Summer Blues

The past many days have been tough. Things are clearly shifting.

At first I thought it was because of overindulging in gluten. I can’t eat gluten in the US, but here I can without problems. I still limit it, but I realized I had it two days in a row, which throws off my mood.

Friday and Saturday I found myself feeling less interested in things here in Tropea. It was the calm after the big rush of tourist season in August, and I could feel the energy shift. There’s also a coolness in the air at night and you can feel fall coming. Both Fri. and Sat. nights my eyes began to glaze over early in the night, so I went home. I didn’t leave home all of Sunday, I just didn’t feel like socializing or seeing anyone. Monday I went out briefly to get out , but wasn’t really in the mood. Yesterday I planned some calls with friends in the US so didn’t go out at night. Everything feels much quieter, has shifted, and a sense of boredom hit me. Yes, that’s right – BOREDOM. First time in at least 3 months!

Josephine also is leaving for Sicily Saturday to begin a new chapter of her life. She’s gotten what she needed from Tropea after 2 years, and is ready to move on. She’s been instrumental to my experience here, and we would spent countless hours together just about every day talking about everything and nothing, and she would share her wisdom about a variety of things with me.

I know everything happens the way it needs to, but I’m sad. She has helped me make so much sense of life here, and why things are the way they have been at times. I know this will be a friendship that continues, and we will see each other again before I leave here.

The good news is that in all of this, I have decided that Tropea is NOT where any part of my future lies. I’ve had some fantastic conversations lately and realized the people here probably aren’t going to leave to live anywhere else, and they simply enjoy meeting one another at the local hang out spot frequently. Few of them are friends with tourists (I am special!) and I believe that people need other new people to stimulate them to grow – I don’t see much of this. The guys I know have a mentality that is sort of limited (they have limited opportunities, in fairness though), and I don’t think I could grow with them at the same pace because I’m too forward thinking. My priorities and theirs are just different. It’s a beautiful place to come to decompress and gain clarity, but I don’t see myself living here (in Tropea) long-term again. This is great because it means that I can close this chapter when I leave, and really focus on what’s ahead. I need to be serious about achieving my personal goals, and if I came back next year – is that helping me get closer to those goals? Would spending months at a time here really help?

At this moment in time, the answer is no.

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Baby Love

Last night I was invited to the house of a woman I recently got acquainted with for an aperitivo. She was very sweet to include me. She’s been eager to spend time with me this week, and honestly I’ve been tired every night because it’s late and the connection hasn’t been 100% reciprocal. However, I’m seeing where the energy flows.

She has a dog, and a cat who had kittens 3 weeks ago! I was able to snuggle with a cute little baby kitten! This is something I’ve never done before. I miss Snickers a lot, but this really brought joy to me!

 

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Guide to Self-Care

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Buon Ferragosto! Aug. 15, 2017

Ferragosto is a week long vacation for most Italians. I’ve always admired my friends’ photos during this time of year and feel so happy and grateful to participate in the fun! Josephine and I were planning to spend all day on the beach, hoping we’d get to enjoy time with friends. We got there early thinking Acquamarina would be packed with people, but it wasn’t. At least we reserved our spot early.

In the afternoon our friends came and we had FUN! Some Prosecco helped everything move along, too, with our group.

More shenanigans together! I love that Valerio is always up for it! He’s fun and knows how to play!

Enzo, Valerio, Josephine and I decided to go back in the sea at sunset! We were probably louder than we should’ve been but it was SO MUCH FUN! Josephine captured this picture of Valerio and I. I love everything about it!

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He’s like a Merman coming out of the sea! I photo bombed it, but it’s proof I was really there! 😉  Someone pinch me – how is this my life!?

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My best friend sent me a picture to show me what her life looked like after I sent her some pictures of Ferragosto.

This is what a typical day of a 37 year old in Italy looks like vs. that in the United States! My life is anything but that of a typical 37 year old American woman!

 
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It hits me in the face sometimes when I wonder if I’m immature or irresponsible because I see on Facebook my friends sending kids off to school, etc. while I’m frolicking around in the Tyrrhenian Sea indulging in Prosecco with the hottest men. It doesn’t really bother me, but it is a shock of reality. How is it that I’m 37 and still enjoy this? More importantly, how did I create this?

I got this little reminder from “The Universe.” Secret is revealed! THIS is how! FullSizeRender (13)

I love the confirmation of being exactly where I need to be!Image may contain: text

 

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The Esthetician

Josephine showed me upon first arriving where certain things in town are. One of the things I figured out was that it was a good price to get my nails done every so often, so I figured this would be one of those treats I would do now and again, plus it is in line with keeping the feminine energy flowing. My experience there is VERY different than what I’m used to!

