Bella Vite! Day 9


 The day
 I wake up beside Linda, who also must have just passed out, both of us are face down fully clothed minus our pants (for you English this means trousers) - classy!

At this stage Linda still doesn't know what is going on, and is thinking that she may just leave as she seems to be getting screwed around. She then has some meetings and phone calls and the big boss rings asking her not to leave and offering more money.

Side note: Italian logic
Rather than paying for accommodation for the painter to stay somewhere else, they are offering Linda more money when it isn't the money she wants, she just wants to keep her room... makes sense right?..

Outcome - Linda is now going to work on the site in Venice (where I was to be going), as there seems to be some sort of political debacle going on at the Florence site. So while this is great for Linda as it is a new project and she can get it off the ground and make it her own... it clearly means that the job is no longer mine, nor is there one in Florence because they already have someone in mind for this site...panic.

So I pack up my things to take to my hostel. As I walk outside with my 23kg backpack on (oh good, there is the sweaty back already...) I realize that I am now effectively jobless AND homeless; oh and checking my account balance at this moment in time really wasn't the best idea, turns out I am down to my last £100 (I wasn't exaggerating when I said this was the poor girls version of eat, pray, love), so let's make that jobless, homeless AND broke! Perfect. It is at this point that I just have to laugh, because the only other option is cry, so I go with the first for now.

Now I believe I mentioned that I booked into the cheapest hostel I could find right? 

Ok, no, it didn't quite look like this... But just to paint a slightly clearer picture of it; when I was waiting to check-in a group of 3 Americans come through the door, and as the sweaty looking Turkish guy walks away (yes, I am still in Italy), they turn to me and whisper "how long have you been here, are we going to be safe?"... I'll leave it at that.

I drop my stuff off, get changed and head straight back out (for fear of catching something). Linda asked me to help her pack and bring a bottle of vino of course. Heading out the door I get chatting to a kiwi chick who is on her way out too. Turns out she is from Dunedin, and the bar I used to run is her favourite bar - she couldn't believe she was meeting the original manager of this bar! I love how small the world gets when you travel; so I invite her to tag along with me as she had no other plans.

The night
We get back to the hostel and it turns out Linda has another night, so there is no packing going on as yet, rather she is sitting on the rooftop terrace already well into the vinos. So yet another night spent by the bar, but this time I have a fellow kiwi to talk to. I have loved being around all Italians, and just sitting at the table at night with them, not knowing what they are saying, but just letting their beautiful words wrap around me. But it is nice to be able to talk to another kiwi, and god I never realized how fast we talk until one of the Italian boys pointed this out saying "Tash I never realized you talked so much", ha, I must have come across as the quiet, thoughtful type...

Chatting to Allie is great, she is a little younger, but we have a lot in common. Within a very short space of time our conversation has gone from the basics of, where have you been? where are you travelling next? etc. To life, energy and the Universe. To those that know me, you know how much I love this kind of stuff, you can call it 'hippy shit' if you like, but it has all worked for me so far, so I'm sticking with it.

Side note on this: one of my proudest moments, was back in NZ, the year after Uni, I got a phone call from one of my good friends from Uni who had always given me shit for believing in the 'power of positive thought' and everything else that goes with it; anyway she called to tell me that she had a confession to make - "I have seen how well you are doing lately and the new person you have become, so I thought that maybe there was more to everything you have been saying... so I read 'The Secret' and have seem some huge changes already..."

I know, I know. 'The Secret' is extremely cliche and very americanised, but I read it when I was 21 and it started a shift in me - it wasn't an instantaneous, all of a sudden I and my life is perfect and I get everything I want kind of change...more just a slight shift, a beginning, awakening if you will to taking a true look at myself. The strongest thing that really stayed with me wasn't just the concept of the power of positive thought or the law of attraction; but actually becoming aware of the inner dialogue that is constantly going on in all of our heads. We all know that voice, yet more or less we are unaware of what it is saying as we don't really pay attention to it. I can tell you, that when I actually stopped to listen, it was quite scary what I was saying to myself:
"you're not good enough, no one likes you, you're ugly, no guy will ever love you..." etc etc.

These were the constant messages that my ego (this is what a lot of theories call the mind) was barraging me with daily; yet if this were someone standing in front of you saying these things, there is no way we would stand for it, it would be considered a form of verbal abuse - yet here it was going on undetected for who knows how long. It has been said that the ego is constantly trying to put us down so as not to realize our true potential, or Marianne Williamson wrote: "Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.."

