I've decided to appoint Venice as my go-to destination for reflection. In New York I have a similar place. It's my grandparent's beach house in Southampton where I sit for hours on the rocks watching the swans gracefully cross the inlet. I have achieved my most profound moments of clarity on this beach. It's familiar and peaceful, warm and inspiring.
As I learned this weekend, Venice on a Saturday is anything but peaceful and its not yet familiar, but its grandeur and beauty inspire me. And despite the cold temperatures, I feel warm there. Perhaps I am warmed by a rush of independence.
Here I am, alone in one of the most beautiful cities in the world with surprise and adventure lurking around every corner.
Sure, I have my moments of loneliness and fear. I mean, moving to a foreign country alone is not exactly within the boundries of one's comfort zone, and it's certainly contrary to the conventional idea of "normal" for a 25-year-old American girl. But what is normal anyway? High school, college, cubicle in Corporate America? Last time I checked, cubicles weren't the height of comfort either.
But any time I have a doubt about the choice I've made, I know where I will go. Venice.
I will find a little knook off the beaten track and look down into the still water of the canal. And there I will see my reflection. A reflection of a girl who is figuring out life on her own terms, doing something she has always dreamed of doing and making a mark on the world one day at a time (or at least trying).
And then I will stand up, walk to the nearest caffé and order a cioccolata calda. Because after all is said and done, chocolate is simply the best medicine.
Photo by © andybandi