For a few days I’ve been back in Florence now. Discovered that my Italian actually improved (or at least it feels like that) by not speaking it for a week, grabbed some decent Italian food, already went for coffee to my favourite place a couple of times, met with some friends and getting ready to move to a new, more permanent apartment.
But even though I’m doing everything I can to make Florence feel like it felt before I left to celebrate Christmas in Holland, it doesn’t come that easy this time. Actually, I have never felt so out of place in this city, since I first set foot on Florentine ground. Which probably has a lot to do with the reality of having really moved here knocking in.
Being in Holland was hard. Old patterns creeped up on me, Utrecht didn’t feel like home anymore, high expectations of certain events and people weren’t met and I just ended up being so disappointed. And if you don’t have a home, that just makes you feel lost in every aspect of your life. There was no hideaway to process all the things happening at once.
I’m lucky to have some amazing people both here in Florence and in The Netherlands to cheer me up and help me out. There’s plenty of means for me to create the life I’ve always dreamed of. I have a cat who cuddles up to me at night and social media make it possible to share experiences with other people. And above all, I still live in one of the most beautiful cities in the world. It could have been way worse and I know that, don’t get me wrong. I’m not a refugee who was forced to leave everything behind, nor am I in danger or threatened in any kind of way. This is my own choice and I take full responsibility for that. But that doesn’t mean it’s easy or always great fun.
It should get much better over the next weeks, with my language classes starting again, getting back into a routine and my new apartment. Also, the first visitors will be coming over soon and I’m so excited to see people I love here in my new surroundings. Just have to give it some time for it to feel like home again.
It’s simply a weird twilight zone. I’m floating between two lives, yet feeling a weird kind of homesick. Not for a particular city, country, neighborhood. Just for a place to call home.