NAILS

This is a typical nail salon in the US:

Here in Tropea, the salon is in a converted apartment. There are rooms with sliding doors, and there’s a room for waxing, nails, tanning, and massage.

The nail room has a chair in the corner, and along the walls are the typical supplies you’d find in a salon. There was no spa pedicure chair. There was an exam room bed in the middle of the room, however. Of course I’m oblivious as to what to expect or what is even going on, so I just went with the flow.

They asked me to sit in the chair that’s in the corner of the salon, and they brought me a portable foot bath that looks like something you could buy at CVS! When I asked about picking out the color of my nail polish, I was brought a huge bin with a variety of nail polish colors thrown in together, so I had to dig through it to find a color that suited me.

I’m used to this:

When it came time for them to do the actual pedicure, I was confused on where I was going. They asked me to sit on the exam table, and the woman proceeded to use this little blade to shave off the dead skin. It feels better and easier than the typical cheese grater they use in the US to take off dead skin! It was uncomfortable sitting there on the exam table the whole time though.

When we were finishing with that, the woman brought me something to put my fingers in to soak for a few minutes (while I was still on the exam table)! Ha! My manicure continued to be done on the exam table, very carefully. I’d never seen anything like it!

Unfortunately, after all that, the nail polish (which was not OPI, my brand of choice) only lasted 3 days! I even brought my own top coat from home, cause I usually like to extend the nail polish longevity by applying a new top coat a few days after.

WAXING

On the second visit to this salon, I decided to get waxed because it’d been a while, and we are in the midst of beach season here. THAT was an experience!

First off, I was asked to sit on the exam table again, which isn’t a far cry from what I’m used to. Looking at what they were about to use was. I saw a knife that looked like this sitting in the container of wax: 

This is the exact knife my mom used to use to spread frosting on cakes when I was growing up! What was it doing in a salon!? Yup…being used on me!

I found this ‘practice’ quite unsanitary. In the US they use popsicle stick type of things to prevent double dipping into the wax to keep it as sanitary as possible. Here, they use this knife in wax, and dip for more wax – yes, after touching your body. They use the same strip of paper to remove the wax, over and over, until there’s no room on it anymore. That is ineffective time after time.

As if this wasn’t enough, the woman doing this did not even wear gloves! WORST NIGHTMARE.

AND…it wasn’t just one woman. It was like 2 most of the time, and sometimes 3! I know I’m a red head and all, but do you all really need to come in to look at me!? This situation was definitely awkward because the estheticians kept coming in and out of the room.

The last time I visited there was one woman who asked me what size bra I wear because she thought she was big, but she then went on to tell me she sees I’m bigger. Can I just saw how embarrassed I was!? I know I’m an oddity to them (red hair and big boobs)…but really!?

Trust me, it’s slim pickings around here. I hear there’s another salon in town, but I don’t know where it is and I’m not sure how that would be in comparison. 

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Embracing the Divine Feminine

Ever since I moved to Boston two years ago, it was clear as day to me that I needed to work on embracing my feminine. Spirit told me directly that I needed to do certain things to feel feminine often – get my hair and nails done, get a new look with my wardrobe, they gave me tips how to feel more sexy, etc. For a while there I was doing really well with this and felt in my power. 

Once I started working at home though, I didn’t care to work in nice clothes that made my power shine. I learned I’m not looking for business clothes, per se, but clothes that show off my best physical qualities while making me feel confident, powerful, and feminine. If anything, I maintained this mentality of “People only see me once every so often” so I skated by and tended to wear often the same clothes without much variance even though I have other clothes I could’ve worn. 

Since coming to Europe, I have noticed old issues arising again that are preventing me from feeling 100% comfortable in my skin. The first part was about my clothes – I felt extremely like an American tourist, even though I brought my best summer clothes with me. Shorts are typically a no no, but it’s HOT. What was I supposed to do? I also had to walk a lot, and my sandals were hurting my feet. I had no choice but to wear my ugly sneakers or flip flops until I could find better sandals which is a dead giveaway you’re American. Not to mention, I get stared at anyway because my looks are so different.

Once I got here, my exercise habits and eating habits changed (for the better!) and my clothes got big on me – fast! The jeans I purchased a week or two earlier were so big I could fit my whole arm down the leg while wearing them, and my new shorts were sitting too low on my waist because they were too large.

This added fuel to the fire because as it was, I felt disoriented around where I could go to have my basic needs met, and having clothes that made me feel good was a basic need in my book! To top it off, I learned that having a pair of white pants is a necessity in my wardrobe. Unfortunately I left my white pair of capri pants at home (a very costly mistake!) and trying to find any here has been a joke.

