...a story about migrating to Italy

Sunday, March 28, 2010


“How long are you staying in Italy for?” Almost everyone that Giuseppe and I spoke to asked us this question.
Indefinite. Indefinite stay. Possible work opportunities… not yet definite.
Definite accommodation... Though when do we acquire our own accommodation? Well that all depends on possible work opportunities becoming definite work.
Hence, (I love this word,) our indefinite stay.
Though in Melbourne, we have definite work – definite work that we definitely love. We have definite accommodation… and the possibility of acquiring our own accommodation… after maybe two or more years of work and solid savings.
Here in Italy, the day that we have secured jobs is the day that we move into ‘the apartment’, or at least make ‘near future’ plans to.
This is definitely a big juicy hook for me. Our own private living space. Rented, yet because it’s ‘in the family’, it is rented with the freedom of renovating whenever and whatever we wish… which was our sole reason for not wanting to rent anymore when we were in Melbourne. Giuseppe was about to implode with all of the ideas and visions of restructuring and modifying our rented home that we weren’t permitted to tamper with in the slightest, of course.
A home away from home… can I manage that? Home is where the heart is. Too true. Of course my heart is stretched across oceans and land mass, to Melbourne, Sydney and the US and back to Italy; connections with the hearts of my family and friends I hold dear.
But of course, my heart of hearts is wherever my Giuseppe and Valentino are. We could live on an island, alone us three and though our hearts would suffer from strained connections to the important people in our lives, we would be together and everything would be OK.
Here, it is all OK – tutto posto – but I must admit, there are times when the indefinite circumstances unnerve me somewhat. It never used to. I used to quite happily coast from place to place, not with a ‘ten year plan’ or even a ‘five year…’ I suppose I sectioned my life into study: ‘Now I’m doing this course’, and so on until I landed into the education world from the teaching perspective and fell in love.
But the indefinite scares me now. Not a great deal, but it does… it does when I look at Valentino and wonder about how I can do the best for him.
Giuseppe’s work opportunities kept him busy almost every day a few weeks ago, but recently have seemed to lull. No-one has called for my private tutoring classes, despite a handful of my tear-off phone numbers disappearing from my flyers. I haven’t applied for work at more schools, because I just haven’t found the time. Not properly motivated? Perhaps. But I hold fast to the truth that applying for work, when executed properly, is a full-time job that I just can’t commit to as a full-time mum. That’s where the course I’m undertaking somewhat saves me. It is something definite – I know I will receive a diploma at the end and my hard work will not have been in vain. It’s tangible, concrete. When I feel like I am not being productive – and Valentino is either sleeping or out for a walk with Nonna Teresa or Zia Elena – I can sit down and study for an hour or two and feel productive. I can study in the middle of the night and feel the progression; that I am moving forward, towards something definite.
But how can I demand that things be definite? What is ever definite? And if, for arguments sake, things were definite – then what? What is life but a quest for something definite, something concrete that helps us to tick off our abstract checklists of wants and needs.
When the boxes are all checked, a tick in each – then what? Do we sit on our hands? Or is it an indefinite list… when we check one box at the top, another box appears at the bottom.

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