Now just like background elevator music, sometimes you don't even really notice it, until for some reason you have this annoying random tune stuck in your head that you just can't get rid of. This is like the ego, whispering away incessant negative thoughts, until one day you actually begin to believe that these whispers are true of yourself, or you feel so down without understanding why. We are all familiar with the affects of bullying; we have maybe all experienced some type of criticism from a family member or friend, and there is more than enough evidence to suggest that if we are told the same things (whether positive or negative) often enough we begin to believe it ourselves, no matter how unrealistic. This has a huge impact on our self-esteem, but the scary thing is, at least bullying from someone else is more easily noticed, most of us never notice that this is potentially going on in your head day in and day out. This is the power of the mind, and this is what has stuck with me, and what I have continued to work on.

Another of my favourite quotes is:
"Watch your thoughts, for they become your words.
Watch your words, for they become your actions.
Watch your actions, for they become your habits.
Watch your habits, for they become your character.
Watch your character, for it becomes your destiny." 

So why I said this wasn't an instantaneous change is because it takes a while to break patterns of behaviour - especially thoughts, because more  than likely they have been stuck on a repeat cycle for a very long time, and like a well-worn path, our mind finds it much easier to take the road it knows, than the road less travelled. But over the years, I have become a lot more aware of my internal dialogue, and am getting better at stopping these negative thoughts before they snowball. I am a far more confident person in myself and life these days, so again like I said, call it 'hippy shit', but it works for me!

Anyway, sorry for this random tangent, but the point is that since then I have found life more and more magical. And getting to sit down and talk to Allie about all of this is just what I needed, because normally when we verbalize our passion and belief, not only can we get others excited, but our initial passion reignites. And in this case I have a pretty good example of all of this coming in to play...

While sitting drinking with Allie, I get a phone call from another tour company. My friend does their marketing, and she told them I did some training with TravelX so her boss called to ask me some questions about it. I answer his questions, have a bit of a chat, nothing major, and that was it. 20mins later he calls and says, actually I want to offer you a job, how would you feel about being a tour leader sailing Croatia? I can't quite believe what I am hearing, the only answer is yes!! The crazy thing is this was actually the original position I had applied for with the previous company, but they filled it, so I ended up training to be an on-road cook instead. So after a month of chaos and the craziest stories, I have come full swing back to where I really wanted to be. Had all of this not happened though I never would have met all of these amazing people, or discovered my love of Italy and more so Florence. The universe definitely has a sense of humour!

But wait, there is more, a couple hours later and I get another phone call - from Nicolo one of the Italian guys who said he would help try find me a job. He tells me he has a job for me at the pub he works at and to come down and meet the owner. I can't believe it, I have gone from homeless and jobless to two job offers in less than 24hours! Even though I know that the sailing position is the one I really want I still I head to the pub with Allie to meet Nicolo and the owner just in case, and especially as Nicolo was trying to help me out. It is an Irish pub, and while I love Florence and really want to stay here, working in an Irish pub in Florence serving drunken Aussies and Kiwis is not quite the Italian dream I had envisioned...

Anyway back to the hostel and our conversation on 'The Secret', Allie tells me that she also read it a while ago, but having heard my tale and actually witnessed first hand everything that transpired for me today, it has inspired her to take another look. We talk and drink more, and I am just beaming, and Allie mentions that she thinks I am holding the biggest smile back - she is right!

1am we finally head back, and the walk home is a bit hazy in my memory. I do know the streets quite well - sober - in the day time, but it turns out drunkenly walking them at night is slightly different. We make it back, though I'm not sure if this is thanks to me or Allie, I'm putting my money on Allie and not drunken Tash for this one.

I set my alarm for 8am to wake Allie up for her train (as she had been trying to leave all night worried she would miss it, but someone kept filling her glass...), smile to myself over the days events, and completely crash.

side note: Life is beautiful

Here are a couple more random examples of how life can be extremely magical when you are open to it all, and these are seriously only a couple of the many examples:

While walking down the streets of Florence I think about getting something to eat for lunch, but decide that to save money I can wait until dinner, at this moment I look down and there is 10euro on the ground with no one around..

On the train on the way to Venice, I realize that I have lost the one warm top that I had brought with me, and really need to get a cardigan or something, but just can't afford it at the moment. I fall asleep with this thought, and when I wake up in an empty carriage just in time to rush off at my stop, on the way out I spot a cardigan sitting on an empty seat - again with no one else around...

So like I said, you can laugh all you like at my thoughts on life, but when things life this keep happening all the time (and this isn't even the half of it), it seems to me irrefutable evidence that 'life is beautiful' or "bella vite" - beautiful life!!

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