Category Archives: Me

“Focus on what you have rather than what is lacking”

A few days ago it was my birthday. I got a lot of caring messages and lovely wishes from my family, friends and Twitterfriends, but I didn’t get the one I was most eager for.

“He’s busy” I told myself reading his posts.

“It’s not the right day yet there” I illuded myself with time zones.

“He’s still busy” I lied to myself.

Then the day, here and there, ended and my birthday wish expired. I’ve been in a bad mood the whole day: I saw the messages coming, but I was only able to focus on the missing one.

The funny fact is that I perfectly knew that it was wrong and I had a very short list of tricks to use to change my mood, three simple but effective points:

-Focus on what you have, be grateful and make the best with it.

-Try to see the whole picture and enjoy it, instead of noticing missing pieces.

-Remember that focusing on what you don’t or even can’t have, makes you angry and bitter and you don’t any further negativity in your life

The truth is that, like Alice in Wonderland, I give myself very good advice, but I very seldom follow it. So at the end of the day, I bitterly concluded that it’s very hard to keep alive the thought of us in the others since it’s even so hard keeping ourselves alive!

TRACK OF THE DAY: Remember me – Gavin James

 

 

 

 

 

 

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“When it rains, look for rainbows;when it’s dark, look for stars”

Many negative things happened. Climate disasters and war threatens, my city affected by a flood that caused nine deaths and an incalculable amount of damages and, of course, personal problems. I’m at one point that even the sudden death of both the heathen and the wash machine, become the stick that broke the back of the camel, where the camel is my depressed self.

Let’s be honest: popular, inspiring quotes, like the one I wrote as a title, are useful until one point. If something bad happens, it’s perfectly fine to acknowledge that it’s a negative thing and to feel sad about it. No shame if you can’t see the bright side every time.

It is also said that attitude is everything and that’s could be true in some ways (I’m witnessing the amazing recover of a friend of mine who defeated tongue cancer and despite a long and complex surgery, she’s back to her normal life). Sometimes a positive attitude, looking for the good in every situation, being a fighter, is not enough, because there are things that are out of our control. I’m learning not to stress over them too much, but it’s very hard.

And here it comes my personal contribution to this topic: if it’s true that it isn’t the load that’s going to break us down, but it’s how we carry that load that is most important, I want to add that it’s even more important WHO helps you to carry that load.

Surround yourself by people who believe what you say, who are able to put themselves in your shoes, who are supportive without being too indulgent, who can give you a shook without being rude. As I said many times, I’m lucky to have it all. My lovely precious friend from the other side of the pond, proposed me a different kind of the gad game: every day I must send him a picture or telling him something that made me happy or just made me smile. Some days it’s hard, but so far I’ve always completed my task even if the tentation to use JD screens is often there. Is it a fault that he plays a bigger part of my happiness?

TRACK OF THE DAY: Shake it out – Florence + The Machine

 

“The mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation, and go to the grave with the song still in them” H.D.Thoureau

This post has been inspired by a thought of a friend of mine about children who are not encouraged in pursuing a career in the arts because arts don’t play the bills. She was fond of music, but she preferred following her parent’s advice, so she studied, had a brilliant career and now she works for a corporate that, according to her, pays her bills, but  doesn’t fulfill her heart.

Yes, parents must teach their kids to stay grounded, because not always dreams and hobbies are enough to pay our bills, but they also encourage them to find what passion stir their soul and pursue it. And they also have to pay attention not to project their failed dreams onto their kids, there’s nothing worse than a pushy parent.

On the other hand they shouldn’t force their children to do every sport, take music, lessons, attend art or theatre classes. That’s too much. You don’t know what your kid wants, let them choose, change their minds endless times, but always be there to support them and to help them to react to failure.

For us it’s the same, even if we are adult we don’t have to live our lives according to other people’s expectations or social conformance (“you’re a mum, you can do/act/dress like that” for example). I broke up with a group of good friends because they only saw me tied to my role, they found weird any passion and were supportive only about home/family related stuff.

Don’t be like that, never let your brain idle and learn more about anything you may like. Be passionate about something and don’t be tired to show it off even if “society” doesn’t approve. Life is too short to be anything but happy: we are all special in this world and nobody shouldn’t die with some music still in them.

TRACK OF THE DAY: Dreams – The Cranberries

 

“Travelling tends to magnify all human emotions” Peter Hoeg

 

I know I probably write the same each time I post something about London, that is “this is one of my favourite places”, but I can’t help if every corner of this city is amazing.

