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“Well, can I at least keep my name tag?”

The question left my lips before I could really comprehend what I was saying. Three years of playing by, “the man’s,” rules had passed, leaving behind only a green name tag decorated with a monster sticker.

“Of course you can,” said my manager.

I mindlessly ran through the buttons as I clocked out. 

6-1-5, employee, check out. Yes, I’m sure I want to check out. Clock out. Yes, please, clock me out.

After graduation in May, the shock of having to decide what to do set in fully, as it does for most college students that didn’t get a job before graduation.
A: Do I get a journalism job?
B: Do I keep working at the coffee shop?
C: Should my (now ex) boyfriend and I move together?

All of these options filled my mind, and weighed me down.

So I chose option D: Leave for Europe with no set plan, not even a return ticket, and see what happens.

Three years and several saved paychecks later, I find myself in an odd position. No steady income, no serious relationship and no certain plans further than the stack of one-way airline tickets. Even more impulsive, my one-month trip to England and Germany has turned into a one-year stay with a family to be their au pair in Milan, Italy.

At first the prospect of moving to a foreign country to teach a family’s children English was utterly absurd. Who does that? Who just picks up their perfectly wonderful life and changes it on a whim?

I guess I do.

If I’m being completely honest, I was bored with my life. At work I would think, “How many people will come through the drive before I have to explain the difference between a frappe and granita today?”

I caught myself dreaming of lying in bed with no excuse to leave. Running didn’t sound fun anymore. Making it to Oula or ballet-barre class became second rate to Netflix marathoning enjoyed in the solitude I created for myself.

The past year was full of disrespectful adolescent roommates, a long distance relationship, uncertainty of achieving graduation, and a looming sense of dread as I realized that I was uncomfortably close to an adult job and adult responsibilities.

I had customers that complain daily about how much they hated their jobs and the world they had made for themselves. I couldn’t help but wonder, “Why not change it?” Just quit your job, tell your family you can’t feed them, stop paying the mortgage, have the car repossessed and maybe sell a kidney to get by in the mean time.
(I hope you all understand this is some thick sarcasm here.)

The customers walking into the coffee shop may not have the opportunity to change their lives, but I saw the opportunity for my own life and took it. I'm a firm believer in the fact that you create your reality, and I was unhappy with how my reality was shaping up.

Not everyone understands why you or I do the things we do, but at the end of the day it’s ourselves we have to face. I grew tired of looking in the mirror every day and seeing this shell of myself – miserable and following the motions of life. I was so obsessed with following everyone’s expectations that I forgot to stop and ask if I even wanted any of it.

Coming to the realization that I wasn’t in love with my life instigated a massive overhaul, so that’s what I’m doing. Though this blog is to help keep my family and friends connected to me while I’m gone this next year, A year on my own is also my own personal way of keeping myself inspired and to continue pushing forward on this journey. 

I can't wait to see where the adventures will take me and who I will meet along the way. 

Fino alla prossima volta, 
(Until next time)

B