Dear Italy,

Turning a New Leaf

Ciao, it’s been a while (again)!

I’ve been neglecting this blog of mine for a few weeks now… partly because I’ve had little free time; partly because I’ve had not a clue what to write about. In the time since I last posted here, I’ve been hired full-time by an online platform for tourism and leisure; and, it’s been both extremely overwhelming and incredibly exciting.

Remember when I wrote this back in June? Well, it was during that period that I began feverishly applying to countless jobs in both familiar and new industries, sometimes for roles that I had absolutely no qualifications for. (One of them being my current job!) Honestly, I was pretty tired with ‘playing it safe’ and not giving myself the grace to grow–to make mistakes, own them and move on.

So, over the summer, I stopped…

…and with the arrival of autumn, I turned a new leaf. 

I’m working for an Italian company. I’m speaking more Italian. I’m reading more in Italian. (I even received my Italian carta d’identità this morning!) Life is good right now, and it seems all is falling perfectly into place. However, for a long time, I never thought it actually would. For a long time, I’ve secretly envied my loved ones as they landed their dream jobs. Moved in with their best friend. Bought a home. Began planning for their future. I shrieked in joy hearing about promotions, big moves, engagements and pregnancies.

Truthfully, until recently, I had always wondered when it’d be my turn. I mean, I have done some pretty cool things, but they were always temporary–mere life phases–and I often felt as if I was watching from the sidelines of my life as everyone around me actually lived theirs.

Now that I’m living a life I could have only dreamed of just a few, short years ago (smack dab in the middle of our long-distance relationship), I almost feel badly, even guilty. Guilty for being happy, and excited, and privileged, and lucky, and a little selfish.

Ah, the “s” word. The *other* “s” word.

I used to think being selfish was a terrible characteristic, one of the worst possible personality traits to possess, and only associated the term with awful, evil people. Then, I had an epiphany during my job search and realized that slight selfishness is healthy and absolutely necessary sometimes.

Going to the gym to get a workout in instead of going out with your friends? Selfish.

Postponing writing an email to a company while you’re waiting on exciting news from another? Selfish.

Declining to offer a family friend a free service because you need the money? Selfish.

…and guess what?! You’re allowed to be!

Putting yourself first, knowing your worth and being relentless in the pursuit of your goals is NOT a bad thing. It took me a while to understand that, because–as an empath–I’ve always considered the feelings of others, and will avoid hurting them so much so, that I always ensure that–especially if I’m in a group–everyone is being and feeling heard. I’ll respond to the question no one answered. I’ll laugh at the corny, yet cute joke no one laughed at. I’ll smile when no one else does. Empaths feel what those around them feel, basking in happiness or teetering on tears if the person in front of them is either joyous or sad. I mean, I cry just watching people on TV cry. So, as you can imagine, it has sometimes been hard for me to boast about my accomplishments in fear of not wanting to seem totally self-absorbed, neglecting completely others’ thoughts and emotions. It’s also been quite difficult for me to say “no” to others. I don’t mean that I’m a pushover or anything, but–for example–I have given people too many chances and do them favors when they definitely don’t deserve them. Lastly, I loathe hiding things from others, whether I know them or not (not necessarily lying; just not being completely transparent).

However, I’m slowly changing my ways. I’m learning that it’s okay to be selfish. It’s okay to be excited about my vision and goals. It’s okay to be proud of building and living a life I’ve worked so hard for all these years. Everything has its season, they say, and this just happens to be mine 🙂

One Comment

  • Karina

    I love this! Reminds me of one of my favorite versus in the Bible.

    I am so glad to hear that it is your season and guess what you DESERVE IT 🙂

    “To everything there is a season,
    a time for every purpose under the sun.
    A time to be born and a time to die;
    a time to plant and a time to pluck up that which is planted;
    a time to kill and a time to heal …
    a time to weep and a time to laugh;
    a time to mourn and a time to dance …
    a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing;
    a time to lose and a time to seek;
    a time to rend and a time to sew;
    a time to keep silent and a time to speak;
    a time to love and a time to hate;
    a time for war and a time for peace.”
    Ecclesiastes 3:1-8

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