Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Why I love reading blogs/The hunter and gatherer in me

I haven't posted much lately and for good reason. I've always been a very happy person my entire life. When I was a little girl, I would laugh and sing all of the time. So much so, that even my own mom made comments on what a happy girl I was. Pretty much all the time. Even going through breakups and divorce and bad jobs, I have always managed to keep a sense of humor and joy in my life. But, lately, well a lot of this year, things just went to heck after a pretty decent start. I noticed in college that I suffered bouts of depression linked to that seasonal affective disorder (SAD). So, I bought the special light bulbs to simulate sunlight. And endless days of fog that we have in winter, can make me go crazy and paint parts of my house very bright colors.

But this sadness was getting worse and worse and really, nothing is that terrible in my life right now, except for... I am not in Italy. I've discussed this for some time with my sister and a good friend. Geographically, I don't particularly care for my current location. It is hot in summer. It is foggy in winter. It is always dusty and frankly, really noisy. Fire/police sirens seem constantly responding to car accidents on the highway. The cool and quiet of having a cup of tea on the porch on Saturday and Sunday mornings are ruined by the cacophony of lawnmowers, weed eaters and blowers. Trucks, cars and motorcycles are modified so they can rumble, whine and grumble through town with the most possible noise to impress other.... males. (My own sister's ex-husband tricked her into changing the muffler on her brand new truck to "Flowmasters". For the un-informed, non-rednecks, theses mufflers make a rumbling noise. He told her that he wanted to change the muffler on the truck to "save on gas". She was appalled when her male co-workers oohed, and awed when they heard the truck and said, oh, you have Flowmasters! Then, she new she had been hoodwinked.)

Whenever real estate agents talk about the town I live in they say it is centrally located (real estate translation: there ain't nothing here, but we have a highway were you can get to somewhere else). But the cost of gas has made every trip to San Francisco or other interesting places very costly. Money, I would prefer to save for a plane trip you know where.

Then, I just finished reading Marlena De Blasi's third book, The Lady in the Palazzo. I love reading her books but I am always saddened by them. I like them way more than Frances Mayes books. I guess her people connect with me more. I like her outlook on life. She says they are poor, but poor can be a relative thing. She seems to have a lot of money for fabric and remodelling when she needs to and as one who has remodelled and sews, I know that none of that stuff is cheap.

So after reading her book, I realized that several things had been bothering me about my life. In her books, Italians are always out gathering wild garlic, grasses, nuts, whatever. These are things that my family did when we were younger. We went fishing, we used to go for crabs off the pier in San Francisco and clamming at the beach. If we went to the mountains, we would look for Indian arrowheads, pretty rocks, or old bottles, pine cones and other pleasing things from nature. Even in San Francisco, when we were little kids, we would go to our local park and pick blackberries and make jam and pie! These are the things that Marlena (we are on a first name basis) enjoys so much in her books about Italy. (Now, I try to limit my recreational hunting and gathering to the thrift store and garden shops. Are there thrift stores in Italy and garden shops except those by the roadside? Sorry, another digression.)

But here? Sorry, the thought of even going into the mountains with a few pals seems to be too inviting to serial killers or predators (and not the 4-legged ones). Picking up pine cones and rocks? Need a permit. Any wild nuts and berries, look out they are probably sprayed with chemicals.

Frankly, I think that is why Americans are such mass consumers. What is shopping but hunting and gathering except you need money. But, I digress again.

So, this brings me to my other dilemma. As my friend pointed out to me, I am a very project oriented person. I can't help it. It is how I have made my living. It is how I have segmented my life and accomplished what I have in life. College, job, hobbies, buying a house, remodelling a house. Everything is broken down into the components and lists in order to accomplish the ultimate task. But moving to Italy has stumped me. Tortured me. Depressed me. And even made me question the meaning of life. I can hardly get up in the morning to face life. My job, which has normally been the source of stress in my life, is now a safe-haven. Eight and a half hours not to wonder about the meaning of life. and oh yeah, I've gotten help. So, I can stare at the ceiling in my bedroom and wonder about the meaning of life, it's just that I'm not sad about it like before. But, for God's sake, this is not the meaning of living. To exist.

But, I know that the real problem is that I have not figured out a way to move to Italy and live. My job here pays decently, I own a home and I actually have health benefits and a pension (calculated every Monday morning and each Monday morning not enough to move to Italy). I don't think I would be very happy living in Italy if I were homeless (plus, I know the authorities frown on this). I'm not a writer, at least of too much fiction. My writing is more technical stuff even though I do it almost every day. I could re-learn programming but sitting on my rear all day long doesn't appeal much to me either, running a B&B, hmm, not really my cup of tea either since I want to be among the ruins and stones.

