Of the many stories that I could tell you on what I have done for love, this one had me crossing the ocean.
Many of you know that Italy has been a part of my life for the past 20 years. My very first visit there was with my Italo-American boyfriend in my early 20’s.
Then I went to Uni there, created a travel company there and basically have done a bunch of Italy-USA back and forth ever since.
Now, the trips back to Italy are purely pleasure, but the many prior years were either money or love driven; romantic love, family love, loads of money, zero money. (more on the money swings in another blog)
A few years back I was there working in the fall and through a friend, was introduced to a guy whom I proceeded to fall in love with. We connected easily right from the get go. Mentally, physically, we were in the same line of work and I saw incredible potential.
Let me tell you something about potential.
DON’T BANK ON IT or at the very least, DON’T PUT ALL YOUR EGGS IN THE POTENTIAL BASKET.
This guy had a B&B in the Tuscan countryside. I was a travel guide. He grew olives (made olive oil) and grapes (made wine). I love olive oil and wine. His English skills and administrative skills were nill. Mine were great! He needed money to build the B&B. I had interested investors.
See where I saw all this potential in forming an all in one, romantic and business partnership??
Well, as my lifestyle had it, I went home for the winter with the intention of coming back in the spring to play out this incredible story I was creating in my mind.
Which I did.
I quit my consulting job in the USA, put all my stuff in storage, set a date for investors to come and scope out the deal, made a big good-bye to friends and family- “I am off to Italy and this time for good! I am starting a new business with a great guy, come and visit me soon!”
NOTES in RETROSPECT:
- We had hardly spent a week in each other’s presence-ever.
- That winter, I was the one who kept in touch. He merely responded, though never really sought me out.
- He could never give me ample numbers around his business for me to show investors. I created the proposal on estimates.
But, I was “in love.” This plan was going to answer all my dreams and wishes. This was the full package. Soon I would be living in the Tuscan hillside, hosting travelers, harvesting grapes and olives…living the good life.
Oh yeah…but with whom? With this guy who was holding on to a business by a thread, (as I later learned) still wrapped up in life with in-laws from a marriage (and son) that went terribly wrong (as I later learned), and who couldn’t pick me up from the airport, even with a months notice, after my long international flight (and 6 months apart, which I later understood was no big deal to him).
You see, I was in love with THE IDEA, not the person. In the meantime, I failed to truly see the person.
More than that, I was LONELY and an idea was something to grasp onto.
As you can imagine, things went south very quickly. The whole ordeal left me feeling stupid, humiliated, super sad, even more lonely, doubtful and wondering once again;
AM I EVER GOING TO FIGURE OUT THIS LOVE THING??
Fast forward to today. Yes, I have. At least to the degree of living in the most loving, exciting, passionate and harmonious relationship I have ever experienced.
After many failed attempts at relationships, this is what I learned that I believed help me to finally call in The One.
ACCEPTANCE: of who you are today. Sure, there is always room for self improvement, but you do not need to change your essence with the idea that you will be more attractive. The one meant for you will find and love you just the way you are now.
BOUNDARIES: around what is good and right for you and what you will absolutely not tolerate. And you get to (and must) set those…no one else can.
CLARITY: This comes with knowing yourself well. You need this in order to be very clear about the type of partner who you will allow into your life; one who adds joy and value, not pain and misery.
PATIENCE: Your time will come. And when it does, baby, enjoy the ride! It is blissful and will be perfectly in alignment with your loving self!!
Much love to you (and the one who is seeking you now),