And just like that, I’m back in Florence. Back in this beautiful city I now call home. Back ready to throw myself well and truly into my new life.
I finally feel grounded here; all it took was moving house! Quite a few people were shocked when I said I was moving already… I mean, I had only been in my flat for three weeks. But if 2014 taught me anything, it was to never settle. If you’re not happy, do something about it.
So, of course, I did. And now I’m sat here in my perfect new apartment; picture bookshelves up to the ceiling, a terrace overlooking the city and my own study… let me repeat that. MY OWN STUDY!
I finally feel like I can put my feet up (quite literally) and call this place my home. It’s like the final piece of the jigsaw has slotted into place.
Now I feel comfortable, now I feel like I can actually unwind, it’s the perfect time to kickstart those new year’s resolutions. Although, I hate calling them that. I prefer to think of them as goals throughout the year. That means get my Italian lessons going, practice yoga and finish my TEFL.
And, the big one, start writing my book.
Obviously I’ve always dreamt of writing a book; what aspiring writer doesn’t dream of it? And when I was younger I would fill countless notebooks with my ominous tales of death and destruction (I was a pretty dark child); all absolute garbage, but regardless… I had the imagination to just sit and write and write and write.
As I’ve gotten older, I’ve lost my confidence with fiction. I lost that spark; the one that allowed you to be inspired by anything and everything. I couldn’t even write poetry anymore… the one form of writing I always adored. My sister asked me to write a piece for her wedding; I stared for evenings on end at this empty notebook, but the words just never came to me. Although, the piece she wanted evidently needed to be about love. I was at a point in my life when the most important love of all was quickly trickling out of my grasp. So, unsurprisingly, inspiration was particularly weak.
Since I’ve moved to Florence, that inspiration has been coming back to me. Slowly, but surely. And the whole time I’ve been desperately trying to come up with this unique book idea.
And I kind of thought I had one. This idea popped into my head, and for a while I was so excited by it. I get like that… the moment I come up with something new it’s as if it’s the only thing I can think about. I become totally consumed by it, planning how I can make it a reality.
I started to write. The words came to me pretty easily… and, actually, what I was writing was good. Re-reading the first chapter a week later, I was pleasantly surprised that those words had come from me. It was totally different to anything I had ever done before.
But… that’s about as far as I could get. The first chapter. Well, the first chapter and a half. And then I was bored. I couldn’t get the words to spill from the ends of my fingers anymore. It felt like a chore, like this story wasn’t natural to me. I wanted something that just spun onto the page effortessly, filling my screen with something heartfelt and personal.
Then it came to me. It came to me as I was telling a close friend about some hilarious (albeit traumatising) events pre-christmas time. She said to me “Your life is like a rom-com!”
That’s when I realised that, actually, my life here is pretty interesting. And I am the type of person that gets herself into ridiculous situations.
So why not write about it? They say the best stories are those that are drawn from real-life… so why not document it all? Why not put pen to paper and create a story out of my biggest journey to date?
And this one, I’m going to stick with. I’m going to persevere; even if I am the only person who ever sees it. I plan to set myself targets for every week and write it like it’s my job; with determination, passion and honesty.
“All great literature is one of two stories; a man goes on a journey or a stranger comes to town.” – Leo Tolstoy.