Truth be told, I should have started this blog on the 6th; or perhaps, if I were over-achieving enough on the 4th; when I first arrived in Rome. The fact is that the idea never came to me, and probably never would have, especially given the fact that I shy away from anything that exposes my private life to any type of scrutiny whatsoever. Why? Well, I am a therapist, and privacy (as well as secrecy) is a way of life.
I could bore you to death discussing the argument about whether or not a therapist should be a “blank slate” for his/her client, or if a therapist should be “a regular person.” I won’t. The reality is that as a young therapist, I have come to understand that publicly displaying one’s life is a huge “no-no”… After all, what would clients think? That I am human?
My friend, Doli (Croatian photographer, Dolores Juhas), for some time now has been asking me to “write something.” Since I have come to Rome, she has been on me to “write something like a blog” especially now that I have taken to writing haiku and posting them in the ‘Notes’ section of my Facebook (yes, I am on Facebook). And although, I am sure she (and every one of my ever-loving-me friends) love reading my haiku, I have decided to take the plunge and start this blog. The question is: what will it be about? Most of these blog-things have a point – Right?
21 Days: Rewind the clock… then fast forward.
October 2010. I found myself in Rome, Italy (not Georgia) attempting to visit a friend. I say ‘attempting’ because it never really came to fruition. Picture it, the Tuesday before I leave on Thursday, my friend’s father passes away. So, I found myself, for the most part, alone in Rome. Now, you might think, “Hell yeah!” After all, Rome is the eternal city, right? Party central? Well, when you happen to be Black, young, female, and not knowing a word of Italian, Rome became a type of giant hallway of mirrors with every eye staring at me, except the eyes were not my own – It didn’t help that prior to my leaving that I had read different postings about Black women in Italy being perceived as prostitutes because some of the population of North African women decided to prescribe to such a profession. Thus, my tiny, dark hotel room became my sanctuary (by the way, never go to this hotel).
Perhaps it was all the staring, or perhaps it was spending too much time alone, or perhaps it was just my dreary hotel room; whatever it was, I left Rome that October feeling quite certain of one thing: I had no idea who I had become. On almost a daily occasion I found myself staring at my own reflection and simply thinking: I do not know who I am anymore.
February 2011. I decided to come back to the scene of the crime – Rome. There are a multitude of reasons I could give as to why I am here. The truth is that I hope to find some closure to what had been opened in October; or, at the very least, some guidance towards the truth, i.e. of myself. So, I gave myself 21 days to answer a specific question… You know, a rather simple one: who am I?