So. Ok. I have been in Italy for too long. I can't even blame Italy for my negligence towards my blog. I am just a lazy mistress no two ways about it. I come up with all sorts of things to blog about but never quite get around to actually putting my fingers on the keyboard. I have many things to share about Italy and I am confident when I get back to the States I will blog uncontrollably about my experiences in this lovely country. Pictures included. But as my time here comes to a close I can reflect on a few things. I wrote a blog recently about youth and how age changes you. Heavy. Right? Very Heavy. Italy makes my heart heavy at times. I will get to that in a later blog. But. I want to write about something that I have noticed here that most likely escapes the eyes of all those around me. You would expect me to want to discuss the history, beauty, food, wine, or people right? Wrong... Not at all. These are things that all people here see and appreciate. Things that are not overlooked by the untrained eye. I have noticed the dogs here. There are lots of random little dogs roaming the streets, train stations, and subways. These dogs look like they are the happiest creatures on the face of this planet. At first I was thinking these poor little dogs. No homes. No owners to love them. No three hots and a cot. Then I looked more closely at the dogs. They were all smiling. To people who do not own or have never owned a dog they do not understand what a dog smile is. But to those of us whose hearts have been open to canine kind, we know what a dog smile is. These stray dogs are walking the streets delighted with life. I am convinced they are the happiest creatures in the universe. They come and go as they please. Socialize with other random doggie friends. Take naps when they are tired, eat when they are hungry. The wander the streets just as carefree as the wind. And they all have that dog smile on their face. The more I paid attention to these packs of dogs the more I was astounded they all were so happy. I made it my mission to find a dog that looked unhappy. Well it has been two weeks of dog watching and ya know what? No sad random dogs have been spotted. I HAVE noticed the dogs that are on leashes and the ones behind gates or fenced in were the uptight unhappy dogs. They were the ones who barked at every passerby and are just generally tense. The kept dogs in theory should be the happiest dogs but they are not. They seem to be the most miserable. I will take from Italy the lesson of the random stray dog. I think they are on to something. These little dogs are free, happy, and their basic needs are more than met. So they smile. Breaking out of my confinement is going to be difficult, however to reach the level of contentment these little Italian dogs have is more than worth the effort. I encourage more of us to live life like little random stray Italian dogs.
The older you become, the more you realize you don't know a damn thing about anything. In my 20's I was so confident. But upon further recollection I now know ignorance is bliss. Things that I knew for sure were plentiful. Now days the things I know for sure are few and farrrrr between. Hell.. I am not even completely sold on Oprah's things she knows for sure. Days are spent with my eyes closed tightly praying this shit is going to work out. Fretting over plan B, C, D, hell plans X,Y, and Z. The familiar tension that uncurls like an albino python in my body... Yeah.. Stuff like this. Things I had no idea existed when I was younger. I wonder when is life going to get easier, then I remember my 20's and whole heartily believe that was when things were easy. The rest of life is going to be work and struggle. Responsibility sucks. The older you get, the more responsibility you accumulate. What a cosmic trick. A big universal guwahauf on all of us. People were always telling me to enjoy my youth and do not rush to grow up. I also recall this saying youth is wasted on the young. They were on to something, unfortunately I didn't get it till it is tooo late. Now I am all grown up and raced through my youth like the proverbial bat out of hell.  I have become a big fan of movies, books, plays, stories damn near anything that has to do with time travel. I feel as if I study them closely enough I will be privileged with the necessary information which will allow me the ability to travel through time. By no means would I go back to make myself insanely rich by investing in Apple or pulling out of the real estate market before the bubble busted, however, I would have a lot of things to say to the younger version of myself. Number one. Stop eating cheeseburgers and drinking Jack Daniels! That is not proper nutrition. Numero dos. Life your life for yourself and not anyone else. Expectations from others placed on you are good motivators but by NO means a road map to happiness. Part C. Don't be so darn materialistic. Who cares where you bought that dress? What is most important is not the designer label but the way the dress makes you feel. YON don't let experiences in life define your feelings. They are just that experiences. Stop erecting walls to prevent future hurt. Getting hurt is going to happen and if you perhaps allowed yourself to feel a rainbow of emotions, you wouldn't be so limited in your empathy for humanity. Building walls greater than those of Shi Huangdi is just as harmful to you as it was to China. Independence is a good thing but being like HAL destroys you in the end no matter how laudable your intentions are. And finally. Enjoy the moment. Stop rushing from one thing to the next. Savor the moments because these moments make up your life. Moments cannot be recaptured. They cannot be reproduced. Enjoy them as if they are your last, because they just might be. Acta est Fabula.