Walking Barefoot in Rome

9 Jan

(If you want to skip all my wordiness, just click here already. But you’d be missing out, because I even put in a clip from SNL. But, you know, it’s totally your call.)

Once upon a time (last August), in a land far, far away (Rome, to be exact), the heroine of this blog (me), had a huge, I mean MAMMOTH, crush on a local restaurant owner. I’m not mysterious at all about crushes. I blab them to the whole world like it’s the most important news since the marriage between bread and butter Nutella.

Being very not-coy about my crush, I bribed my friend into accompanying me for a drink at said restaurant so that I could shamelessly flirt with my crush.

Little did I know that my crush would fade fast, but that it would have long-reaching fringe benefits! Life works in mysterious ways like that. Allow me to back up for just one tiny momento, if you will.

(ohmyGod, Shelley’s going all emo on us today. Why, yes—yes, I am).

Anyone remember my Love Letter to Spoleto? It was so gushy it required two parts.

If you didn’t read it/them, allow me to sum up: I’m a newish (1 1/2 years) divorced working mom of three preschoolers (yeah, don’t choke) and self-esteem was hovering roundabout zero this past summer. Oh how I desperately wanted male companionship! Doesn’t that sound like an old granny? You know what I mean, people. LURRRRVE! But alas. I was frustrated. So down on myself. So much so that last August, I found myself, appunto, in Spoleto, crying on a park bench on a Sunday morning.

You know how in life when things get so bad you think, well, geez, I guess I might as well pray, what have I got to lose? That’s pretty much where my lapsed Catholic arse on the bench was at that moment. Through the tears, I was like “Dear God, are you there? It’s me, Shelley. No, not Margaret! Shelley!” and I began to ask the man upstairs to please help me not feel so totally shitty about myself and not feel so desperate to find a man. That was it in a nutshell. Help me see that I’m worth more than what I’m accepting from men I’m attracting and attracted to. Suffice it to say, I was like, God, let me be more like Stuart Smalley, for the love of God, God!

And not to go all esoteric on you, but can I just say that within a matter of mere MINUTES, God was ringing my doorbell?

First I get a free ride to the Spoleto train station by the AMAZING self-diagnosed crazy man of Spoleto. (I told you you should have read the Spoleto post! Go on! I’ll wait!)

Then, out of the blue after a couple days, I got an email from an ex-boyfriend from FOURTEEN YEARS AGO who just wanted to say how happy he was to have found me online and just wanted to tell me how amazing and wonderful he always thought I was.

Um, thanks! Like, honestly. THANK YOU.

Stuff like this started happening all over the place. I’m not even kidding. Culminating with meeting HER. One of the most amazing and inspiring women I’ve had the pleasure of meeting in … who knows how long! My dearest friends I’ve had for years, so my “new addition” was totally unexpected.

And that, my friends, is how we make our way back to my crush. Sitting at the bar of said restaurant (I know if you know me you know which one…don’t worry, I’m totally over it) there was a stunning woman who I ended up striking up a conversation with. As it would happen, her life’s work is as a writer, empowering women to respect themselves in their relationships and their lives in general, and showing women how they can make the most of their wonderful selves.

Um, gee whiz God, you really know what you’re doing up there! Thanks man! I owe you one!

So, after a lovely evening of chatting (and said amazing woman being amazingly graceful in pretending that two and a half gin martinis hadn’t had a deleterious effect on my speech) I exchanged info with said goddess and began an online love affair, that happily, didn’t turn out to be one-sided.

Which is why I am now proudly walking “barefoot in Rome.” Said woman is none other than Brenda Della Casa, author of Cinderella Was a Liar (go Kindle, I did), Director of Content for Preston Bailey, scrittrice extraordinaire of not one but TWO incredible blogs (I Am Staggered USA), and, clearly, all-around fascinating creature.

Her site Walking Barefoot has been gracing the blogosphere since 2005, and today—today people—I am more than honored to say that none other than yours truly has been chosen as the DEBUT feature in her new Wednesday Words of Wisdom feature!

Yayayayayayayay! (Shelley does happy dance. Which, for visual reference, looks exactly like the below clip:)

I’ve gone beyond Stuart Smalley, folks. I might even go after my next dream, becoming this woman.

No, I am totally not kidding. But admit it, you wouldn’t expect anything less from me, now would you?

Dear readers, I mustered up all the wisdom I could muster for your enjoyment, and I bared my soul here. (Covers eyes in vulnerability and nervousness, but kind of looks out from fingertips to see if you’re clicking…)

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10 Responses to “Walking Barefoot in Rome”

  1. janavi January 9, 2013 at 3:31 pm #

    So happy things have taken a turn for the better. I was in the same state about 4 yrs ago, begging for help. And my life changed completely. Funny how it works. Will check out the Barefoot blog.

  2. Aldo January 9, 2013 at 10:31 pm #

    Hey Shelley — long time! Looks like you’ve been through a bit of a rough patch, but I am glad to see that you are doing better now. Hold the fort!

  3. biddy9 January 10, 2013 at 7:31 am #

    What a cool post! I love your writing! And I am totally honoured for the mention… the really cool mention 🙂 I’m still recovering from the fact you’re a single mum of 3 preschoolers! I thought my life was hard with an 18 mth old and a 3 yr old and a stay-at-home hubby. I don’t know how you do it.

  4. Un'americana a Roma January 10, 2013 at 3:43 pm #

    ALDO! Ha good to see you around these parts! Yeah I’m still alive and kicking. Miss our little disputes though. Those were some good times. I’ve chilled out … luckily. 🙂 Join Brendan and I for lunch if/when you are back in town!!! Great to see you!

  5. Un'americana a Roma January 10, 2013 at 3:45 pm #

    It’s ME who is honored to have YOU commenting on my blog. Weeeee! Life is good! And no honey, I don’t know how I do it either! Ha ha! By the grace of God, honestly! Look forward to getting to know you better this year. xoxo

  6. Un'americana a Roma January 10, 2013 at 3:46 pm #

    Janavi, the ORIGINAL READER! That is you!!! Still with me after six years (beaming with pride). It is funny how it works. Rock bottom can truly work some magical wonders. Hey, what goes down must come back up, right?!? Something like that?? 😉

  7. Un'americana a Roma January 10, 2013 at 3:47 pm #

    Oh, and “bit of a rough patch” hee hee… nominations for understatement of the year are now officially underway!!!

  8. Un'americana a Roma January 10, 2013 at 3:50 pm #

    One last barb, I can’t resist… you DO realize that this post is ALL ABOUT the POWER OF PRAYER, do you NOT??? (heh heh heh *rubs hands together and starts evilly laughing muuuuahahahaha*) P.S. though as an aside, pretty much every atheist I know is the most Christian person in existence in terms of how ethical and correct their behavior is compared to a lot of “religious” people.

  9. Aldo January 10, 2013 at 8:48 pm #

    I will certainly give you and Brendan a heads-up next time I am in the eternal city, and regale you with more understatements.

  10. Catherine January 15, 2013 at 3:43 pm #

    I remember the Spoleto post and perhaps these are moments we all have to go through. But step by step we get stronger. And I think some worldly wisdom is worth more than a quick crush any day! Xcat

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