Last Saturday was my birthday, marking 29 years of my life. I’ve never really cared/celebrate my birthday and although I welcomed and was happy of all the birthday wishes, the Skype calls, the messages, the voice messages…I still felt that loneliness creeping inside me.
They say, we are born alone, live alone and die alone or something along those lines. And as much as one could argue it’s not ‘technically’ true; we are definitely not born alone by surrounded by doctor and nurses and definitely a mother. We do interact and socialise throughout our lives; it may not be meaningful. It may not be anything special, but we are not truly alone. And as for dying, nobody really can predict that; you can be surrounded by people or alone in bed. Death is not something you can really predict.
Still, the problem is not when or how you are born, how you live or die. It’s the loneliness.
I hate oranges. I hate their smell, their taste. I avoid touching them as much as I can, because they makes me nauseous. I don’t know why but they remind me of medicine- some traumatic childhood experience?
But anyway, I was chatting with a new teacher at school that none of my colleagues knows why she is there since we haven’t been told anything except, “this is a new teacher and she will be joining us.” and as we talked about our experiences, me telling her about how I moved from London, changed careers, etc, she very nicely offered me an orange. I nodded, and took it automatically, then lowered my eyes to those three orange wedges covered with white webs.
I was scrolling down my FB feed the other day and realised, I haven’t been posting for quite some time and that FB has basically become a way for me to connect to just a group of people, while keeping track of what the other group was up to. Had they moved? Married? Given birth? Found new jobs, new boyfriends/husbands/wives/girlfriends.
This habit of comparing your life to the life of others offered on social media had made us not live our own life. Not value what we have, what we have accomplished and who we are. Whenever we start comparing our lives to others, we are already losing. We don’t compare the good things about us, but the worst. And the worst always looks bad compared to what “appears” to be the perfect live of others.
One of my friends on FB shared this and I admit I did the test a few times before I was satisfied with the answer. Basically, Apply Magic Sauce is a “A personalisation engine that accurately predicts psychological traits from digital footprints of human behaviour.”
This is done by either doing some psychometrics analysis on your Facebook profile, or on something that you have written online. I did both, but considering I haven’t updated my FB in a while (it counts likes you did back in 2007 or something), I didn’t find it quite as accurate as copy/pasting something I wrote recently.
Today, I made the awful mistake in confiding with my brother about my plans to move back to my hometown. I knew why I was trying to avoid this inevitable talk: 1) he would say things to make me doubt my entire two -year plan and 2) I would have his words stuck in my head making me doubt my entire two -year plan.
And that’s exactly how it went.
I’ve given myself a deadline to whether I’m moving back to my hometown or…Well, I haven’t quite decided on a plan B yet. But as April draws closer, I look around my little studio apartment that has been my home for two years and think…I’m not leaving anything behind. Each object, has a story that I know I’d want to remember when I need to focus on the good things.
I’ve experienced it, and accepted it, when I moved to Italy after finishing my studies in London. I took whatever I could with me, because they had lived with me and experienced my ups and downs. I came to Italy with 5 big bags carrying everything I needed to feel at home. To create my safe haven.
Last night my childhood cat passed away. She’s been with us for 14 years and it was my dad that found her. As my mum was telling me what happened between sobs, I tried to push back the tears and be the strong one because I knew I was really lucky not being there or being the one that found her.
“We also have to put this into account,”she said between sobs, “That there will come a day when they will be gone.” I looked at Cleo, my cat, sleeping next to me on the sofa and thought, “Not a chance.” I don’t want to be there when she dies. I don’t want to see it and I don’t want to experience it.
Living in a small town in Italy is just what you might be imagining; the little pedestrian city centre surrounded by two story houses with red roofs. The Saturday morning market that fills the main street. The silent Sundays giving space to bells of nearby churches. The lovely scenery and the mountains peaking at the the horizon.
But for someone born and bred in a city, there are also the poor public transportation with a schedule not being followed. The long distance between one place to the other for those without a driving license. The million pharmacies and the million restaurants with the same type of cuisine. The silence of most nights and of all Sundays.
And knowing almost everyone you meet in the streets.
My colleague gave me a ride back home today, after a teacher’s training session that finished at 7pm, and I told her how I was followed by a guy Saturday morning after I went grocery shopping. It was one of those female bonding moments where she gasped and looked worried and told me if I was alright….until she ruined it.
Basically, Saturday morning I woke up and went to buy a few things. As I was walking back home, a guy started commenting on how the plastic bags, aren’t really that resistant. Unlike condoms. I comment politely saying that if they weren’t that would be a problem. Then, he asked if I lived nearby and I said no, wished him a good day and walked a few more blocks to make sure I wasn’t followed before I headed back home.