So, I run through the list. Tour guide? Maybe? The thought of needing to survive on tips horrifies me. Run a business? Never have so far and don't know if I'd be good at it. Import export? What products? And so it goes on. Do I need a life coach? Should I get another degree? Take a class in floral arranging? I buy a lotto ticket every now and then, when I think of it and ask the Lord, surely, wouldn't you want my dreams to come true? Should I seek professional help? I don't think that falls under mental illness although, it could be obsessive compulsive behavior. My sister who has never been to Italy cannot understand.

But, I don't seem to be the only person with the disorder and they seem fine once they move to Italy. I don't feel crazy. Sometimes I want to give up the dream but then what would I have? A job, a house, a truck, possessions, a better pension but no dream. (Yeah okay, I have family and friends, too.) So, I read your blogs. Thank you, it helps. I know it is possible, that I might be able to do it someday, I just wish I could do it sooner than later. But when I read the blogs, I know it wasn't all the easy, it didn't happen overnight and that I just have to keep working at it. Lord help me.


philippine lottery said...

Gomen kudasai.

lotto numbers said...

that's really cute..wish i had one too.

lotto 649 said...

that doesn't happen everyday. wish you all the best.

lotto philippine result said...

Katon, Goukakyu no jutsu.

Anonymous said...

yeah! thats awsome!! i like it!

berto xxx

national lottery said...

Considering the fact that it could be more accurate in giving informations.

gambling said...

Well for me its better to be more realistic.

Anonymous said...

Don't let go of your dreams, sweety. Make yourself happy and peaceful one day at a time and maybe one morning you will awake in the country of your dreams.It can happen.

homebody at heart said...

Well hello lotto folks, I guess the operative google words were winning the lotto. Domo arigato to you all.

Thanks Maryann, that is usually how I take each day and how I have survived the last 5 years working, but this particular year has been very difficult and even more so without the serenity of my garden and I don't like not being able to figure something out when I put my mind to it. But, thank you.

Anonymous said...

Keep your chin up and start planning your next trip. That is what keeps me going. Also, if you have been on medication for the SAD for over one month and it isn't working, you need to let your physician know.

Love you blog and have yours on my list of favorites! Va bene.

homebody at heart said...


No, I've only been on meds for a couple of weeks. I realized that I needed help. It isn't for SAD, (it's much, much, much worse). I recognize that and can usually cure it by a quick trip above the fog line or painting/making something brightly colored.

I have been thinking about my next trip but it seems so far off and frankly, I didn't really want to come back the last time and I really had Post-Italian Vacation Depression for quite some time. But, thanks for your very kind words of encouragement and knowing that you like reading my blog has already perked me up!

Tui said...

Sorry you've been feeling low, Homebody. It always perks me up to get comments from you and to read your blog.

You're project-oriented, eh? Well, seems like your current project is finding a way back to Italy. But maybe you shouldn't get too bogged down in details of making a living before you get here.

Maybe you need to find a way to make a recon trip here first. I know you've been here before, but coming to live is different than visiting.

You can start looking into paperwork, though, Italians love that. Did your relatives come from Italy? If so, you could possibly gain citizenship that way.

Of course, there's always Berlusconi's advice to lady's who are looking to live comfortably in Italy: just marry one of his sons! (Did you follow that story? Silvio is such a buffoon!)

Best wishes to you with this challenge! In the meantime, Happy 4th of July to you! :)


homebody at heart said...

Hi Tui,

I'm so glad you're back. I have missed your blog. No, I can't qualifiy for any other citizenship than for the one where I currently reside. I think a variety of events, some personal, some physical and some current events just sort of tipped me over to an emotional low and I just decided to quit struggling on my own and get help. As for Silvio's advice, I think that I have become too independent to go down that road. But, I'm so glad you're back to keep me posted on Naples and have a happy 4th, too!

Anonymous said...

never visited your blog before but followed a referral from my own blog so i guess you've visited mine.

wow...this is a lot to chew on. a couple of first thoughts...

regarding about looking into teaching english? you seem to have a good command of language.

color- color therapy might help- you have already noticed that color makes you feel better.
working with my dyed silk i always notice that customers get happy when surrounded by all the beautiful colors.
why not try to do something involving intense color each day?

just my cent or two...

homebody at heart said...

Hello Shiborigirl,

Sorry, you checked just as I was having a bit of a meltdown. I come to discover that I don't think I'm alone as there have been lots of articles recently on the web and print papers about how unhappy Americans are. The bad economy, loss of purchasing power and one's dreams have hit everyone pretty hard, I think. What will the future hold. Some folks still don't believe in global warming. Then, on top of it there is also the mindless, random violence. I didn't even talk about the war in Iraq. I think we all know that that is useless. I think that there is also a feeling of powerlessness to do much about any of these things because those in power aren't listening and we're not part of their concern (just the tax bracket of hedge fund managers and shockingly, that there may be no bonuses on Wall Street). But, like all Americans, I'm sure that I will get by, just not in silence!

Thanks for stopping by and please, please check back later or read some previous posts, I'm not always like this and I just love your shibori scarves and their electric colors!