Wednesday, 10 December 2014

Where I lay my hats

To say I dislike Milan is, to be soft, an understatement.
Yet I live and work in Milan.

So sooner or later I knew THE question would arrive, and the honor of it fell on Francesco: why do you stay there?  Move back to London: life's good, weather is better and you could earn pretty good money.
Now I never thought the day somebody described London's weather being better than any Italian city weather would arrive.
Yet again, I never lived in Milan before, so I wasn't aware that such possibility existed and that I would eventually agree with that statement: anyway, it's the truth, at least London weather has the ability of making you feel something, for good or for worse, while Milan's grey is so anonymous that when sun finally find a way through the clouds, you automatically think something must be wrong.

So, yeah the question stands: why don't I move back to London?
Saying I never thought about would be a big fat lie. I still find myself missing London with such a passion and tension that almost compares to my fiercest burst of nostalgic homesickness for Torino back in the days. There are days I wonder why I left. I still haven't unsubscribed from mailing list from Tate and Southbank Centre, as if part of me thinks, wishes, wonders about returning there.

But on the other hand, I like my job. I don't like to talk about job that much, but right now, no matter the obvious frustrations that come with any job, no matter what, I think I am lucky: I got a job that allows me to make a difference (no matter how small you want to think of it) in the life of people buying the products I work on; I got a job where diversity (as an Italian woman) is not seen as a negative factor but appreciated as extra value I bring in. And what I do in my job is appreciated by the people I work with and by my manager. I think I'm lucky in being in such a situation nowadays in Italy and to, add on top of it, I like the idea of being so close to home: I just need to take a train and in less than 1 hour I'm home. Once home, I got my family. We're still an highly dysfunctional family, but it's my own dysfunctional family and I wouldn't want it any other way round.
And I got friends: I got the solid "legacy" friends, people that I might meet once every 4 months but it'd still feel we just met the day before; and I got the latest adds-on, like my lovely "harpies" (we named ourselves so: same blunt attitudes and brain wave-lenghts).

That's home right now.
One year ago, more or less, I wrote about feeling at home in Milan, in the flat I'm currently in.
It's not the same anymore. What changed?
I got enough money to start refurbishing my flat in Torino, that's what changed. I will spend the next Christmas break in my flat: it might not be perfect, nor complete, but it will be my flat.
In a way it feels like closing a circle: when I started writing this blog, seven years ago (!!!), I was moving out of the flat, of Italy, of my previous life and moving into being a migrant, a foreigner in UK.
Now I'm going back to where it all started, in the only place I felt belonged to me in the past few years: during the next few weeks I will be there, will tweak things around me, move stuff and get ready for... moving back to Torino. Yeah, after a lot of thinking I decided that I will try to move out of Milan and, instead of moving out of Italy (I don't have the academics curricula to be accounted as "brain drain", I fear) I will move back to my hometown: to do so, I will have to wait for my office to finally move from nowhere land to Milan city center, so that my commute can be bearable.

I will start some trials and tests during the next months so I can understand how to organize my life and work.
I don't know what will happen; it's going to be an interesting experiment, and I'm really excited thinking about it. And scared. Because while part of me doesn't want to move, another part of me is struggling with the 3rd year in a row without a move (of flat! I'm not even talking about moving country); there's some restlessness that needs to be calmed down and I hope being more grounded back in Torino will help me.

As Marvin used to say, home is where I lay my hat. The only thing I worry about is that I knit so many of them, I could lay them in more than a single home.


  1. Complimenti Virgi, una scelta che trovo molto coraggiosa quella di tornare dove é iniziato tutto!

    Un saluto

    1. Grazie :-)
      La scelta l'ho fatta e quella per me è sempre stata la parte più dura.