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Big Steps Forward

News about my C1 exam

I’v made a few steps forward in my life plans. I’m thrilled to share  some of the progress.

Last week I received news that I actually passed my Italian C1 certification exam that I took back in December in Rome! Unbelievable. I was so convinced that I bombed it that I’ve been studying every day to be prepared to return to Italy to take that exam again. I certainly don’t regret all the time I’ve invested in the last few months improving my language ability through watching movies, doing exercises, reviewing flashcards, chatting with Italians in person and over WhatsApp. However, it does come as a huge relief that I won’t have to go back for this one step.

As it turns out, getting my advanced certification in Italian is the biggest link for me to pursue my dream of returning to Italy to go back to college to become an engineer. Now I just have to take the SAT, which I find somewhat hilarious because it’s been 15 years since I took it last and I already have a college degree, but I’m not complaining! Finally I’ll just have to apply for school. If admitted I might be able to move to Italy as soon as June, which gives me a several month window to transfer with Apple to a new store there.

My class is going well at MCC. It is leaving me fairly excited about returning to taking classes full time and I feel like I’m going to be ready for the transition.

Also I just need to find one more document to start applying for citizenship.

That’s all for now.

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One Step at a Time

Marriage License of My Great Grandfather from Genealogy Research

I’m realizing how hard it is to truly turn your life around. Reinventing yourself from the ground up is probably not realistically possible, but I’ve been trying to work towards several goals at once and it’s certainly quite the challenge.

This would be a good place for me to write a little about the progress I’m making. My goals are spread across a number of areas of my life including health and fitness, relationships, professional, personal, and educational. Not only can I hold myself accountable here, but I can also give myself credit for the days I try and fall short by recognizing how many things I’m working on at once.

  1. Waking up at 7am consistantly
    BJ Fogg talks of “keystone habits” – habits which you can establish or build upon that make every other new, positive habit in your life easier to achieve. For me I think waking up at the same (relatively) early time is a keystone habit for me. Even more than working out, waking up early gives me time to be early for my first commitment of the day, creates time before that commitment to accomplish errands or chores, and prevents me from stay out late at night.
  2. Working out
    For others this is their keystone habit. For me fitness is not a top priority but I do like the way it makes me feel and the way it can add balance to days that are otherwise very intellectually or interpersonally challenging. I’d like to get bigger or stronger, but it’s more of a lower-priority goal right now. Perhaps once I check other items off my list this will become a bigger focus.
  3. Getting my Italian citizenship
    For too long I’ve been “working on it” – but now I’m turning the bend and I’m coming down the final stretch. Just yesterday I secured five more documents in one day, leaving just one or two more to find before I get everything translated and submitted, I’m ready to have the rewards of dual citizenship instead of the rewards of impressing other people by talking about getting dual citizenship.
  4. Obtaining my C1 certification in Italian
    So I’ve been studying Italian off and on for over eleven years but I’m ready to really arrive at the summit. I’m sick of saying I’m learning Italian. I want to confidently be able to answer “YES!” when people ask whether I’m fluent. I took the exam last December but I don’t know if I passed, so I’ve been studying most every day since to prepare for the next exam date. Target: March 31, 2017. The best part: once I pass I’m going to start another language and I want to reach fluency in a fraction of that time.
  5. Getting into school in Italy
    I feel younger than ever and ready to go back to school to improve my career. Furthermore, I feel up to the challenge of going to school in Italy in Italian. I’ve been living close to home my whole life and I’m ready for a change in more ways than one.
  6. Take a college class
    It’s been eight years since I graduated with my undergrad degree from the University of Rochester so I’m going to take one class this Spring semester at the community college to acclimate myself to academics again. It’ll give me a chance to make sure that I enjoy the idea of engineering as well.
  7. Becoming a better version of myself at Apple
    I hope to become a better version of myself everyday at Apple because I hope to transfer to an Apple Store in whichever city I go to school in. Continuing to work for Apple would have a handful of direct benefits, including a seamless transition to a new job in a different country, a set group of potential friends outside of school, a job in a country with 40% youth unemployment, tuition reimbursement, etc. One of my main motivations for getting the citizenship done first is to start working on transferring as soon as possible.
  8. Minimizing my life
    I haven’t started this one yet, but if I’m going to move to Italy for five years than I clearly don’t need about 99% of my stuff. Currently I have things like a car, computers, tv, clothes, stereo, shoes, and general accumulated stuff to get rid of which I wouldn’t or couldn’t bring with me.