Monday, 23 April 2012

People as places as people

Last Monday evening, before going to bed, I quickly checked the rss feed and noticed Daniele posted something on his blog. Opened the page to read it...  lo and behold! He resigned!
Actually I should have said "He resigned as well", given that I'm just in his same condition.
He started his countdown and at the time of posting, he had 9 days of work left and counting, as the last day of the month is public holiday (Queen's day), so he'll be finishing on Friday.

Just like me, I noted.
And it was only at that exact point in space and time, sitting on my bed with the iPad on my lap that the notion that I resigned completely sank in. There I was, in the darkness of the room, only the light from the screen making my skin look slightly blueish, staring into the dark, with my brain spinning too fast for me to follow it. It's quite easy to laugh at/with myself once I think of me this way.

I resigned. I have few days left to work in my office.
I got a moving company booked, a new job, a new life, a return home I wished for a very long time.
I got yet a new beginning.

I'm happy, yet scared.
I got huge eye bags and sudden fits of maniac snickering.

I'm on the move again. Nervous, anxious, excited, restless.

To answer a question
It'll probably take more
If you're already there
Well then you probably don't know

Well we were the people
That we wanted to know
And we're the places that we wanted to go

People have reacted differently to the news of my going back to Italy. Overall everybody's happy, but there's a question lingering on the air: why are you coming back? Everything is so bad here, the crisis is huge and Italy is shit, so why don't you want to stay out of this mess? Why don't you like living abroad?
And I am ready with the answers, with the gut feeling people might never really see things as I did while abroad: that living abroad is no different from living in Italy. It is both good and bad, it has positive and negative sides. And right now the positive sides are sinking under the weight of the negative ones for me.

It's hard to get hold of
And hard to let go
Always something we look for
From the day we were born
Instead we're the people that we wanted to know
And we're the places that we wanted to go
Yeah we're the places that we wanted to go

A lot of people emigrated from Italy and never went back. For one reason or another they settled in, they felt welcomed and happy enough in their new country to decided to stay. I didn't. After some years I got the distinct notion that my life has frozen: my sisters got kids, some friends got married, some split, some moved away... their lives changed while I felt mine got stuck in this loop of feeling guilty because I didn't go often back home and upset because fewer and fewer people came to visit me abroad.
I know that (my) problems didn't get solved just by living abroad and certainly won't disappear once I settle back in Italy. I'm also sadly and painfully aware that there is no Shangri-La on earth. It's about trying to find the best solution for yourself, the place where you can feel a bit more at peace with yourself, other people and the world.

I don't regret my decision to move abroad, or any of the following ones to be honest. These last few years were an eye-opening experience. I met loads of amazing people that enriched my life. Fair enough, I also met some outstanding douchebags and idiots and allowed them too much control on my life and emotion, but even so the outstanding balance is positive.
Moving back is not a matter of defeat. It's not something I feel bad about because things didn't work out for me in Holland. They didn't, that's quite obvious, but I don't regret it: quite the contrary, I will forever have infinite gratitude for everything and everybody that lead me  here to the Netherlands, because through it I found my way back home.
It's not a matter of victory either, I don't like to think of life as a kind of competition, where only two possible results matter.

Always asking a question
And I don't want to know
Like the wind across strings
That had finally let go
And the people you love
But you didn't quite know
They're the places that you wanted to go

I look back and it seems odd to think of me before moving abroad.
Back then I did somehow hold the silly notion that the answers and solutions were abroad, that things would work there because of these country not being plagued by Italian issues. Naive, fair enough. But it's a common trait amongst Italians: everything is screwed up here and nothing works! Everybody is a thief and nobody does anything without getting something back.
Actually it's a common trait amongst humans: there's an Eldorado somewhere, out there, just not here, we just need to go and get it.
The greener grass on the other side of the fence calls you like the sirens tempted Ulysses, you need to leave and if when you arrive Eldorado is nowhere to be found, then you got to leave again.

It's the ambition inside our souls.
It's the fear of facing our fears and problems.
It's the curiosity that makes our life interesting.

It was not the intention
But we let it all go
Well it messed up the function
And sure fucked up the flow
I hardly have people that I needed to know
'Cause you're the people that I wanted to know

(People as places as people, Modest Mouse)

1 comment:

  1. I can totally relate (you have no idea how much)... cheer up and chin up honey pie! you never know what might be waiting for you somewhere over the rainbow...