Here’s Hampstead Heath part one, I don’t really have part two, since I have no pics from Parliament Hill or Kenwood House or Keats’ House, but I plan to go there as soon as I go back “home”, so stay tuned. Here’s our stroll from Hampstead Heath tube station to The Spaniards pub.

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We headed on the right and panted for a solid quarter of hour on an uphill road called Heath Street, with a little deviation on mount road where I took a pic of a lovely white house that looked like something out of Alice in the Wonderland. My friend will never admit that, but we get lost as we followed Admiral’s Road and ended in a narrow street with a lot of plants and mud. Never trust the locals again! My advice is going straight on from the tube until you get at a roundabout. on the left there’s a park with more ponds and nice walks, on the right there’s Spaniards Road.

We followed the  main road, but you can also venture in the nearby park, where you can have a pretty nice view of the city. I stopped there just for a couple of pic, then I went back to the safe, trustable pavement.

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After a bit (or a lot, it depends on how you’re tired) of walking uphill, you get to a white building, That’s the Spaniards, one of London’s oldest pubs, immortalised by Dickens in “The Pickwick Papers” and it’s said that Keats wrote there his well known “Ode to a Nightingale” I didn’t stop there for lunch because I wasn’t sure they had gluten free options, so I ate a banana to stop my stomach from grumbling while I was waiting for the bus and taking pics of an attractive blue plate. I forgot I was right in front of Harry Styles’ crib, so I apologize once again for being in his security camera recording, eating a banana.

We were too hungry and too tired to walk any more, so we took the 210 bus heading to Finsbury Park and hopped off at Archway to catch the tube again. It’s a pleasant ride since you can see one of the richest London areas and have the chance to see many luxurious houses and cars. The bus goes towards Highgate Village, one of the poshest districts (if you want to have an idea about who lives there, look for “The Highgate mums” on social media and have a laugh) and I recommend you to visit the homonym cemetery, one of England’s greatest treasures since it has some of the finest funerary architecture in the country.

The East Cemetery is where Karl Marx is buried. Visitors may roam freely on this side, but there is an entrance charge, while admission to the West part is by guided tour only. Please notice that George Michael’s grave is in a private part of the cemetery, not accessible to visitors. I didn’t take any pics because I respected the meaning of the place, however, they’re allowed for private use.

TRACK OF THE DAY: Sign of the Times – Harry Styles

 

“Anorexia isn’t about being fat, it’s about having fat” Caroline Kettlewell

Yesterday I saw “To the Bone” and it triggered so many thoughts, that in this post, I have to separate the review of the film from my personal life.

The film is about Ellen, a 20 years old girl who suffers anorexia and after failing several recovery programs, is forced to join the unconventional Dr Beckham’s inpatient program. She moves into the house where there are already five other female patients, each one with her story and secrets and Luke, a dancer who’s recovering both from a knee injury and anorexia. Ellen hardly manages to stick to the program and when some events destabilize her, she runs away. I don’t want to reveal anything more (I hate when I find huge spoilers in the plot resume), but I liked the ending.

Both the director Marti Noxon and the main actress Lily Collins have experienced anorexia (Collins has even written about her own experience with disordered eating in her novel “Unfliltered: No Shame, No Regrets, Just Me” and that’s a good  feather in the cap. The film has been criticized because according to people, it glamourises eating disorders, but I didn’t have this impression, I found it honest. The character of Megan (a pregnant woman trying to gain weight for her child) was very effective: it shows that neither the love for an unborn child can save you from anorexia. No matter how much you’re loved, successful, talented you are: nothing is strong enough against eating disorders when they have deep roots in you; I’m not talking about the girl who doesn’t eat because she wants to me skinny, she can be saved, an eating disorder is more than this, it’s trying to kill yourself in an indirect way.

The film has been accused to show in details the tricks to avoid eating; I think that’s ridiculous. If you’re determined not to eat you don’t need a fictional story to tell you how to: there’s a lot of pro-ana websites and dedicated chats where girls shows their bones and support each other on this road to Hell, exchanging suggestion and products as laxatives. Looking up to my personal experience I didn’t need any person or film or anything else, I knew what to do. I drank vinegar to defeat hunger, I cut food in very small pieces and spread it all over the plate, I faked cleaning my mouth to spit food in the napkin. And I starved myself a lot.

If I have to find a negative thing about “To the Bone”, well, I didn’t appreciate that the viewer gets hugely distracted by a romantic sub-plot, I’d rather preferred to know better the personal history of Ellen’s inmates.

