I've noticed that at home I do not look at the sky half as much as I do when I am traveling. It's funny, when you are traveling you are always looking around you--seeing things that you'd never see at home. Not because they aren't there, but because you aren't looking...or, you aren't seeing. I never get excited about a sunset in Westerville--even tough recently, I am sure we have had great ones. This is something I'd like to change...you get so used to home being home that you become blind to how nice home actually is...
So, Paolo came and went...and we did it all. Literally, I ran the poor guy into the ground, I am afraid. But I wanted to prove to him that my country is just as cool as his, therefore I had to pack it full of all of Ohio's greatest sites and activities. A brief rundown...We walked through uptown Westerville, went to The Burgundy Room (my favorite) and Bar Louie downtown for my friends 30th birthday party. Went to Easton, built a bear for the new baby adorned with an Ohio State tee-shirt of course. And yes, I did get pictures of Paolo "tapping the heart to give it a heartbeat" before it went into the bear.My dad gave us a tour of the Statehouse and the Dispatch, we went to the zoo, we went to my favorite town--Athens, and visited the greatest school ever, OU. We spent 2 nights in a cabin in Hocking Hills, and hiked all around the area (Old Man's Cave, Cedar Falls, etc). For my b-day (30!) we went to Hyde Park and the opening Blue Jackets game. We carved pumpkins, made s'mores, played cornhole, saw some of the OSU game, ate Chinese, Chipotle, and cheesecake from the Cheesecake Factory (my b-day cake every year)--you see, in Italy they have wonderful food, but only one kind--Italian.
He loved every minute of it. I knew he would, because that is how Paolo is. He loves seeing new things--it's like the wonderment of a little kid, mixed with the patience and desire to learn. He got along great with my parents, and held his own pretty well in most conversations--very little need for translation. When we were at a bar it was more difficult because it's so loud, it's harder to focus on what people are saying. And as for us, it was like we had never left each other. It came back so easily and naturally that we never really have to focus on the relationship. Do you know what I mean? In some relationships you have to discuss, work on, stress over, the relationship itself--and it takes up a lot of time. It's not like that with him, it is just easy.
And he felt the same way--he said, "even though I am in another country I feel like I am home" which was wonderful for me to hear. Because I know how much he loves his country, and particularly his region, so to hear how much he liked it here was a little bit of a relief for me. I think when a lot of foreigners think about the US, they think of the big cities. And being in Columbus gave him a taste of what more "normal" (if there is such a thing) life is like in America. He liked that Westerville had the feeling of a small town, yet the city was so close.
He was here for 8 days, and is hopefully coming back for Thanksgiving and staying for more of an extended period of time. I am still planning on going back to Italy to study Italian in January, so this is as far as we allow ourselves to look into the future at this point.
As for me and my life here. Well...I read A LOT. Anyone who went through grad school understands what the meaning of a lot is...3 classes, each wanting you to read 2 or more chapters per week and these chapters are not short. I am trying to get another part time job, because I am starting to feel like a recluse in the house all day by myself with only Thundercat and my books. (Plus, a little spending money might be nice...) It's hard when I am only going to be here for 3 more months, who wants to hire for that? But there is no way I could work full-time at this point with this amount of school work. Especially since I still have some very emotionally draining days. In fact, today I am headed to the courthouse to officially file all of the paperwork for the dissolution. Leslie signed and sent everything back to me (being considerate enough not to send them on my birthday), not my idea of a great present. When I am more ready, I'll write about my thoughts on closure (I don't believe there is such a thing).
A couple of random things--I just finished the book "Eat, Pray, Love" in which the author writes about her travels through--get this--Italy, India, and Indonesia...after a really hard divorce. I felt like I was reading my life story. Anyway, the book is hysterical, I found myself laughing out loud at times and that never happens for me with books. I also find myself copying down entire conversations or paragraphs to read again later. Great book--highly recommend it. Second, turning 30 was the most uneventful big event in my life. I'm just hoping that this decade can provide me with some more peace, knowledge and happiness than the last decade. Whew. Can't say I am sad to leave my 20's behind. (The only thing that sucks is actually saying "I'm 30"). I joined a bowling league with my friend Jenn and a bunch of her lawyer friends. And those that have ever seen me bowl are shaking their heads right now. My poor teammates... I am interviewing for internships positions at a few places around Columbus, and am going to try to volunteer in the meantime so I'm not totally green when internship time rolls around.
That's about it. I've been back for just over a month now. And truthfully, haven't been much in the mood to write. Externally there is not a whole lot to write about, and internally, I don't know if I am ready or able to get it down on paper yet. But it's in me...one of these days it'll all come pouring out.
And, on a cute note--a little Paolo story...A week or so before he came to the US, he said "wow Maggie, I just read your blog about 9/11, and it gave me bumps goose..." C'mon. How can you not love him?? Bumps goose. My mom has since told my aunt, and I have a feeling it will make its way around the family so by Thanksgiving time it will be a regular household phrase--"Uncle Joe, can you close the window?? I have bumps goose, it's so cold!"