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Full Circle, Adele and Post-Italy Hangover

Over a month has passed since I've been back from Italy and I would be lying if I said that I didn’t go through a funk. I never anticipated the emotional hangover I would have after such an empowering and enlightening trip.

I​n my next couple of blogs I will get into trip specifics; everything from what I learned to tips and tricks that saved me time and money. But first, I want to talk about an incredible full circle moment I had and the reality of this post-Italy hangover. When I

was at a low point in my life, having recently discovered that my husband was cheating on me and didn't seem like the nightmare would ever end, I would escape to the bath. I would sink deep down in the hot water, listen to music and cry until my eyes hurt. It was therapeutic, or so I thought. Adele's Rolling in the Deep album had just come out and was the perfect catalyst to propel me straight into full weeping. There was a particular song that always got me, Someone Like You. Something about it resonated with me and allowed me to feel the pain at the deepest level. This was before I decided that being numb was much more pleasurable. *face palm. No matter what stage of my life journey I've been in, since then, that song represented pain, sadness and one of the darkest times of my life. Not just because of the pain of the cheating, but because it was the beginning of me losing myself.

F​ast-forward seven years and I had just arrived in Italy after traveling from London to Rome and then taking the train to Florence. My GPS and Google Maps were not working. Yes, I had paid for international data, but still not working. All I needed to do was find the bus station to get to the castle I was staying at. I walked around for over an hour looking for it, trying to connect to Wi-Fi, asking locals and just wandering around. After almost giving up, I finally found the bus station and boarded what I hoped to be the right bus sweaty and trying not to be discouraged. I had this horrible feeling that maybe I was in over my head. Maybe I couldn't do this by myself. I nervously rode the bus, watching in the dark for my stop. When I arrived at the castle I had dreamed of being at for nearly a year I was fighting the urge to cry partly because I actually made it there, but also because I was exhausted and feeling totally defeated.

The next day, with renewed spirits and a now functioning GPS (word to the wise: turn your phone off and on again after arriving in another country). I decided to walk along the Arno river toward the Ponte Vecchio. I put in my head-phones and put my music on shuffle and I kid you not, of all songs, Someone Like You is what played. It literally stopped me dead in my tracks. I started to laugh and then I cried happy tears as I walked one of the most beautiful and powerful walks of my life. I realized that I had come full circle. I wasn't the girl crying in the bathtub, feeling insecure, lost and devastated. Instead, I was living my dream, traveling by myself, confident and secure, sure of where I was headed and full of hope and life. In that moment I knew that no matter what this trip held for me or what my life held for me, I was going to be OK. I was going to be more than OK because I knew that the worst moments of my life had brought me to the best moments. It's a full circle moment in time that I will never forget.

Now for the emotional hangover. I couldn’t figure out why I was feeling the way I was after such an incredible experience, but I have started to understand that when you have life changing experiences and your focus and view of yourself and the world change, there is a euphoria that follows. Then soon after that, a reality that sets in. It’s the reality that things will never be the same. Life as you know it cannot go back to how it was. This isn’t a bad thing, but it requires work. It requires you to reevaluate everything and sometimes let go of things that aren’t serving you or don’t fit with the new perspective and purpose that you are so grateful to have found. Dr. Bruce Lipton said, “The moment you change your perspective, you change the chemistry of your body.” So the post-Italy, post perspective change hangover is real, but as it fades, and I am left with this new version of myself, I am overwhelmed with gratitude for the way that it changed me. I’ve realized that I will never be the same, but I’ve also realized that I’m totally OK with that.

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