“La libertà è come l’aria: ci si accorge di quanto vale quando comincia a mancare. “Piero Calamandrei, Jurist and protagonist of La Resistenza
British people apologise too much. I know this to be true and not just a stereotype because, even today, my inclination was to begin this blog post by apologising for my lack of writing over the past couple of weeks. However, not only does my not posting rarely affect anyone other than myself, but it is natural and a wise thing to take a break sometimes, to recalibrate, regroup and get reinspired.
My reason for missing a couple of blog posts was due to a busy schedule and some rather impomptu trips away. After the past eighteen months spent mainly at home with plenty of time to write, read and workout (aka the activities that centre me), I am still – like most people – attempting to figure out how to bring balance into my busier schedule as society opens up and we are afforded the possibility to travel once again.
Just over a two weeks ago, a friend of mine whose Italian wedding I was hoping to attend gave me a call to let me know that the restrictions for entry into Italy would be changing for those who were fully vaccinated like myself. No longer would we have to quarantine for five days! I would be able to attend his wedding in Venice if I was willing to book a flight at less than a week’s notice and get the time off work approved.
“Will you come?” he asked. “Of course, I’ll come!” I said. Okay, second question: “Will you be our celebrant and perform the ceremony?” he asked… “UM YES!” I responded, whilst simultaneously Googling the duties of a civil celebrant online. A civil service, as my friends would be having (before signing the marriage license the next day), can be performed by any person, without the need to authorise the wedding. Basically, I would be Joey Tribbiani, marrying off Monica and Chandler in FRIENDS, without the “giving and taking, sharing and receiving” and in Venice, of course.
A few hours later, I had booked my flights, hotel, multiple COVID-19 tests (my bank account hates me right now) and received the speech I would be performing at the ceremony. What was supposed to be a Saturday night in watching the new Gossip Girl reboot turned into something else entirely.
Fast forward a couple of days and there I was on a blazing Italian end of summer’s day, just an hour outside of Venice, performing the ceremony of some dear friends. Standing in front of a sea of Italian and English guests whom I didn’t know and this lovely couple, the nerves I had been feeling all morning vanished. Watching my friends declare what they mean to each other and seeing how happy they were to have found each other is something I will cherish for the rest of my life. The fact I literally got to play the role of a priestess by pronouncing them, “Husband and Wife” was the icing on the cake, quite frankly.
Following my stellar performance, I actually received multiple offers to perform future weddings ceremonies. Whether you attribute this to an over-consumption of Aperol Spritz or not, it’s official, I’m available for wedding hire… Abroad weddings preferred, but not essential!
It’s funny because I knew no one at the beginning of my weekend in Venice and by the end of it, I hadn’t spent a moment alone. I made friends at the wedding that I would end up spending the rest of the weekend with; walking through Venice, eating pizza, pasta and drinking Aperol Spritz. I couldn’t even shake off my new bestie at the airport as we were boarding planes just 30 minutes apart. Soulmates, much? Many of these new friends live close to me, we have a lot in common, mutual friends in the bride and groom, and yet our paths had never crossed before.
It made me realise how vital it is to get out there and live our lives again, book spontaneous flights you weren’t expecting to book, make bold choices, and make new friends. You can honestly never have enough good people in your life! Life is never truly fixed or settled, and it can all change in a couple of hours if you want it to. Sometimes, even if you don’t! I promise, you won’t realise what you are missing out on until you fly away, disrupt your routine and miss a blog post or two. If I am completely honest, that apology I was going to dish out at the beginning was entirely for myself. Consider it accepted, self.