Now that I'm nearly 10 months into my life in Italy, I think I have FINALLY reached the Acceptance stage of culture shock!
Cue the orchestra and fanfare!
After going through the other stages of culture shock, (Honeymoon, Frustration, Adjustment), I didn't realize that I'd arrived at the end of this rollercoaster.
But one day recently, I looked around at my life and realized: I have everything I wanted.
I live in Italy.
I have amazing friends.
I have romance.
I'm getting better at the language.
I swim in the sea in the morning and work in the afternoon (after a languorous nap).
I've stayed connected to my friends and family in the U.S.
I no longer feel like I'm fighting against an invisible enemy. Like everything is hard. Like I don't belong.
Letting Go and Letting Flow
I recently read The Surrender Experiment by Michael Singer and was inspired by how he said yes to whatever the Universe brought him. I committed to trying the same in my life.
I imagine myself floating on a river. Rather than trying to swim, I let the current carry me where it will. Yes, it's a little scary not knowing where I'm headed (and I REALLY like knowing!), but I'm learning to surrender because I know the Universe only takes me to great places.
Surrender has helped me see that I have everything I want right here in Calabria, including the beginnings of love and some amazing friendships. Rather than pushing and changing my life all over again in a new town, I'm allowing the flow of staying where I am and putting down roots.
I know things are different because I feel more like ME. I'm ready to get involved in my local community, meet even more cool people, and make my mark on this place that has profoundly impacted me.
I can't wait for what's next!