Wednesday, 1 June 2011

Rite of passage

As of today, I'm officially on sabbatical leave. I have to admit, professionally it is a kind of uneventful transition, since I have already finished teaching few weeks ago. On a personal level, though, I have begun to be quite stressed out, since the countdown to our big move to Europe has now started. My husband and I will spend our sabbatical leave in Milan--according to my mother the most fashionable place in the world--, where I am originally from and where my parents still leave. We will benefit of their kindness, as they are letting us stay in one of their apartments and have promised plenty of baby-sitting services.

Moving back to Italy after ten years of absence (if one excludes the summer holidays) makes me quite nervous on a number of levels. Fashion and style are certainly two important ones, which are inevitably interlaced with my relationship with my mother and how many times I will be able to handle the "what are you wearing" line on a daily basis. The fact that my two my best friends, with whom I grew up, are among the most fashionable people I know does not help either.

The thing is that I am Italian, and abroad I am considered to have style just because of my birthplace. It is not something is even questioned. I just AM stylish, even though most of the times I do not feel like that -- as many impulse buys of the past few years can certainly prove. As Victoria Beckam said (although about something completely different), abroad I am a big fish in a small pond. But back in Italy, I am just a small fish in a big pond, and it stresses me out to be looked upon as the "American cousin" who does not know how to dress anymore because she spent too much time abroad.

I have thus started combing through my closet since last September, thrown out few things, sold many others at my local consignment store, but I know I still will not be able to (and most definitely should not) bring back to Italy everything that's left. For the final selection, I thus decided to start fresh with clothing for the new spring/summer season. In previous years this is also the part of my closet that I have always neglected, since we pretty much have no spring in Canada, and I spend only a brief time in Italy in the summer, mostly at the beach where I can get away with bikinis and cover-ups. This year I have no excuses though, but I want to play it smart and do not burn my budget before actually arriving in Italy, where I will obviously do some shopping :-)

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