Another oldie that I’m putting forward for you to have a look at, an important part in my life and thankfully one that worked out well
5. Tell me about a time when you ‘felt the fear and did it anyway’
By the time the spring had sprung in 2004 I had been a single mum for almost 9 months and the truth is I wasn’t coping very well at all. I was living in a smaller village up the road with the children, Thomas then 16 and Megan 14 (not the best ages for dealing with a separation)
I was working in the local tourist agency and I was good at my job. I enjoyed it. I looked after the ‘Foreign Office’ as it literally translates and it was my job to drum up groups to come to Folgaria in the winter for a ski trip. My lunch break was so long I was able to do a quick ski, eat a hot dog at the top of the Martinella ski back down, drive to the office and change in time for opening time. How cool is that?
But, I couldn’t adapt to this new life thrown on me in August 2003.
You see, we lived in a tiny mountain village in the Dolomites. I’d been there for 17/18 odd years and I knew everyone. I knew their parents, children, where they lived, how many pets they had and what they bought from the supermarket, so consequently they knew everything about me.
They knew my ex was living in the family hotel and frequently entertaining the girl he’d left me for. They knew where they’d been last night, how much they had drunk, who had been with them and what they were doing at the weekend. For some reason, they felt the need to tell me these things, as if it was a help to me.
I knew I was drinking more and more at home alone in the evenings to dull the pain, pass the time and just get drunk in order to sleep comatose and dream free till morning and I also knew deep down that my future here would be just like this. I would never lose the title of his ex-wife and therefore never move on.
So I needed to do something.
Move to Trento? Rovereto? Two of the local towns at the bottom of the mountain.
For what purpose?
No, I needed to go back home to the heart of my family, I needed the freedom and acceptance of England. I needed to get away from it all. Be free. But how?
A plan slowly started to form. A job at the Italian Tourist Board in London came up and before I knew it, I was on a flight for an interview.
I ‘knew’ the job was mine, it just felt so right.
I received confirmation via email a week later giving me one month to close down my 18 year life in Italy, move to England, find a house, hand my notice in at work and say goodbye to my friends.
My heart was beating ten to the dozen. It had happened. Everything had fallen into place, it had to be right but all of a sudden I was petrified. My forehead was damp, my breathing was rapid and I felt sick. My armpits were sweating!!!
What if it wasn’t the right decision?
What if this was the biggest mistake of my life?
How would I make friends?
HOW COULD I POSSIBLY DO IT ON MY OWN?
One million and one questions bombarded me and all I could rely on were my instincts which were shouting at me
‘The time is right. It’s the right thing to do. Go for it!’
Tommy decided to stay on in Italy. I understood. No teenager wants to uproot at that age. He would live with his dad in our family home that was being renovated after a fire in 2001. And the pair of us would become frequent flyers.
Megan was torn, of course she wanted to be with me but she too was frightened. She didn’t want to leave her dad or the friends she’d had since nursery school.
She decided to come.
I did it. I followed my heart, listened to my instincts and am here telling you the tale. So don’t be frightened. If it’s the right thing for you it will all fall into place and you must follow and step into your new life leaving the door of your old one to close quietly behind you.