Last week my friend A and I had Italy Day. We ate pasta, planned our someday-vacation in Europe, and watched a couple of movies set in Italy. Interestingly, both movies—Under the Tuscan Sun and Eat, Pray, Love—feature women making a drastic, spontaneous change to heal their broken hearts. Frances renovates a Tuscan villa and fills it with food, friends, and family; Elizabeth takes a yearlong quest for self-discovery, starting in Italy. That’s all well and good, as my mom says, and it makes for gorgeous films. But for most of us it’s not financially advantageous to buy a villa in Tuscany or rent an apartment in Rome for three months. Some of us have to deal with our hurt right here in our own houses while we drive to work, walk the dog, and cook dinner. Lather, rinse, repeat, and deal with the crap in between.
But that’s okay. Because sometimes getting past the pain is just a matter of refusing it, of being kindhearted and patient enough with yourself that you choose against self-doubt for a day. Sometimes it’s a matter of turning up the music and dancing until you have to catch your breath. Sometimes it’s closing your eyes and filling your lungs with fresh air. Sometimes it’s hitting your knees, crying until your eyes are dry again, and admitting your fallibility to God. And sometimes it’s spending the day with a dear friend, laughing and talking and watching Italy movies, and thanking the Lord for the sweet gift of friendship.
As another friend of mine is always telling me, “All this crap is ancillary to you. You’re lovely, and the crap can’t change that.” And she’s right, you know? Whatever crap you have to deal with, it doesn’t make you who you are. So today I’m showing my crap who’s boss. And maybe dreaming a little bit of eating grapes on a hammock in Italy.