Journal of a Journey: I lost count

Well its been a while… Not sure if I fell off writing because I am disconnected from myself, or vice versa. If not writing drifted me off my own self.

I miss writing . But mainly I miss the sense of purpose I get from writing my thoughts and experiences. Last time I wrote I was in Rome.

Now, Italy and I have a very special relationship. My family comes from Southern Italy, therefore I have my roots there. As many other Argentinian people.  The moment I arrived to Italy, back then in 2016 I felt I was at home. Somehow “back home”. I decided to move there.

And since I am one of the most stubborn persons I know, I moved to Rome at the end of 2016. Not because I wanted to start a new life, but because I was running away from my old one (in New Orleans). And Italy was not that one I met the first time.

I always compare my relation to cities where I lived, to human relationships. And with Italy I had the “first love affair” feeling. Everything was so beautiful, and new, and alive, I fell for it immediately.

However, once you start living the life of the city as a local. Rome is captivating. Its chaos and messiness, its eternal beauty has no comparison. Rome really was the center of the world, and still has that aura.

I call it the aura of an old emperor, thinking still is powerful and almighty. But it is in decay.

Roman modern life, is difficult. As I am sure it was in the time of the Empire. Things haven’t change much in Rome. We just have smartphones now.

Slowly, the brutal bureaucracy, the rude public employees, the unorganized systems, and the ever-late and unreliable public transportation gets to you. At least it did to me.

I started to resent my life in Rome. In fact, I started to resent Rome. A big mistake.

Rome was, is and always will be the same. But I changed. Or at least my perspective of Rome changed. The same with every other city I’ve lived in.

Going back to a place very significant for us is tricky. Either we hold to the best memories there and expect it to be the same, only to be disappointed by daily routine and problems. Or, we remember sad situations and re-live them when we go back to where we weren’t so happy. Places hold on to those memories. Same as an old boyfriend with whom you broke up and parted ways.

Still, I chose Rome again. I went back. Trusting this time would be different. With my great new job, and my renewed enthusiasm for Italian life and sunny days.

It turned out, I was still holding on to old problems. And old problems will follow us no matter how far we go. If we do not consciously work them out and deal with them, they follow us like our own shadow.

Once again, Rome and I had to deal with each other. She won, I left again.

On my last day in Rome, I walked on some back alley in Celio as I thought: “I still remember the first time I came here, three years ago. We changed so much, Rome and I. Yet, we haven’t change at all. She stills chaotic and I’m still searching”. 

I can’t blame Rome, I love her too much. But I can’t deal with her. It is too difficult and too overwhelming. And I need something else. The same thing that attracted me to her is the one pushing me away. Her passion.

However now, I have no clear path in front of me. At least last time I knew where I was going. But now my heart is clueless. I say heart because some decisions in life must be taken listening very close to what our heart has to say. Our head is too fuzzy.

I am writing this from a small town in central Sweden. From my childhood friend’s couch. Looking out the window to the forest next to her home, and I am absolutely and deeply grateful for having friends like her. Without friends what would we do, really?

But my heart is at a stalemate: following what it wants is in conflict to what our mind sees as reasonable. And doing what our adult mind tells to do is not easy in our heart. I feel a deep heaviness on my chest just thinking on going back to the routine of working a job I do not like, waking up every morning hoping I did what I always wanted, and taking the chance risking it all just to follow our call. My call.

What to do when there is no safeness to go back to, no couch to chill on for a few weeks, no set address nor house keys, no clue of what is coming? Is it irresponsible or braveness to put ourselves in financial risk to follow our dream? Is it a plane ticket, or a deposit for a room in a city I already know, where I was not happy but I was ‘safe’?

With these questions I walk to the forest, and place them on the ground. For mother earth to take them and send me the answers the only way she knows: through my heart.



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