20 May 2009

Gains & losses

It’s the two-column list, that trusty old tool we use for seeing how everything turned out when it’s all over. A personal P&L. Here’s how I fared during my 20 months in Venice:

- My hesitation to speak Italian
- My hesitation to identify as an artist
- 2 friendships that brought me great joy in their brief histories
- Almost 20 pounds (without dieting!)
- A very expensive pair of progressive lens eyeglasses
- My financial security (only a temporary loss)

- The improved ability to read, write, and converse in Italian
- The chance to help some Italian friends speak English
- The joy of proverbs from the Venetian dialect
- A closer relationship with an old and dear friend
- A bunch of great new friends – people whom I hope to know forever
- The restoration of one of those two lost friendships (jury’s still out on the second)
- A lot of information on a wide variety of subjects
- Improved exercise, dietary, and housekeeping habits
- A good many new recipes and kitchen practices
- A whole new wardrobe of things I never dreamed I could actually wear
- Lots more shoes, boots, and handbags
- Lots more books
- The rare experience of playing the role of a spy
- Some amazing insights about my own personality and sexuality
- A few unexpected, even shocking romantic adventures and, thus, many memories – some bitter and some delicious
- Greater freedom from concern about what people think of me
- More confidence in myself as a woman
- More trust in my intuition
- My first public show of studio work
- Considerable entitlement to proceed with that studio work
- And real, actual, cold, hard cash payment for some of it
- Many, many new ideas and lots of materials for future studio work
- This blog to remind me of the whole wonderful experience when I’m old and grey

This journey wasn’t without pain and sacrifice, and it wasn't entirely the way I had imagined, but all in all, I have to say I did pretty well.

And I also have to give thanks to all the people who encouraged and helped me. You know who you are, but you cannot possibly imagine the depth of my gratitude to you. Thank you so much. Grazie mille.