Month of October. Second month living in Rome. First time I felt like I was really living.
Under The Roman Sun. I Found You. I Found Myself. And It Was Beautiful. Life is beautiful and I am forever grateful for what I have been able to live this month.
I lived something that felt like it was out of a movie, but for me it was actually real life.
I never thought I was one meant for love but now I know that there is someone out there for me.
Someone that will run at my pace, that won't hold me back but that will let me shine and will shine alongside me.
Before coming to Italy I saw the movie Under The Tuscan Sun. It’s one of my favourite movies, such a classic romantic comedy, you know one of those movies that make you roll your eyes at how realistic the plot is.
Well quitting one’s job to move to Italy with one’s godmother to scoop gelato and travel around Italy seems a little far from reality too. So maybe I was subconsciously planting the seed for my own romantic comedy.
I just didn’t know it.
I never thought it would actually happen either. I’m a romantic at heart but like Carrie Bradshaw from Sex and The City, my love life has been a series of misses. Well I shouldn’t be speaking like I have lived a full life, I am only twenty four but when you see all your friends find love and have boyfriends, it starts to feel like an eternity.
I had stopped caring a long time ago though. I started to get really comfortable with being with myself. When I made the decision to come to Italy, it was never with the intention to meet someone. Never. Seriously. Everyone swore I would meet an Italian who would sweep me off my feet but I only scoffed at those comments.
I came to Italy because I loved it here during my exchange two years ago and I wanted to come back to have a break from life and explore this foodie side to myself I had found not so long ago.
To eat. That was my priority. I had a personal mission to eat and try everything I could from the Italian mother land so that I could take back the knowledge of its flavours and compositions back to Canada.
And to also perhaps visit some old friends and rekindle some flames from the past. I had no intentions of meeting anyone new, specially an Italian, Italians are so not my type. Or at least I thought.
However, life is funny sometimes and things don’t always turn out how you imagined and planned for them to be.
Life is so freaking funny. I never thought that food would actually become more like a second priority to me. Yes, I found amazing fresh burrata, ricotta, figs, and discovered flavours I hadn’t experienced before, but above all that I found myself in ways I never thought possible.
And in the middle of finding myself and finally being happy and perfectly content with myself, I found you.
Or you found me, or the universe made us find each other because really it was just the most coincidental encounter one can imagine.
Really just like a plot for a romantic comedy. It wasn’t in the streets of Florence under the Tuscan sun like the movie, but instead in the city of Rome, on a very sunny and hot October day at my godmother’s Gelateria.
When I met you, you were just a customer like any other but then you said you were a chef that had just come back from Peru and that was also from Montreal, Canada. You see how life is funny?
What are the chances that a Peruvian girl from Canada who is in Italy for a food adventure working at a Gelateria meets an Italian/Canadian chef who happens to be in vacation in Rome and happened to walk into that exact same Gelateria with his friends.
Oh life is full of surprises and curveballs that can change everything with one second. And this one second, ever since I locked eyes with him changed everything for me.
He changed how I saw myself. It’s almost as if he was a new mirror. I had always looked at myself in one way, through my own eyes, but I felt he looked at me in another way. It may sound crazy but I was able to see another side to myself through his eyes reflecting back at me.
I really can’t explain it, it’s like he saw through me. It was electrifying and at the same time terrifying.
Through that, however, I suddenly understood a little better what it was to want to be with someone else. It was a wonderful feeling…to be able to share moments with someone who gets you, who makes you happy with their presence, who makes you feel special and beautiful.
Our encounter was spontaneous and the time we spent together even more so. I never knew what to expect when I was with him. It was exhilarating. For the first time in my life, I felt like I was living, really living! I was living in the moment, opening myself up to experience life as it came to me.
I saw Rome with him like I never imagined I would see Rome. He took me to the most beautiful view of the city, one that mostly only Italians know about. He took me to the beach where we laid under the sun and walked along the shore feeling the sea underneath our feet.
We ate seafood by the seaside on a beautiful sunny day. It was something out of a movie I swear. I had the biggest smile on my face that day, I was so happy, even just remembering it makes me smile.
He showed me a 24 hour bakery and took me to eat cornettos (Italian croissants) at two in the morning. We saw every Roman monument at night. He took my hand on the car stick and I would “drive” with him. We went out dancing until our feet couldn’t dance anymore. We danced bachata on a parking lot while sharing a bottle of wine as the sun set behind us. He cooked for me. Everyday I knew him, he said Buongiorno to me every morning.
And so much more I can’t really share here.
It wasn’t love. Though maybe it could have been had we had more time...who knows. What we had was more like a force. Almost like an infatuation?
No, not just an infatuation. I’ve felt that before. This was different. This was something else. It was surreal and the most wonderful unexpected experience I could have ever imagined. Just like out of a movie.
“De donde saliste?" Where did you come out from?
He would always ask me that while looking into my eyes. I always told him “I don’t know. No se.”
And now that he is gone, I find myself asking myself that question. Where the hell did this guy come out of? How can someone change so much in so little time? Mamma Mia!
But I wouldn’t trade it for the world. I experienced Italy like no other. Every experience forms part of who we become and when I had to close this chapter with him, I found a new side to me. A side to me that realized that I have so much more room and time to live and to find love!
All of the sudden, I am more sure of the woman that I am and of the woman that I want to be. The woman that will shine because she is a star and will look for than man who wants to shine his own light alongside her. I shouldn’t stop running because I am afraid someone won’t catch me.
Quite the opposite I should keep on running and one day I will find that one person who can keep up and run beside me.
So as I smile and tear up at the things that happened this month, I remember that I am a shining star. Yes, a bright and shining star. All women are for that matter. We are special, every one of us and we should never settle for less than what we deserve and we deserve the world!
The month of October was unexpected. it was like something out of a movie. I will miss him, I can’t say I won’t because I will. He was intoxicating.
However, I am forever grateful for what I have been able to live. I am happy that I was able to let go and open myself up to experience an adventure like no other. I think I had forgotten how to live in Canada and for a really long time I was unhappy and unsure of myself, of my beauty, both inner and out.
However, I know now that I will not only strive to live, but to love...and to eat, and to experience life to the fullest by not being afraid, not being afraid of anything that may cross my path.
After all, what is life but a windy road, right?