On Keepin' it Real

284074_10101412574107054_411722_nVintage photo of Rob and I from 2011 by Mollie Pritchett

Like many of her blog readers, I really connected to Michelle's post last week about keepin' it real in the blogosphere. Particularly in the Italy expat blogger universe it can be hard to tease out what's reality and what's a carefully crafted public image.

A few years ago I was like a lot of my readers. From 9-5 I was sitting in my office at work, bored out of my mind and going through the motions. One of the only things that brought some much-needed lightness to my day was reading a small group of Italy expat blogs. Well before Rob and I actually hatched our plan to move here I was just a girl that had studied abroad in Florence, missed it desperately and lived vicariously through the people (strangers) whose lives I read about online.

Their lives seemed so perfect.

I mean, how could living in Italy not be perfect, right?! It's that attitude that, quite frankly, has exhausted me lately -- this assumption that our life in Florence is easy or painless or hassle-free. Don't get me wrong -- I know I'm very fortunate to live here. Fortunate to have a mother-in-law that basically just furnished our new apartment. Fortunate to have work that I love to do. But a perfect life? What does that even mean?

Rob and I are just like everyone else. We have moments when life seems too great for words. We have long moments when everything seems to go crazy at once. Maybe one day I'll write about all of the stress we've faced in the past few months, but suffice to say that a lot of bullshit was thrown my/our way in a very short period of time. It feels like only in the past week -- yes, the past week -- that we are now on the upswing.

The stress of the apartment/move was a big piece of that. I'm so excited to move to a place that we can craft into a home for ourselves and one in which I can be proud to raise our little family. I'm excited to firmly commit to a few more years (at least) here. But, to say that our life here in Florence isn't hard would be a lie. It's been really hard lately. Life is life, whether you are in Florence, Italy or Small Town, USA.

I guess the moral of this story is to know that in this blogsophere we "live" in, it's possible to craft an image that does indeed make life look perfect. But, to me, that's the easy way out. Life is messy. It's hard. It's a challenge. But it's also really damn fun. It's surprising. And it's a joy.

Perfection is overrated anyway.