Questo è il quarto post di una serie da parte dei lettori che esplorano le loro ragioni per imparare l’italiano. Oggi vorrei farvi conoscere Stacy di Anna Pollard. Stacy writes the blog Prayers and Piazzas. Sono molto contenta che mi stiate inviando le vostre storie! Continuate a inviarmele! Ho intenzione di pubblicarne una ogni settimana.
This is the fourth post in a series by readers highlighting their reasons for learning Italian. Today I would like to introduce to you Stacy di Anna Pollard. Stacy writes the blog Prayers and Piazzas. I am so pleased that you all are sending stories! Keep them coming. I will post once a week.
Stacy ha radici italiane che si estendono fino alla Puglia. Puglia è una regione di Italia considerata il “tacco dello stivale”. Il nonno di Stacy emigrò in Italia quando era un adolescente. Stacy è cresciuta ignorando la sua ascendenza italiana. Ma tutto questo è cambiato qualche anno fa, quando lei stava progettando un viaggio in Italia, e il marito ha suggerito casualmente che tutti dovreste imparare un po’ di Italiano per migliorare la loro esperienza di viaggio. Quello che è successo dopo, ha risvegliato in Stacy il suo amore per il paese e che ora riempie un vuoto nella sua vita.
Stacy has Italian roots that extend all the way back to Puglia. Puglia is a region considered “the heel of the boot”. Stacy’s grandfather immigrated to American when he was a teenager. Stacy grew up oblivious to her Italian ancestry. But all that changed a few years back when she was planning a trip to Italy, and her husband casually suggested they all learn some Italian to enhance their traveling experience. What ensued, awakened in Stacy her love for the country which now fills a void in her life.
Ecco la storia di Stacy / Here is Stacy’s story.
Falling in love with the Italian language has been one of the more beautiful surprises of my life.
Growing up in an Italian-American family, with a grandfather who, as a teenager, emigrated from Puglia in southern Italy to America, Italy was no big deal to me. I never intended to learn Italian, and I especially never expected to love every moment of it.
But a while back, I found myself accidentally on the path to tackling this captivating language. Quite innocently, as we were planning a family trip to Italy, my husband suggested we all learn Italian. And with this simple spark of an idea, a passion caught fire and my language journey began.
Now, six years later, I continue learning Italian not necessarily to master the language (although that would be fantastico) but for one, simple reason: learning Italian fills me with joy.
At the time of our trip, I was grieving the recent loss of my beloved father, who had always worn his heritage in a most Italian way: grande e orgolioso, big and proud. Losing him was devastating, and consuming. My heart felt sad and worried all the time. My mind, in the quiet moments of the day, defaulted to anxiety, maybe even depression. I could not stop thinking about his loss.
And then along came Italian.
In my time of need, Italian found me and gave my troubled mind and heart a better place to rest.
My mind had become used to settling into sadness, but in working to master some simple travel phrases, my newly found Italian brain offered up productive distractions from my grieving: the meditation of verb conjugations; the transformation of ordinary words (for example, parsley) into the exotic (prezzemolo — che bello!); the thrill of ordering a cup of coffee or asking for directions, were I ever to do so in Italy.
Studying Italian was at first una bella sfida (a beautiful challenge). Now Italian is empowering. Even though there are plenty of times when I feel like a bambina, struggling for comprehension and searching for phrases, there is something very exhilarating about understanding someone speaking Italian — or better yet, being understood in Italian. The more I learn the more I want to learn.
For some reason, when I started this language learning journey I kept it secret for a while. It felt like such a luxury, a busy mom chasing three kids but devoting time each day to something a tad impractical in Southern California.
And then I discovered Melissa’s Studentessa Matta, and other passionate Italophiles on the blog-o-sphere, and their enthusiasm for Italy and Italian was validating. I proudly became that Lady with the Italian Workbook and Verb Conjugation Flashcards at my kids’ sporting events or while waiting in the pickup line at school.
I have been happily studying Italian in small chunks just about every day since 2010. I still have such a long way to go, although piano piano (slowly slowly), I’m getting there. And even though I trip over my Italian and have difficulty speaking in full, error-free sentences, ultimately I am filled and nourished by Italian.
Growing up, Italian was always in the sottofondo (background) of my life. It was always there, mine for the taking, but I never embraced it. Per fortuna, luckily, it waited for me, and little by little, parola per parola (word by word), ultimately, Italian embraced me.
Grazie Stacy! La tua storia è bellissima. Sono contenta che l’italiano ti ha trovato nel momento giusto. Tutti noi abbiamo una storia perché stiamo imparando l’italiano. Qual è la vostra storia?
Every one of us has a story or reason for learning Italian. What is yours? Send me your story about why you are learning Italian and I will feature it here on the Matta blog! Grazie! Send your story to firstname.lastname@example.org