So, I’m back from Italy and there are truly no words to describe what this experience was like for me! It exceeded all of my expectations in every way. Over and over again, I was just in a state of awe and amazement. From the historical perspective of ancient realities like Pompeii being observable for us today to the daily appreciation for life and all that is beautiful in it through the people, literally everyone, I felt like Jasmine in a whole new world!
Since I’ve been back, everyone’s asked what my favorite city was. I honestly can’t say that any one was my favorite as each had something significantly different, yet spectacular, to offer. That being said, in short, I would have to say, I loved Venice, I appreciated everything about Florence, and I was beyond absolutely amazed by Rome! Even now just the thought of Italy literally has me with my jaw dropped. This is the first trip that I’ve taken and actually come home ready to go right back. Honestly, if I had to get on a plane today and had my choice of places to go, I’d be back there in a heartbeat. Usually, when I get back from a foreign place, even if I want to go back, I don’t want to get to any “repeats” just yet as there’s so much more to see. Italy however, well, it’s just stolen my heart.
I’ve spent a lot of time trying to figure out what it is exactly that’s got me about this place and it wasn’t until yesterday, during my soaking time that light was shed on this area of inquiry for me. Italy is a place where those who have lost or limited expectation, intentionally or unintentionally, aware or unaware, are reminded that just when all seems pretty hum drum, steady, predictable, routine, not necessarily boring but limited in excitement, just then, just then, one small turn of a corner is something, some experience, some encounter of grandeur, serving as a reminder that life is all about the unexpected having room to manifest in a positive way for us.
Every city in Italy is a walking city. To really soak everything up, you’ve got to be up for the trek. I realized that one of the days, while I was in Florence, I had been on my feet for seven hours straight, trying to get to a whole lot of different sights after lunch before it got too dark for me to be out and about by myself. So, I picked up a map in every city that I was in and prior to getting there, had researched all the sites I wanted to get to. Of course on paper, I could plan out my journey each day, each hour, each minute and set out to follow the “path” that I’d outline before heading out for the day…yes, I’m just a tad bit type A. The other thing about Italy, the streets are pretty narrow….not in a major way, but definitely noticeable as they do have the nature of limiting your view to literally just what’s in front of you, on your right and on your left. This is the where the fun, the amazement comes into play though. Just when you think it’s time to turn to get to the next narrow street, you weave just a bit to take the turn and in front of you is the epitome of magnificence for the eye to see and the heart to be overwhelmed by. You really have no choice but to just stop and take it all in.
There where times that I really felt like Alice in Wonderland first saying my internal “whoa” and then “is this really real…it doesn’t really look real, but it’s in front of me…sooo, well, I guess, yes, it really is real!”
This all started for me Day 1 in Venice. As soon as I arrived, I just hit the pavement, just going around not wanting to miss making every minute count and count the minutes did! Here’s the kicker, you’d think by Day 4, at the most, it was settle in….expect to see great things. Nope, not yet. Day 5 maybe….expect to hear great things. Nope, still taken aback by the singer on my gondola ride. Day 6….Day 7….Day 8…Day 9….I really could keep going. Folks, it’s been three weeks since I’ve been back and I didn’t get it until just last night, the first night I actually really took the time to pause and reflect. It wasn’t until I was in soaking, that I realized what the purpose of this trip was for me….to learn and then commit to living in expectation of everything great, magnificent and overwhelmingly amazing!
So, yes, I’ve gotten back into my routine of work and some play and just life in general….c’est la vie, n’est pas? That’s just real. The difference, however, is now I know, I really know that I can truly expect some amazing things in this life, from this world, with no fear of being disappointed but in awe of all that is yet to be. Will there be times of disappointment….well, I’m a women of faith and an optimist, not an idiot….but I really do believe those moments of disappointment will be limited and overshadowed by the moments of exceeded expectations. Oh if you could’ve seen my journal entry yesterday. AMAZING and honestly a bit intense in terms of what I’m expecting in this life for me. But I know that I know that I know that I know, that to be fabulously fierce is to live in expectation and embrace each turn, each corner, each moment in the unknown, facing the new and unencountered territories, and experiences in our lives with excitement!
What are you expecting today? Haven’t really thought about it? Trust me, I get it. Give yourself the gift of ten minutes to just brainstorm….don’t limit yourself. Just go…get your journal, that “special” pen (mine is purple) and write without stopping for a few minutes. Then, tack it to that vision board or wherever make sense for you. Let me know what you come up with. I’d love to hear it.
Still need some inspiration?
Quote of the week: “Today, expect something good to happen to you, no matter what occurred yesterday.” ~Sarah Breathnach
Soundtrack of the week: New Breed’s Expectation