Three More Months


Last weekend we caught a train to Florence.

Whenever we leave Perugia, I try to imagine what it will feel like the last time we pull away from the station and watch the walls of the city shrink in the distance.   Sometimes I think I’ll be ready to leave.

Like when the hot water doesn’t work.

Or when the space inside this apartment gets so cramped that I want to scream, “Go outside and play!” (but can’t because there isn’t a backyard; there’s not even a park nearby).

Or when Tom tells me some of the discouraging comments his teachers say to him.

I’m 100% positive that I wouldn’t want to live here permanently.  Our life is rooted deep back home.  It is where we belong.  It’s who we are.  It’s where we are truly understood (literally). So I guess twelve months is the right amount of time.

However, I’m not ready to go yet. I want to be ready to go.  I hope I will be ready to go.  But I’m just not ready, and June seems right around the corner.

When we leave, I wonder if it will be unbearably sad. I wonder how we are going to say goodbye.  Of course we can visit Perugia again, but when we part, we permanently say goodbye to this apartment, to these neighbors, to this experience.  We will permanently say goodbye to the details of our daily life.  (When I think about that, my stomach hurts.)

Sunrise filling the archway to Piazza IV Novembre.

Sunrise in the archway to Piazza IV Novembre.

One of our favorite walks.

One of our favorite walks.

Mirella and Cristina, the sisters who own Bar Oscar across the street from our apartment.

Mirella and Cristina, the sisters who own Bar Oscar across the street from our apartment.

Italy is good.  I love the ancient stone walls, the churches filled with candles on every corner, the pecorino cheese and the Umbrian sausage.

I love having everything right outside our front door.  I love not driving.

I’m going to miss it.  I will miss speaking Italian.  I will miss living downtown surrounded by city life.  I will miss evening walks, cobblestones and aqueducts.

I’m even going to miss the bell towers constantly ringing outside our bedroom window.

I will miss the sound of an Italian police siren and the 89 steep steps leading to our front door

and really good espresso

and being able to just catch a train to Florence for a couple days.

This is where I want to be right now.  In Italy.  Not forever, but for the next three months.

11 thoughts on “Three More Months

  1. We always want more of what we perceive we are losing, well that is exactly how I felt as my year was coming to an end in Japan. At the three months, like you, the tug of home is not as strong as the language becomes fun, the people and the surroundings are now normal, the friends you make become natural elements of your day. This feeling becomes stronger, both from the knowing of having to leave and adapting to your new enviroment. Now the good part, the “wow” when you get home, the overwhelming greeting from family and friends. Now the true appreciation for the small things as you tell stories of your stay. Then the realization part of you is still there and always will be. You will notice and be told “you are different” and in a way others cannot know or feel. Like a soldier who goes to battle, or a firefighter who risked his life for another, unless you have experienced the event, then one cannot understand. Now this is not bad, just different and others will see it, so don’t be surprised if some people are a little standoffish, if that is a word…haha. Either way, I guess what I am saying is you will be excited as all get out to come home, but it will feel like you are leaving home. It takes three to six months for this to go away believe it or not.

  2. Love the picture of you and Matt in Florence!!! It’s funny….when you are away you miss where you came from and then when you go home you miss the other place. You have done such a wonderful job of recording this year in your writting and pictures you will always be able to bring back those warm memories anytime. Can’t wait to see you in May!

  3. We are so looking forward to experiencing what you have been discribeing for the last eight months. That way we will be able to feel some of your year when we together in your home and our home. See you all soon.
    Grandpa John

  4. My first thought is “WOW” when I get to the picture of you and Matt in a passionate kiss. Then I read George’s post above and think OK, that sums it up very well. I totally agree with him, although I was only 15 when I returned from Japan as well. Just know that when you return there will be familiar and welcoming hugs and friendship awaiting you just like you have grown to love in Italy. 🙂

  5. Dear Jill,
    My experience has been (having moved again and again) that the feeling of “doneness” is a gift of the universe as the time approaches. You will have to get your city hit by returning to NYC where I am this week. Perhaps we will take a girl trip to NYC… Though that kiss could be duplicated in the Big Apple. Blessings to you and your family. Anita

  6. I want you to stay, continuing to live this adventure and sharing it with all of us. I want you home sharing a meal we cook together, listening to our kids play. Missing you and missing Italy.

  7. So, really, the only answer is to love where you are when you are there. No experience will ever be exactly the same as the one you are currently having. Lovely and thoughtful post!

  8. What a beautiful post Jill. I loved reading it! You are an amazing woman living an extraordinary year! Enjoy every minute. Love to you all.

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