Three weeks ago, nearly 1.5 years after the format was conceived and dutifully developed, after the hoping and toiling and wishing had all been hoped and toiled and wished- a group of eight individuals left Italy to embark on a journey- picking up friends and lessons along the way. Each day brings phenomenal amounts of novelty- and even now, at the very beginning- I can say that this will be one of those times of my life that leaves its mark on me, like a star shooting across a night sky…burning with the kind of flames that rarely fade.
And now here I am- in another somber hotel room, in another city- after three weeks of filming-physically exhausted, mentally satiated, with an alive spirit…and beyond any shadow of a doubt, steeped with excitement about what is to come.
Everyday I am fascinated- astonished by all I didn’t know and startled at myself- the good and the bad. Because in a situation like this one: living out of a suitcase, stuck in a 13 passenger van for hours on end with a group of people who were perfect strangers only a few weeks ago, working 16/17/18 hour days…and for me personally- doing something I have never done before- it’s easy to identify one’s flaws…and one’s strengths. But it’s the flaws that are more noticeable.
And I truly believe that, even in the early stages, before I have had a chance to live it all- and to look back and pick each fragment of each day apart, I am learning that fearlessness is no easy feat, but in this particular situation, it’s the only choice. Not only have I jumped in head first, but I have jumped from a higher altitude I have ever known, head first, in reverse, and done a few backflips on the way down. I am, no doubt, pushing my limits. Once again.
I am seeing America in a new light: through Italian eyes….which makes each moment sweeter and each breath fresher…but I should have expected that. I am falling in love with false eyelashes and beginning to hate hotel room service. I have learned to appreciate individuals I thought I couldn’t support and fallen out of love with aspects of myself I assumed were essential. Every day there are a million lessons to be learned, and I am lucky to seize 10 of them- because they are priceless…and awesome…and just simply beyond…
I genuinely sense that after all these years, and all of the messes I’ve made, tasks I’ve undertaken, and errors I’ve committed- that I have found something that truly works for me. I underestimated the power of being tall, blonde (in Italy) and animated to a point of exasperation. I overestimated the value of remaining within the corporate confines and boundaries that we are taught, at too young an age, exist within our futures.
I think I have finally taken most of what I know, a large portion of that which I have experienced, and all the tiny little aspects that make me, well, me- thrown them together, and come out with something that works- something that I can be proud of. And something that however exhausted I may be at the end of the day, I am thrilled to wake up the next morning and begin again.
Sleep deprivation is beginning to look OK on me, organic protein bars (and organic protein bars alone) are beginning to nourish me, and being a television host is starting to suit me. Let’s just hope the rest of Italy feels the same way.