27, What About It?

in Brussels, Belgium


Strangely enough, I have always thought that 27 would be my year. I cannot explain why my gut feeling told me the moment I would turn this age my life would change. Maybe because it is when my father started his own business. Maybe because I was born on 17th September and I have a weird attachment to the number 7. In any case, quite funny for this particular birthday of mine to unfold in 2020, unanimously claimed to be one of the worst years of the twenty-first century. 


A bit less than a year ago, I celebrated my birthday in Rome to kick off the year on the right foot, without knowing what to expect. You know the wish they tell to make before blowing out the candles? Mine is always the same – to be happy (I know, please refrain your cynicism). I just had the feeling this year would have a particular twist, just like your favourite cocktail the bartender offers to revisit (must say that I was not expecting this twist to be that confined, though).


For some, September is synonymous of the end of summer and has some melancholia attached to it. For me and many others, it means getting back to business and splinter the remaining sandy particles off your shoulders to enter fall while slipping into a light yet warm-coloured jumper. No, actually, just beige. It is pulling yourself together and get new shoes to walk over the next twelve months. In a way, it has always more felt like a new year than January.


A few days before turning 28, I feel radically different. It is not only something up in the air, but a genuine, yet light-hearted, change. I consider myself lucky as to how I surfed the pandemic-ensued confinement wave over the past few months. I think this year is the year where I truly understood what it means to find the opportunity in times of crisis. Not in terms of optimising your time or anything like that, but in terms of finding the light when the candle is burning out.


I have learnt to set my priorities; to strike the right balance between work and personal life. I take care of my health and pay attention to details, I even take vitamin D as I apparently have quite a deficiency (not that you care, but here you go). I came to realise that as simple as it sounds, I needed to take proper care of myself and I did. Whether it is by surrounding myself with the right people or reinforcing, most importantly, the relationship I have with myself, I have become addicted to dealing with my own issues and growing out of it. In a way, I’ve become an enhanced version of a self problem-solver. I feel more focused. 


You know when they tell you that it doesn’t really matter what your life plans are because life will take care of messing them up? As far as you don’t like to recognise it, it is often true. Bam, a pandemic – and everything ends up upside down. 


27 is the year where I came to wonder, and believe, that maybe that’s for the better. After all, life has its timing, a timing we don’t necessarily understand at the present moment, but which will make sense in a couple of weeks, of months, or years; and it will all fall back together. Drawing on a few experiences, I have come to develop that optimism by choice until it became natural, because 1. whenever bad times stroke the silver lining always followed 2. I always ended up understanding the reason behind the setbacks I encountered. It really is soothing to remember that every time an obstacle comes up, you know that what matters the most is how you react to it. This way, you stop wasting too much time thinking about the reason why it happened and instead focus your energy on what you can do to keep on walking. Life happens, shit happens and that’s okay. Who knows, you might even eventually dance on the thread instead of staggering.

 

This is maybe what I reckon the most precious capacities I have honed this year. Acceptance, resilience and genuine hope for the future, if only you put the effort in and take action as to what you really want to achieve. Oh, and there's something I am not going to stop doing: to trust my instinct. So far it has never failed me. I don’t think your instinct ever fails you if you have the courage to listen to it when making decisions. 


Finally, I'd say I know a bit more about how I want to live my life. While I still don't know exactly where I'm heading, I feel more confident to be at the helm. I am an extroverted introvert as they say, and pian piano I am turning into this social butterfly, taking on more and more projects and keeping it together. I still sometimes need a full week post-Italy where I have to be left alone to recharge, but I enjoy my decisions more and more. (Does that make sense?) 


So, cheers to what's to follow.


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Excuse my inspirational tone as I have just finished listening to yet another episode of the Michelle Obama podcast. I just wanted to share an honest, bare opinion on how I have felt myself grow over the past year. 

My 27 can for sure be your 23 or 32, or 36 (I don’t know how old you are out there, should probably check my blog analytics). 


Photos were shot in Siena, Tuscany; first one is at the Sanctuary Saint Catherine of Siena. If they let me go back to my sentimental homeland, in a few days I’ll be blowing out imaginary candles in the Eternal City until I can officially – sooner than later – call it home again.




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