Trying to find ANYTHING that fits me was a joke. In the US, I’m a size 12, sometimes a 14, depending. In Italy, I’m big. Granted, I have an extremely curvy body also…so this adds another element. Everyone here is like a size 2, maybe a 4. Ha!

The little shops of Tropea cater more to tourists, so finding bigger clothes should be easier but it’s really not. I decided to go to the city of Reggio di Calabria (1.5 hours one way on the train) and low and behold, I found a pair of white pants – at the discounted price of 87€! I about fell over. They’re not even the highest quality pants, either…but they work. I had to take them to get hemmed. The poor seamstress had to really recreate them for my body because they were too big in most spots, but they fit my waist. That came at a cost of 30€! They better give me the confidence I need and want at that price, haha!

I have discovered the esthetician here, and have gone to get my nails done a couple times. It’s cheap enough so I promised myself I’d do this regularly to keep up the feminine. I’ve gone a couple times, and when I leave I set up the next appointment so I am guaranteed to go and keep my nails fresh. This is helping to feel more polished and feminine.

I also got my hair done recently. The girl who does my blow out is fantastic – she curled my hair with a skinny little round brush, and I was amazed how pretty and feminine it looked. Image may contain: 2 people, people smiling, people sitting and closeup

Let’s just say that I have been trying to replicate this (thanks to YouTube) and from what I remembered, but yeah…that hasn’t worked out so great for me yet. I think I need to just reach out to her and ask for some lessons.  She’s very sweet, so I’m sure this will make a difference. My guides told me to do it – this is partially why I’m here. 🙂

I recently have noticed there are a couple girls here I’ve come across who brought up some feelings inside me specific to femininity.

The first person is someone who I’ve always admired from afar. She’s friends with a lot of the friends I have, and is literally one of the most stunning women I’ve ever seen in my life. I’ve seen Giusy’s photos and always thought she was gorgeous, but the right opportunity never came to get introduced to her before this trip. One night we did meet, and she’s a lovely person too. Every time I see her, I can’t help but notice that she’s just beautiful and she doesn’t do ANYTHING to try!  This is one of those people who I stand next to and am like, yeah…I look like such a tourist In comparison!

What I love is that Giusy and I are developing a nice friendship. She wants very much to improve her English, and I feel honored she’s trusted me with this. We will get together more frequently over the next couple months as she’ll have more time to devote to this. She’s showing me vulnerability, and that when you open yourself to the right people in this way, a lot can come from it. I’m grateful for this lesson from her, and I barely know her!

The second person is a girl I just recently met. She was here on vacation and connected with her through friends. She’s got such a fantastic personality, and a beautiful white smile! Sidenote: the smile stands out to me, as I’ve noticed in general that a perfect, white smile is not as sought after here as it is in the US. 😉

This girl is interested genuinely in every person she talks to, her body language is so feminine and delicate. I’m bothered that my energy isn’t as sparkly as hers and I’m aware that I need more of this in myself. I am feeling more sparkle and shine these days, but I’m surprised it’s taken me as long as it has to really adjust to life here.

I learned early on that I REALLY needed to respect the flow of the energy of the moment. If I’m not feeling social or at my best, I don’t go out. People WILL notice a sourpuss look on your face, and that’s the last thing I want is to feel like a wet towel dampering the mood because I am not in the right head space. Summer is short, these people are out for a good time, and I feel it’s my responsibility to show up in a space to meet that and would expect the same. I’ve noticed I need to step up my shiny-ness (with my clothes, hair, nails) and this will help my personality start to shine more if I feel comfortable in my skin.

We always attract the type of people who reflect who we are and how we show up. Obviously the other girls and I are on the same level (to be able to attract each others’ vibration), yet I still feel I’m falling short somehow. These particular girls have shown me that I need to continue to spruce myself up and let that shine. Good lessons to learn and to strive toward.

Update: I went to some shops I’ve always been drawn to and actually bought a lot of new items! Josephine is GREAT at this kind of stuff, so she helped once I found some things. I don’t have photos that are good of me in my new outfits, but they are definitely different from anything I’d normally ever wear, but I love them all. Living in another country has certainly forced me to push the limits because I have no choice to. For that, I’m grateful! This keeps it in perspective as to why I’m here, and what this is all for.

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Simple Pleasures – Aug. 13

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A perfect Sunday sunset

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Stromboli showed up well today

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Josephine even came!

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with Marcello

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Sara came, too! I just love this girl – she’s so sweet and always makes me feel comfortable. She’s a special friend!

After our time at Acquamarina, Sara, Marcello and I decided to have dinner at the Port of Tropea. We went to a new pizzeria – the pizza was very good but the service was slow, but the view was spectactular!

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