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Ten Years Ago

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Ten years ago, right around this time, I was getting on a plane to Italy.

By. My. Self.

I had never been overseas. Didn’t know one lick of Italian except for spaghetti, ravioli, and pizza of course!

And my heart was broken. Shattered in pieces that I stuffed into a pocket in my backpack in hopes that maybe some good ol’ fashioned Italian romanticism, red vino, and loads of Renaissance Art could help place it back together.

I had no idea really where I was going and when people asked what I planned to do there I always responded with “walk around”.

And that’s what I did for nearly a month. I aimlessly walked the streets of Italy to prove to myself that I could do anything.

That I was not my broken heart. That I was not the rejection of that man. That my life truly was mine for the making.

And I went there, because I believed that if I was really truly an Artist, then I needed to stare up at the Sistine Chapel for myself.

Backpacking through Italy by myself was a pivotal moment in my life’s journey, and honestly I can’t believe so much time has passed since then. People, still living in great fear and pain from the 9-11 events were terrified for me. Others told me how irresponsible it was for me to skip out on “real life” for a month. Some thought I was downright wacko for wanting to do it by myself.

But I knew. I knew it had to be done if I was going to break free from so many chains I felt hanging around my soul. I knew that I had to do this if I was going to be the woman I dreamt of becoming one day.

And now, I look at that sweet, 25 year old Connie and I just want to hug her so bad and say thank you.

Thank you.

She knew. She really, really knew.

Be sure to join in on the conversation on aging and age with Miss Jamie Awesome Ridler over at Roots of She.

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