An unexpected thing happened when I wrote my last blog about selling the villa. One of my readers took the time – quite a lot of time – to ask me a whole bunch of questions about the flip side of big dreams: the pitfalls. She thought it would be useful for readers to understand, if they wanted to try something like this themselves, the lessons I’d learned about what NOT to do.
One thing in particular about Ms. C’s note struck me: Failure is not a positive word in our western society, however I think the best way to think of it is as another word for a learning experience!
I couldn’t agree more.
And then: Most of us have read “Under the Tuscan Sun” and “A Year in Provence” and we have a highly romantic, impractical view of undertaking the task of a remodel. In fact there are any number of books about how wonderful it all is and it sounds so fun and so easily do-able when you read those books and magazine articles.
Hmmm. Yes, I did read those books. And the villa project was hugely positive for me, despite my current period of mourning. To feel otherwise would be akin to wishing dead friends hadn’t been born, so that we wouldn’t miss them now that they’re gone. However, sometimes the price of dreaming is mourning, and I’d hate to think my story would stop anyone – least of all me – from continuing to pursue the big ones. From experience comes knowledge and growth.
So let’s share it! I’m going to simply work through Ms. C’s questions, on the assumption she’s not the only one who has them. If any of you have more, fire away: either here, or by sending me a message on Godzillavilla’s facebook page.
The first has to do with money. Stay tuned, my answer will be coming soon.
And thank you, Ms. C., for writing your long note asking me to do this.
Of course I love this post Shelagh. Making sense of it all. Because everything happens in a certain order for a certain reason. At least I take a lot from that idea, personally. Not all dreams come true. I’m talking to myself now. But that doesn’t mean they’re not worth having. Or that in the dreaming we don’t find joy, moments of happiness, feelings of being truly alive. They bring clarity. Even when they end. Maybe especially then.
But what I’d ask you is whether the scale and location made the difference. maybe that setting was so much part of the dream it couldn’t have been any other way???
Also, what’s the biggest lesson from all this, so far.
Un abbraccio. x
I will add these questions to my list – they’re good ones. Thank you!
Hi Shelagh, sorry to read about walking away from your dream. Remember, at least you tried and had the courage to walk away. Perhaps this was not the road you have to travel, but remember all the wonderful times you had on the journey.
We are still in the process of trying to realise our Italian dream and have had to put it on hold while we undergo legal proceedings agains our geometra and what we discovered to be his building company and the hefty overcharging. We have lost a lot of money but have been living in the town and met many wonderful people. While a lot poorer financially, we have been enriched with the relationships we have made. Whether or not we will ever have our dream house, we don’t know, but we have no regrets.
Perhaps eventually, like you we may have to walk away, but it will be with our heads held high as we are certainly better for the experiences we have had and I am sure you are the same.
Good luck with your new life and above all enjoy!
That’s tough to have all the negativity with the people who were working on your house. That’s one place where I have to say we have been blessed, they have all been great.
But I agree, the key to getting the most out of any of these adventures is to embrace what they have given you despite the bad stuff.
Augusta LaPaix said:
” Practical Advice for Dreamers”…I love it!
Here’s my (mundane) question:
Looking back, what would you have done differently?
I’ll add your question to the list – but maybe that should be part of answering every question, in fact.
Mulino Dominillo said:
Life is a learning process and not everything is perfect. Sometimes we learn much more out of those apparent failures. And fate cannot be ignored. Perhaps, this was not meant to be your dream and a real one is waiting for you at the end of the tunnel. Best wishes.
Totally agree – including the part about fate!