Today I purchased a shiny new bicycle.  This fills me with independence: independence from breaking down, independence from failing breaks, independence from chains that slip and fall off in traffic.  Up until yesterday, I cherished my old blue bike, however it rattled to a halt halfway up a bridge, leaving me stranded, and walking home in the dark for thirty minutes.

This gleaming new bicycle is not only practical, it fills me with a secret pride… there are few things as memorable as a new bicycle !!

This morning riding along the streets of Florence, I’m reminded of my very first bicycle as a young girl.  A banana bike with a red seat, and silver fenders.

In addition, it stirs a memory of the hours teaching my own daughters how to ride a two-wheeler.  The letting go….  Permitting them to ride away from the shelter of my arms.

A recollection that prompts me to consider my own independence, this new life in Italy, the choices I’ve made, the unfamiliar road ahead…..

Recall if you will the day your parents hand let go of the bicycle-seat, and you rode a bicycle without assistance for the very first time!!

Think back to how your fingers fit perfectly into the groves of the sturdy rubber handles.  How tightly your hands gripped, bracing against the unknown, refusing to let go, to give up.  The breeze adding to the thrill as it gusts across your face in perfect unison.  Excitement and angst toward this newfound independence.  The quiver in the front wheel as you turn your head to look behind you, amazed you are actually riding on your own, keenly aware of the distance between you and your parents.  The smile on their faces as they watch you ride away, their one hand raised in a wave, the other clenched in fear for your safe return.

Quite unexpectedly you are now the one in charge.  Every move you make is a choice.  Glancing back is no longer a sensible option.  Looking forward is the safest course of action.  By peddling harder, you make it up the hill.  Breaking softly keeps you steady.  Swing to the left, you risk riding into traffic.  Wobble too far right, strike the curb.  Stay the course, and you’re further from home.  Further from the strong safe hands that hold you upright, giving you direction, offering sound advice…. shielding you from harm.

If you refuse to remove the training wheels, you’ll never experience the thrill of that first autonomous ride.

What should you do?

You have a choice…. stand next to the curb OR experience the adrenaline rush of a solo ride….the excitement of a new adventure….achieving it on your own…these choices demand independence.

An irritating requirement of independence is that you must become independent!!!

next weeks posts: A RUN ALONG THE ARNO


About Italian Living

I'm an interior decorator from Canada. I own a design firm. I have three grown daughters who are confidant women living busy lives. I love my family my friends and my life, however, something is missing. December 3rd, my eyes open at 3:33 a.m. It's time to fulfill my lifelong dream of living in Italy..... I rent my house, pack my bags, say a final farewell to all the people I love most in this world and hop on a plane January 13th.... alone. This is my story...
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  1. Erin says:

    I just have to say…thank you! I have read your entire blog in a day! You write beautifully! Every time you ended an entry I found myself wanting to “turn the page” to read on! I am planning on moving to Italy. It’s been a dream of mine for a long time and recently, like you, it suddenly dawned on me to make it happen. I’m looking for work as an au pair and hoping to move by the summer of this year. Please keep writing! Your words are inspiring!


    • Erin,
      Thank you for your kind reply… your words inspired me today. I’m currently working on two stories, and because of you, I’m taking the time today, to edit and post at least one of them. Life has been busy, and I’ve fallen behind in my writing.
      One of stories deals with my experience shopping, the other, a ‘tell-all’ regarding the Italian Man. Stay tuned.
      Good luck with your move. You won’t be sorry. Do you speak Italian? If not, I’d recommend, either a course, at your local college, or the Rosetta Stone Language Cd’s… I wished I’d know about these cd’s before I left Canada. They are expensive, however well worth the money spent. I borrowed my copy from a friend, she downloaded them onto a pin drive.
      Good Luck… hope you enjoy my next blog-post!!


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