I’m not proud of my past and even if I seem over anorexia because I regularly eat, I still have that kind of mindset: I fat shame myself, I’m terrified of weight gain and I still suffer of body dysmorphic disorder. That is I perceive myself fat even if people see me skinny. Of course this is another battle I have to fight alone: my family trivializes it as if it was easy to resolve this distortion by simply “getting over it”.

Anorexia fucked up my stomach, my teeth and my heart (because when your body doesn’t have no more fat to burn, it attacks muscles and, as you know, heart is a muscle) and I wish I knew that what I was doing would have affected future me.

I’m still struggling with this problem, so I have no valid suggestion, the only thing that works for me is thinking “what if a person I love has this problem” or “may my mindset influence someone I care for?”. You probably don’t want your daughters or sisters grow up thinking that they’re physically inadequate, so do for them, try to love yourself or at least try not to body shame in front of them. Maybe this could be the right way, maybe.

TRACKF THE DAY: Ana’s Song- Silverchair

 

“What doesn’t kill you makes you wish you were dead” BMTH

So, another negative thing happened to me, one of those I couldn’t predict or control and the first inevitable question has been: “Why do bad things keep happening to me?” and after venting with my irreplaceable friends, I tried to react. Nothing is working at the moment, here’s how I debunked every possible solution given to this question.

  • Even in the worst, there’s some good waiting for you. I tried to list down what’s good and what’s wrong in my life, I tried to ignore that the negative list is way longer and easier to be filled, but honestly, the glad game didn’t work. Because bad things are still there, unsolved, no matter how many things I’m grateful for are written in the other column.
  • Write down your history, analyse it, once you find the wrong patterns, you can begin to change your life. I could write an entire book, the problem still is: I have health problems who lead me to mental illness and don’t allow to have a proper job in order to earn the money I need to cure myself and get rid of an abusive relationship. The picture i very clear, how can I change the colour palette? Next.
  • Bad things happen to everyone. That’s the polite version of the sentence “others have it worse”. Given that it would be sadistic to feel better thinking about to those who are having a worse time, it doesn’t change the fact I’m in pain. Or doesn’t solve my problems, it may only help me to develop a positive attitude or to be more concerned about others.
  • You are responsible of everything that it’s showing up in your life, flip your way of thinking and it’s going to get better. This is bullshit, well, mostly. It could work when you’re griefing for the end of a relationship, or because what happens depends on your bad habits. You’re entitled to change your life and a positive mindset will be surely helpful. But this doesn’t work when you’re given to diseases, no way. I could face them better, but I won’t heal. I could be the best fighter and I can assure you I’m not sitting down here all day being a cry baby, but things only get worse.

There are things that can’t be changed, only faced, but I’m tired of fighting, really. Why me? And don’t tell me that life (or God, it depends on your belief) is giving me burdens I can bear, because I’m not that strong, really.

TRACK OF THE DAY: Nobody can save me – Linkin Park

” A friend who dies it’s something of you that dies” Gustave Flaubert

This day is never easy for me. Whoever said that time heals all wounds, was lying because each time I walk past the place where my best friend was involved in a car accident, I still close my eyes. And honestly I still wait for her to pop out from behind a tree how she used to do in our games or to hear her voice when the phone rings.

If the bond was strong, friendship never fade despite death, time and having new friends. We were 17 when it happened, we grew together, we had a special place where we used to play with dolls or Barbies, the same place that has witnessed our secrets and confidences about our first crushes. It hurts sitting there alone.

When a friend grows their wings it’s hard above all because it’s about someone like you, around your age and in the following years, at every milestone of yours, you ask yourself how your friend could be. Alessandra. Would she be a mom? Would she have a job? Would she be happy? Would us still be friends? I don’t know, I just miss her.

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This is a personal blog, so don’t look here for a way to cope with grief for a friend’s loss. Personally the only thing that works for me is music: artists can express what it means better than any so called “expert”, their words may caption perfectly how you feel. Look for your grief song, the one closest to your experience and play it on repeat, there also are dedicated playlists on Spotify. It helps a lot, above all on days like birthdays or anniversaries.

Mine is “Never Fade” by Josh Devine and Ollie Green: JD experienced the premature departure of one of his closest friends who was very young and put in music his feelings. Those above are the words I held in my heart, unable to express them until this song came out. I’m playing it since this morning: I’m sure Ale likes it, she loved music so much!

I love you my friend: you will be always missed and never forgotten.

TRACK OF THE DAY: Who knew – Pink