Over the last 6 months I have directly turned my life upside down. I quit my steady job, the best friends in the world, a big-ol family, and a cat. I got on a plane with my one way ticket and didn't look back- except to let my broken heart father have one last photo at the gate (boy did that make me feel bad). I put everything on the line, I went all in- I am all in.
I first arrived in Firenze 12 years ago as an ordinary study abroad student getting a years fixed in the city of art, culture, and history. Little did I know this city would become my greatest test of will, self-awareness, and perseverance. My on-again, off-again relationship with this city has become a hallmark of my identity, “oh, so where are you living now, jen”, has become just an ordinary question of countless conversations, so when I bought that one-way ticket, an enormously significant moment of my life, no one batted an eye.
To be honest, the practical odds are stacked up against me. This is not a country for the faint hearted. Every challenge, every doubt and worry was 100% justified, and still is, but that fear would never be great enough to stop me. I have faced those odds, and albeit with baby steps, have proven I can take them on. The maze of dots which only ever seemed like stars in the sky, are starting to align. What seems like only the beginning has actually been 12 years in the works. And while the logic still doesn't add up, the possibilities are finally within reach.
“We carry within ourselves the direction our lives will take” -Antal Szerb