For the record, there is no Olive Garden Restaurant in Italy. However, there is a cooking school. Apparently, the commercials aren't lying. Color me surprised- I was certain it was a PR scheme.
When I tell people I'm moving to Italy, I usually get the reaction of "Oh, wow! That's amazing!" And, yeah, it is pretty cool. If I dare mention that I am anything less than pumped about going, I usually get:
"But you're such a lucky girl! Think of all the amazing pasta and bread!"
"How can you say that?! You're going to have an amazing time!"
First of all, we're not moving to Olive Garden. It's not going to be like going to dinner before the homecoming dance every day of my life (did I just date myself there?). And, don't call me a "Lucky Girl". I'm not 5, I'm not getting a pony. And don't you dare pat me on the head.
Frankly, I'm somewhere between thrilled and terrified of this move. I've always wished we would move to Europe- I never thought it would happen, but it is and I'm excited about that. I'm not scared of moving to a foreign country- I've done that before- and I'm not scared of the language barrier- gestures can get you farther than you think- and I'm certainly not scared of the driving.
However, every time we've moved, we've moved from one military base to another. I've always had that military base bubble to rely on. Everything on a military base is self-contained: grocery shopping, housing, doctors, dental care, even gas for your car.
This time, though, we won't be affiliated with a military base- we'll be doing everything "on the economy". We will rent a house from a landlord that we'll probably have to communicate through an interpreter with, we will grocery shop at local stores (and Italians don't do supermarkets- there are butchers, cheese-mongers, bakers, and farmer's markets), we'll buy gas at local stations, and we'll see local doctors and dentists. The closest base is an hour and change away.
I feel like my life is being turned on it's head, but that everyone around me is poo-pooing my anxiety. You know what? This is an amazing opportunity, but that doesn't mean I don't have reservations. And I'll go, I'll be strong, but I'm probably going to have my doubts. Let me have my doubts. You're not the one turning your life on it's head, I am. And I have every right to be scared of jumping in with both feet and a smile plastered on my face.