Dear Rome

Dear Rome,

In case I don’t tell you enough, I love you.

Thank you for our countless memories together. Thank you for being steadfast & calm when I am not. Thank you for patiently teaching me how you embrace your past – bad times and all.

Thank you for reminding me life is not a competition with others, as you are sure & confident, & you don’t concern yourself with other world cities in rat races to build skyscrapers and modernize… Because you and I both know that to have the privilege of gazing with our own eyes at the Colosseum is worth more than a thousand tall buildings.

Thank you for waiting in silence with me when I don’t have the language to explain what I so intensely feel because even the strongest words seem wholly inadequate.

Thank you for your unwavering presence as my sole & loyal companion while I gaze in awe at the Arch of Constantine or wander the labyrinth of streets and alleys around the Pantheon with no physical destination in mind. By not needing to break the silence between us, you show me you understand that this roaming is not about ending up in Piazza Navona or Trastevere but about my yearning for greater self-understanding against the backdrop of your magnificent past. You taught me how to see that.

Thank you for embracing your breathtaking ruins and showing me that ruins are some of the most beautiful things in the world. They are proof that one has truly lived.

Thank you for not only accepting me with all my crazy faults but loving me more because of my vulnerability & willingness to face my demons. You understand, you tell me – you’ve dealt with Nero & Caligula, am I right?

Thank you for being reasonable and measured when I am impulsive & caught deep within the tangle of my head and my heart, which can prove to be more times than not.

And yet, thank you also for still bursting with passion and sometimes out-of-control emotions despite the wisdom and perspective the years have instilled in you. You have taught me that true courage is allowing myself to fully experience the cascade of feelings that sometimes plague those of us with deep thoughts and even deeper wells of emotions.

Thank you for sharing a stubborn streak with me, because as much trouble as it can get us into, you have proven that you wouldn’t have made it these thousands of years without it.

Thank you for having faults, literal battle scars, and being far from perfect – and loving yourself anyway.

Thank you for always reassuring me after failures and mistakes with your silent wisdom that only comes from thousands of years of both ruling the world and being overrun by barbarians. “I’m still here after all of that,” you whisper to me with conviction, “and so are you.”

Thank you for feeling more like home every time I step foot on your soil, as if you, the city of Rome, are my soul mate. My memories with you keep me company on nights when I am convinced I am the loneliest person in the world.

And thank you for being all of these things to me, even when I’m oceans away.

You will always and forever be the Eternal City.



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