August 29, 2010

the manliest manny.

ahh + jpm

this, my darlings, is a very important boy. he is john murnane, the manliest manny you know. he also happens to be one of the dearest people in my life, near or far. he likes to keep under the radar so it is quite impressive that he would let me do this little write-up. but i believe he is a story to be told... 
q: where are you currently living? and why?

a: i am living in torino, italy. it is in the northeast corner of italy. i am a member of the C.I.A. and i work as a spy, watching over italian and russian relations {he is also totally lying}. in the mean time i am living with a family and helping them with english. i do various household activities like ironing and making beds. in addition, i also give private english lessons. in short, i am a manny. but the manliest manny you've ever met. i love to chop wood, work on cars, and do landscaping.
john and maghi
q: how did this come about for you?

a: well, i was in my senior year of college and had little to no direction about what was next for me. i knew i wanted to travel, whether it be in the U.S. or Europe. but for a twenty-two year old philosophy student with student loans, dead presidents were the issue. i had my dreams, but i felt practicality poisoning my brain. thank the good Lord I was contacted by a great friend, one whom I have known for a long time, who was living with this same family as i am now. she asked me if i was interested in taking her place when her year with them was up. it was quite a long process, there were a lot of questions on both ends. one such question was that within the family the children are two young girls. thus, it did not shock me that there would be some hesitation to have a twenty-something american guy live with their fifteen and eleven year old daughters. on my end i questioned if as a youngest child, i haven't lived in close quarters for a while and wasn't really sure about the whole situation. all that to say the decision was finalized after some debate last july and i came here in october 2009.
john likes practice jerseys and hikes in italy.
q: where all have you traveled in europe since you moved to italy?

a: in italy: bolzano, lecco, ivrea, trento, rome, champoluc, pisa, lerici, porto venere, sorrento, pompeii, tuscany, florence, lake garda, venice, milan, and sardegna; in europe: barcelona, amsterdam and london
it has been pretty spread out for the most part, but this summer i was out and about for a little more than two months. probably one of the most incredible experiences of my life. everything was new and fresh. i got to meet incredible people, and also go to do some traveling with friends. it was beautiful.
he is a mystery mannny.
note: all photographs, besides the few that john is present in, were taken by this fine fellow. he has become quite the artist, don't you think?
q: what do you think is the greatest lesson you have learned since living in italy?

a: lessons... lessons are funny. in all honesty, that's a hard question to answer. i think i have just evolved a lot as a person. i've learned lessons in all areas of my life. being here, and frankly being quite alone, strips you of a lot of things. at first it seems to be sort of a novelty, then when life sets in all the normal things you have that help you out of the hole of loneliness and solitude for the most part are gone. i don't live in a wood hut, i have a computer and things but it's not on my time. everything i do regarding people at home is on their time for the most part. in summation, i could say being self-less and dealing with solitude have had the greatest impact on me. i am no master at either. here i am in the position and have the time to work on these things and all the strings attached {mainly discipline and love}. i have gotten to focus on what i want to be important in my life, and what was important in my life prior {that's a hard thing to realize}. like i said, when you are alone those things become blatantly obvious because you have nothing else to blame it on or hide behind. it's not fun, but at the same time those things aren't going to go anywhere. they will look you in the face everyday. also, never let go of your dreams. never, ever.
crazy boy frolicking in sardegna.
q: what are you most looking forward to about returning to the states {besides ansleyhayden, duh}? or what are you not looking forward to?

a: i am very excited to be with family, friends, and my dog{bella}. that really is the biggest thing. let's get realistic, i could eat, drink, travel and people watch the rest of my life here. i have no problem with any of those things. but i hate the feeling of missing out, my mom could vouch for me. i know everyone says, "you're not missing anything." in my opinion, that's exactly what i'm missing. we are all creatures of comfort to some degree, and i miss those comfort things. i am also excited to share some of the things i've learned, many having to do with the kitchen. as for what i am not looking forward to- responsibility. that is a very immature answer, but it's the truth. i do have a significant responsibility here. there are two girls who i have to look after and who i would do anything for. but being here has allowed me to be very comfortable with letting go of those self-made responsibilities. i don't have a cell phone with people always calling, asking to do this and to do that. in short, i am allowed to be quite selfish. i have the things i must do, but when i finish all i have to do is what i want to do. i don't think it will be a while after this that i have the ability to travel for a month, or hop around to different ancient towns on the weekends. it is a great feeling, but also it's a responsibility of a different kind. if you aren't doing what you want or you are unhappy the only person you can blame is yourself.
gq boy in roma. 
where there is love {near or far}, there is art.

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