Monday, February 8, 2016

The Crappier Side of Things

Have you ever been in the middle of an amazing experience; a job, a vacation, a relationship, and you're so blissed out in seeing the beauty or the adventure and the wonder of it all that you are caught a little off guard when you round the corner into the crappier side of things? 
Because all things do have that crappier side. 

The dream job makes us want to go postal at times.
The best relationship has it's heartbreaking realities.
Even a dream trip to Italy contains places that are like a beehive of pissy college kids on mopeds, ugly graffiti on not so pretty buildings, grouchy Italian woman leading around lecherous old men, and strange little run down businesses. 

Livorno, Italy 2015

I realize I sound like Negative Nancy here, but what I'm really trying to say is: I have been blessed to see the crappier side of all of these things in the last year.

And I can also say, I have gained the wisdom and the experience to see the beauty in the crappier side of things.
 I might even say, that it is the crappy side that really allows us to see the magic in the way these things unfold exactly as they should.

I've learned that while the dream job isn't always fulfilling and instead can be an exhausting grind, it is also the perfect step on a path of unlimited potential.
And when I love it, it loves me back.

I've learned that the most fun, adventurous relationship isn't always meant to be long term. And with that realization comes the freedom to embrace a new chapter of life and focus on ME, and that that is the blessing in change

And in a country that captured my heart before I ever even arrived, I was pleasantly surprised to discover the crappier side in Livorno, Italy.
Livorno Coast, 2015
I had wandered through countless jaw dropping settings during my time in Italy. Places that don't even seem real. Places that rendered me speechless.
And then I stumbled into the city of Livorno

After bumbling our way through the port area, feeling like we could be in a shipping yard in Oakland, we steered our little Mini Cooper onto a multi lane, cobblestone street which instantly filled with hundreds of kids on scooters, flowing out of a nearby school. Laughter-honking-yelling-Italian buzzing engulfed us from the streets.

We weren't sure where we were going or what we were looking for, so we rode the wave of humanity and ended up at the edge of the ocean, got a cocktail in a crappy little bar, and sat outside in the crisp winter sunshine and laughed at the fact that yes, even my beloved Italy has a crappy side.
And I have to confess, it was almost a relief to find it.
It made the fantasy even more rich and TRUE
Livorno, Italy 2015
But let's be real, it's still Italy.
And I was still in love with it.
The same way that the times when I don't want to be at work, I realize that I have a great gig and something always happens to remind me of why I love it
The same way that despite the relationship of a lifetime changing and coming to an end, I will always have love for it.

And in that sunny afternoon in Livorno lives a metaphor:
Even during the crappy times, some food and drink at the edge of the ocean, seeing the beauty through the not so pretty stuff is really what it's all about.
Picnic in Livorno, Italy 2015