“Maybe our girlfriends are our soulmates and guys are just people to have fun with.” – Candace Bushnell

Yes, that’s a quote from Sex and the City after one of the women goes through a particularly bad breakup.  The show is a bit of a guilty pleasure because of how ridiculously the women react to hardships in their lives; I feel better about my freak outs when I compare my reactions to theirs.  But this particular scene caught me more seriously.  I see so many of my friends, peers and old classmates pairing off with babies, boyfriends and engagements lately.


I’m so happy for those friends, to experience such happiness in their own lives.  But what about those of us who don’t want that in this stage of our lives?  How do we answer the endless stream of questions: When will you meet someone?  Why aren’t you dating anyone?  Did you have a bad breakup last time?  Then there comes the meaningless platitudes: You’ll meet someone when you least expect it.  The best things come to those who wait.  You find the best people when you stop looking.

I’m almost through my twenty-second year.  I graduated from a nationally ranked program – at a good university – with honors.  But that doesn’t seem to be what people call to mind when they think about me.  They see that I moved to Italy and assume that I’m running from something or that I don’t want to start in the “real world.”  Maybe they’re right.  I’m only 22.  I assume I came here because I felt a draw to return, but that was a feeling I had and wasn’t based on much more.  But I do know that whatever I’m missing in my life isn’t going to be found in a man right now.  I always used to have a boyfriend.  I went from one relationship to the next without much thought because that’s what I wanted at that time.  I’m unsure what specifically changed, but that phase of my life is certainly on pause – indefinitely.

None of this means that I don’t feel drawn to find a soulmate.  I just think my definition of that word is different at this point.  It becomes more clear to me as I go through hardships that my soulmate right now isn’t even a singular person.  My soulmates are my friends, just like the girls in SATC.  Because a true soulmate doesn’t just tell you things are going to be okay and that you’re great; that’s what transient friends spout.  A soulmate friend is permanent; he/she reminds you of who you are and why you’re loved.  Tells you it sucks right now, but asks how to help.  Initiates conversations on the topic, instead of sighing when you bring it up yet again.  Helps you remember what you like about yourself.


To find a soulmate in a friend is more meaningful to me.  I’ve yet to find a man who can support and love me as truly as a soulmate.  If I’m meant to find the same relationship with a man in the future, I have full confidence that it will happen.  But for now, I’m overly content to share my life with my girlfriends.



I’ve been back in Florence for about six weeks.  It hasn’t been an easy adjustment and it’s nothing like what I was expecting.  I had a great summer last year – working as an expatriate, traveling around Italy and making friends from across the world.  Perhaps naively, I was thinking that this secondary expat section of my life would be the same.

I don’t mean to gloss over the difficult parts of last summer, but the overall feeling left in my mouth when I moved home was of a fantastic ten weeks in which I met some of my now closest friends.  This time, I feel like I’m fighting to fit in.  I showed up a month later than the rest of my coworkers/roommates and it shows in my daily routine.  I often feel like an afterthought to people who bonded so deeply while I was still in the States.  Simply comparing pictures from last summer to this fall, the difference shows.

I’m still smiling, posing with friends and presenting a person overall happy to be in Europe.  But there’s an undeniable shift to more individual photographs, whereas those were rare last year.  It’s been difficult to deal with adulthood, graduation, and learning to be on my own all at once.  I can’t stress enough how many times I’ve felt so lonely that I almost moved back home.  But I’m slowly learning how to fill my days on my own.  I’m learning to travel solo.  And I’m learning that sometimes my quiet time can be in a piazza absolutely packed with people.  It isn’t easy to be on your own.  But it can surely be worth it.  While I know when this experience will end, which is sooner than I originally planned, I’ll never regret coming here.  The only way to learn about yourself and grow as an adult is to put yourself in difficult situations, to encourage less-than-ideal experiences and to do it with a smile on your face.