Expect the Unexpected

“The only thing that is constant is change” – Heraclitus

I should be the poster child for this slogan.

I have said it a million times in the last year as I have watched my life play out in a way that was far from what I had foreseen. Still each time something new doesn’t go as planned I find myself staring in shock.

My small and comfortable life for the most part was fairly predictably, even when I decided to take the plunge and join the Greek Community at my University. I knew for a good year ahead that that’s what I wanted to do.

Then I decided to study abroad, even though it was something I never thought I would do, I had plenty of planning and time researching before choosing Sydney as my destination.

Everything changed with I came back from Sydney. I knew that I didn’t want to stay in Seattle but the possibilities were overwhelming and the financial burden seemed to have me sturdily tied down.

Summer 2008 in Seattle

It was thanks to my mom that everything changed. Knowing I wouldn’t happy to stick around she suggested first that I give up University and move abroad. With only one more quarter this change was too big for me, so I stuck it out. Finally, she mentioned the ultimate option. Talk with Lorenzo about moving to Italy. I had never been there, why not? I didn’t have to go back to Sydney just because it was familiar. It was something that, of course I had thought of, but never something that I thought I would do.

We had a plan. Lorenzo would come to the U.S. in April and we would travel around. Then we would go on to Europe and I could backpack for six months before picking a city to teach in. That was the plan. I couldn’t change it on everyone.

December 28th I arrived in Florence. I was set to start a teaching course and get a job. That part panned out.

Now, here I am again. My company has turned on me and I have been left with minimal working hours, not enough to support myself. I had to take a stand against them and show them that I wouldn’t be walked all over. The problem? I’m left without a job.

When I got this job I was supposed to go home in July and get a visa. Give Lorenzo a chance to see the U.S. and then come back and finish my contract until November. I was supposed to work 30 hours a week and earn close to 1,000 Euro a month. I would have plenty to go travel on after this was all over.

Enjoying Unexpected Family Time

I unexpectedly used my March return flight (which was never planned to be used) and went home to get my visa for the job, and for everyone’s peace of mind. I came back to a schedule of 12 hours of work. I got a paycheck for half what I planned for three weeks of work and one for 20 Euro more for four weeks. Not really how I thought this would go. Then, after reaching the halfway mark in my lesson plans, I got a call that my classes were being transferred and I was left with literally nothing.

I suppose this was a kick-in-the-ass to get out there and do what I really want to do. I like teaching and I loved my students but I hated working for a school that only cared about money in a company that only cared about money. So sure, here I go working harder than ever on my writing and searching for a job that will get me more involved in the Florentine community but here I am again, left with the shattered remains of future plans.

Lucky for us, Lorenzo and I have embraced this tendency toward the unexpected (both together and alone, as we must) and hadn’t made any plans for where we wanted to go next. Now, we will have to see how the summer goes; hopefully we can go and see something new for both of us in November but at this point, I personally, have to think to responsibility for a change. I have to try to take the unexpected to find what I really want to do; a path that a year ago I would have never seen coming.