Yesterday morning, before I started with my gazillion errands for the day, i chanced upon the movie “Under the Tuscan Sun” on tv. I remember watching — and liking – the movie the first time i saw it, so i thought of sitting down to watch it again a bit. An hour and a half later, i was still glued in front of the tv… dreaming of having my own villa in Tuscany at the same time.
Diane Lane’s character went to Italy at the time when her world seemed to have just crashed and she was at that point where the life she knew pretty much disintegrated. She came to Italy to take a break… ended up staying there to find herself and start anew. In a foreign land, with strangers… stranger in a strange land.
Sometimes life throws things or situations at us that we never expected, leaving us dazed and at a loss. It could be divorce… separation… illness… break-ups… financial challenges… It could be anything that we never saw coming. The once seemingly peaceful and normal existence that we had– gone in a few seconds. It happens to the best of us. Sometimes, despite the planning and the mapping out of things that we want to happen, well, we still get thrown off the track.
And so we look for refuge. Sometimes, when the present life just seems unbearable, we want to just pack our bags and leave everything behind, forget about the life that we have and start fresh. Find our Tuscany.
Finding Tuscany doesn’t prove to be easy. Sometimes it is much easier to stay in one’s comfort zone… no matter how miserable it has become. Starting from scratch seems scary…. difficult… could be lonely, too. Starting anew can prove to be the loneliest time in one’s life. Loneliest because despite what friends or family member say, you are still on your own as you face the world… as you rebuild your world.
And yet it is also at this point when you are at your lonesome, that you get to know yourself best. It is when you are listening to the inner you that you find out what you value most in your life… what you can let go of, and what you can bear. Sometimes you have to hit rock bottom to find yourself. And once you have hit rock bottom, there is no other way but up. The loneliest time can turn out to be the most exciting time, as well.
There was a point in my life when I really wanted to find my Tuscany. But because of the turn of events, I never did get that far. I was young, i was scared, and i didn’t know if choosing myself was the best option or was just plain selfish. At that time I thought choosing myself was just selfish. Sometimes i still do wonder what could have happened if i didn’t turn back. I guess I will never know.
What I do know is I am no longer the naive girl who stayed. I stayed for a reason, and I don’t really regret the decision.
But if need be, I am no longer afraid of finding my Tuscany. Throw in a villa and an Italian lover, I’ll hop on a plane to Italy anytime.
(photocredit: fineartamerica.com, painting by Deborah Bertola)