Viaggia, Valì, nun te spusà, viaggia!
My grandmother always told me this, since I remember it. I am the only female niece, I am an only child, I am the smallest of the family and she has always tried to wish me a life full of adventures, she has always tried to tell me how far you can go without too many threads tied to ankles. Study, invest in your life, realize, travel, learn languages, don’t be too much behind the love that men today they are, tomorrow you don’t know.
A thought born of a female generation that rarely could choose its own destiny. There were few roads that weren’t the main one: at that time how much courage we needed to be able to trace our own path outside common life.
Today, year 2019, we can choose who we want to be and what we want to become, we can hold on to a passion, free to travel and take root in a land that knows how to belong to us, we can arrive where fifty years ago it was not even possible to approach. In short, we did it.
What a great achievement, the choice.
And here I am. Three languages after, after the University, travels and experiences, after jobs of all kinds and volunteer experiences, I am thirty years old, I live in Tokyo for a few months, in a country that I believed more distant from me than from the geographical contexts and instead it knews how to surprise me, giving me wide breaths, long walks with strong winds and bright greens. I chose to come here for love, after my husband accepted a job offer that would have enriched his life and would have been the culmination of so many efforts in study and work. For me it was a push, a match lit in a moment of great personal and work stalemate. I chose instinctively. I wanted my life to take this turn with him.
While I write and drink coffee, I try to make mental and practical order, washing machines and a quick vacuuming pass, I organize the day between a little study and practical matters, shopping, dinner, recovering some programs and TV series that I had left behind, documentaries, I went to discover this New World, hoping to understand it better and better. Very often I hear, in the tones of those who speak to me, little understanding of how my life is unfolding at the moment, without what is called “a job”, which is experienced outside as dispersion of skills, years of study, interests , cultural activities.
So I wonder what we missed, in the unbridled attempt to assert ourselves? In how many of us, having reached the top of the mountain, have they experienced the euphoria that was expected during the journey?
Personally, I felt the need, after years of piling up an incorrect entrepreneurial choice, to understand what I really knew how to do, what I needed to feel good and I identified it in helping others, in caring, through my experiences and my knowledge whether they are of study or related to work. This does not detract in any way from my studies, my abilities, my intelligence or my person.
I discovered that personal fulfillment can also take place in a new way, in this context where emotional energies are invested in feelings, putting body and soul into a difficult path, being detached, distant from what was there before: family, loved ones , friends, places of the heart.
The mutual support in my couple, in the choices of life such as the evening in everyday life, is a source of serenity for me, something that in many other families I saw lost in suffering and dissatisfaction. It is a great fortune to have this time in which to slowly rearrange the pieces of a puzzle, even personal, to discover oneself capable of new gestures and knowledge, and I have the great privilege of being able to do so. At thirty I picked up the books and jumped into the Japanese studio with heart and soul, and after a few tears and moments of despair, I recognized the ability to start over as one of my fundamental gifts that I try to put into practice everyday.
What we should try to do, at a time when everything is measured by productivity and we don’t have the time and the desire to stop, is to create new ways of being ourselves without necessarily evoking previous stereotypes, risking choices when we are offered, abandon the clothes that are close to us and wonder if where we are, it is where we actually deserve to be and if the emotional impoverishment that pervades us, child of paths taken more by necessity than by conviction, is not do not become too high a price to pay. We need so much strength and determination in all the choices and none of them, if done with personal conviction, can lead to something that does not belong to us and does not resemble us. Every main road preserves in some corners small secondary paths, intersections with people who could change the course of things, moments of beauty and everything, even a lasagna cooked in a combined oven on the other side of the world, can become an opportunity, a smile, and homely atmosphere.