recognize them rearing their ugly head. Now, I must clarify – no one ever told me that I was spoiled or anything along those lines. I came to realize it completely on my own. It's true, my ethnocentrism was not that bad, but it was there. It would show up every so often and make me behave like a spoiled brat at times. When I think about those times, I'm surprised Simone didn't shove me on a plane back to America and tell me not to come back!

I'm not sure what happened to cause me to finally “get it” about my Tuscan's culture and his ways, but it finally happened this summer. I “got it” and I accepted it. Finally.

I'm a lucky gal.  I've got a great man who loves me and I get to spend time in one of the most beautiful countries in the world.  The last 3 years have been amazing...and I'm excited to see what the years to come will bring!

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