I Exist: therefore, I live.

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So, after walking in so many roads, meeting amazing people, living new emotions, mettendosi in gioco, making part of the big mystery of life, I have learned many lessons, I created new values, I was privileged to get in touch with a part of humanity and of my being, in a new and completely unknown world.
And I just want to say: it is not over yet, with all my love and gratitude:
I would already do all over again, and if possible, I would give even more of me to this experience.

Warning: This will not be “sweetheart” text, not even a well-written text, my art is another, writing is not my stuff, these are only my sincere thoughts and a brief racconto of my experience.

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The fact of living in Milan is like living in any other city of the same size, there is a thousand people who intersect in a split of a second, five hundred do not even know where do they go, another five hundred stop to admire and take selfies in front of the Duomo, four hundred rush to their work, the other hundred, oh yeah, these are those who live for themselves, who walk and look around them instead of looking only forward.

But that’s okay, if you’re lucky, you’ll cross with one of these, or maybe, even exchange few words, can you imagine how beautiful could it be?

But it is not so easy, it was not easy. However, as a good Brazilian … we never give up & we learn.

It was a case of a love-hate, but I learned. I could easily create a list of “100 reasons why Milan is not the perfect city for me”, in fact, just when I arrived, the coldness of the people was one of the hardest things to overcome. I swallowed the dry shot, I endured every contempt and disappointment, often I thought I could not do it.

“What are they talking about? This is not my language; this is not my Country”
“Where’s that my friend, who went to take me at work, we would eat a Pastel, when we got to the pastry it was already him, Mr. Pistola, my father’s friend, friend of my mother, friend of all the neighbourhood, who – oh! – makes the most delicious pastel in town… And he wondered: How is life? How goes the bro? And the health? We need to arrange a barbecue … “

I would say this is the biggest miss about living outside Brazil, the tipão (kind) of my people. In the first month, when I realized that I didn’t find that care and treatment here (at least not in Milano) I decided to face the new road and enjoy what the trip could offer to me, after all, everything is an adventure and as my mother used to say: “Daughter, don’t create a lot of expectation, believe in God, keep your eyes open and enjoy what life has to give you ”

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Despite the difficulties, I’ve always been a very lucky person, in all my “road”, I was able to get real and spiritual contact with people on a level never expected, this was with no doubt a decisive factor in my process of learning Italian, a language that I now use more than Portuguese.

These connections and interactivity enabled me to something magical. In seven months I’ve met more than 15 cities in all Italy, isn’t this amazing?

On my first trip I could already see clearly the difference between Milano and all the other cities of Italy.

  • The mountains in Genova, my first weekend in Italy, it was in September, autumn, and here it was already very cold; we went into the forest to search some funghi to cook a typical pasta in the end, we didn’t find anything but there were so many laughs, jokes and best of all, I didn’t understand a word.
  • Lazio Region: Rome, Florence, Orte and Vitorchiano, amazing and historic towns, with an incredible architecture; I’ve always had a blast, in good company and spending unforgettable moments.
  • Venice, with its streams, squares and mazes, the city where one of my most beautiful friends lives; a friendship that started in Brazil, and that has given to me the opportunity to meet again here.
  • So many other places, Torino, Napoli, Cinque Terre… When I think to all the streets I’ve walked, it fills my soul with happiness.

All these trips were fruit of friendships that I’ve created along the way, and the lesson “help and you will be helped” is making every day more sense in my life.

  • Money, cash, il denaro

Living with few subsidies in an expensive city, away from the mother’s food, fathers’ cuddle, makes you learn and manage your money like a pro.
For example, you must choose between eating something very good or cooking something very simple, in order to make possible to hang out with your friends and to have a beer, every cent saved is gain.
You realize that you can’t have everything, and you don’t even want to have it all, you begin to see that how life’s little, and how you should be grateful for the things you have, it becomes an addiction.

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A journey and an experience just made me understand that we are not really alone in this world, on the contrary, we are all connected.
When I arrived in Italy it was about to start the hard European winter, that I didn’t know, and I thought, “Oh, it can’t colder than Guarapuava, it will be easy”. I took a few things (I was never used to have many clothes in my life, with brand? hahahah just in dreams). I grew up in simplicity, my clothes were always used clothes, from my aunts, cousins … or bought at the second hand store. And here once again the universe gave me a surprise. When I was in Torino (city of Gloria, my Italian friend) her mother was invited to go to an old lady’s house, a friend of a friend who had died several months earlier; she was rich, but so rich that even after the family had almost emptied apartment, there were still a lot of things that we could take.

We took endless fleece jackets, t-shirts, sweaters, pullovers, there were everything. And who cares if they did not fit perfectly on me, or if they didn’t meet exactly my style? Nobody can figure out how this woman saved my winter and kept me warm for 4 long months. Many things in life just happen and make me feel deeply grateful, thank you unknown old lady, wherever you are, I feel hugely happy for being able to continue walking with their dresses and jackets 🙂

A cultural shock, it happens if we are in contact with all the virtues and vices in a much stronger degree that we are accustomed, we need to be smart, to understand that the change is gradual and that “Rome was not built in a day.”

Here’s another beautiful thing I’ve learned until now: how powerful is the power of empathy and the importance of playing with yourself, trust without prejudice or resentment to someone else, to love selflessly and to be voluntarily good.

Much of this was the result of the theatre group in Naga, based on the “Theatre of the oppressed” created by Augusto Boal; in the group we often argued on inequality and the difficulties of this new world, the possibility of being in contact with immigrants from Countries far away, listening to their stories with all the shine and pain in his eyes, dancing, singing and allowing yourself to be part of a dance, this was one of the most peaceful feelings that I had the chance to be part of.

Letting things go is a hard work, which must be practiced if you aim to get tuned with the universe. The practice of altruism, solidarity, and self-knowledge is enriched every day in our daily actions. And the most important thing: play! The world is a great game, and if you don’t feed the child inside of you everything becomes dark and difficult. Sing, dance, scream, together or alone, love is the most enjoyable and pure feeling when genuine.

With all this I just say, Milano, thank you for not being the perfect city, you made me realize that we are responsible for making a city beautiful and enjoyable, and not the opposite.

Happiness is letting life take over, and seeing what she has reserved for me.
After all, we are where we are to learn what must be learned, aren’t we?

With love, Italy.

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