One thing I have learned about living in Italy is that people enter and exit my life at an amazing speed. When I had moved back to Italy in 2004, two of my closest girlfriends left Florence and went back to their hometowns in southern Italy within a few months. Since I've been here, I have met many Americans who come to live in Florence for a specific period of time, like six months to a year. It's great to meet them, go out with them, and become close, but it is always sad when they leave.
I have one American girlfriend who refused to meet other Americans because she said that she gets close to them and then they leave. I have learned that it's still worth it to make friends with someone even knowing that they are not staying here in Florence permanently. People come in and out of our lives all the time, and I think it's just par for the course.
With the changes in my life, I have also made other new friendships here in Florence. Because I'm going to the palestra (gym) regularly now, I have come to make a few acquaintances. No friends yet, but I chat to a few people that I see all the time. Friendly conversation, but we haven't even exchanged names yet.
A new Florentine girlfriend called me yesterday and we had an impromptu dinner at my place. I had never done anything like that before. I usually like to plan dinners, but it was a lot of fun. I made dinner in an hour, and we ate out on my terrazza (terrace), which was the first time I had ever done that, and we enjoyed ourselves a lot. I even made crÍpes for dessert to go with the gelato (ice cream) that she brought over.
Yesterday I also met another girl who lives here. We met up for a drink and ended up talking for hours. I love it when a casual meeting turns out to be the beginning of a friendship. No one can create friendships, they just happen. Friendships are wonderful gifts that I value in my life, no matter how long they exist.
Tonight I had to say goodbye to two other good friends of mine who are returning to Boston. We have had many great dinners out together, and I will miss them greatly.
Even though people come and go in my life, I have learned that friends are forever. We might not be able to see each other much, but we can definitely keep in touch via email, iChat, Skype, Vonage, etc. So, I am happy to be open to meeting new people as they enrich my life in many ways. It's always sad to let them go, but I'm always happy when we meet up again, and we will.
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