I’m sorry, there are no travel tips in this post, because I wrote it with open-heart and map closed.
Why do you go away? So that you can come back.
So that you can see the place you came from with new eyes and extra colours.
And the people there see you differently, too.
Coming back to where you started is not the same as never leaving. – Terry Pratchett, a Hat Full of Sky
Before Malta, that is to say: the fortune cookie & the domino effect.
When last year I was at my favourite Chinese restaurant and the fortune cookie predicted me that was “going to be a turbulent year”, I just couldn’t guess how right it was. Despite my first hilarious interpretation, I soon understood that the evil biscuit didn’t referred to any animated flight (which I fear, anyway) or even adventurous travel, but instead to my personal journey. Within six months from the cookie’s prophecy, all my projects shattered, my career’s expectations turned into proper nightmare, my sentimental life went to hell and, as result, all my certainties and self-confidence were wiped out.
One wrong choice led to another, and one mistake to the next.
More than misfortune, I believe it is all about the domino effect, you know.
As for global warming and the armed conflict in Syria.
Anyway, the affinity with the fatal destiny of polar bears didn’t make me feel any better.
It was as if a twister had hit my head while I was asleep, destroying everything it found on its way and leaving me alone on a desolated field, with eyes full of tears and blinded by fury.
After the twister had left, I hated that girl reflected on the broken mirror, who always trusted the wrong people, believed in the wrong dreams, fell in love with the wrong men, took the wrong decisions and I could not blame myself for hating her everyday a little more. And little by little, hate took all the space. Almost nothing was left of the happy-go-lucky girl laying under the Milky Way on a Greek midsummer night.
Those days I went dangerously close to depression. Job, friend, money, love: with so much lost stuff and nowhere to claim it, it’s easy to guess how looking for it, I ended loosing myself, instead.
Among airports, jungles, dodgy suburbs, desert roads and foreign cities, still the most scary place to get lost is the human mind.
The Maltese days, that is to say: wherever you go, go there with all your heart.
The turning point did’t arrive all in a sudden in the form of an external extraordinary event, as I was expecting and like it happens in the movies, quite the opposite it was reached slowly but surely and came from most improbable place: the inner me. In the beginning, it was like an impenitent, pesky voice whispering “so is this what you want do? Give up?! So is this you want to be?! Miserable? Come on, this is not you”. The more I tried to put the annoying voice on a corner, the louder it spoke. “This is not you. Where did you end up?”
I slowly realised that nobody would have come to save me, no one could help me but myself.
But with such a confusion in any aspect of my life, the mess was I didn’t know where to start from.
The voice went on asking question, but it was more accommodating now. “Which are your passions so far? What do you like to do?”. To trust myself again, maybe the only way was to restart from what I love most in life, what made the trip worthwhile. The answer was simple, obvious and revealing at the same time. Since I was a child, I loved writing and I loved travelling.
So there I was, on the plane to Malta, with a notebook and a pencil in my hand.
Few days before, I had contacted the girl who created this blog for me, and I chose not to postpone this project again. And by the same time, I took the decision I would have never put my dreams off ever again. Maybe, I was able to do something good. I decided to at least try.
Malta was just the token step for my inner rebirth. It was reassuring seeing I still could enjoy myself, go exploring sights on my own, appreciate the taste of unknown dishes, check the bus schedule, decide where to go and what to see. On my own. Before this series of unfortunate events, I had often tried to start writing and I always ended up staring at a white piece of paper for hours. It was like all ideas were in my head couldn’t find their way out. While I was in Malta, for the first time since many years, writing came natural.
Stormy sea, old fishermen on colourful boats and waves crashing on a cocky coast: isn’t it just the dreamy landscape for any aspiring writer?
After Malta, that is to say: luck is in small things
Of course you know, we are not in a movie. We are in real life. There is no happy ending for this story: I didn’t find true love, I didn’t win the lottery, I didn’t received an overpaid job offer, and it is still going to be another turbulent year. But I will sort it out. I’ m not going to give up. My attitude has changed, and with it has changed the way I see things.
I learned to see luck in small things. From this series of unfortunate events, at least few good things have followed.
After all, I realised my little dream and open this blog, for example.
And hey, I’ve learned my lesson & I am now taking fortune cookies much more in serious.
To my family, to the beloved friends close and for the ones are far away: thank you for not leaving, I love you. I wouldn’t have made it without your harsh scolding, your warm hugs, your biting humour, your perseverance and frankness.
You can’t guess how thankful I am for having you guys in my life.
But moreover, i’m thankful for all the bad days, for all those who have let me down, made me suffer, for all my disillusions, tears and mistakes. Because is thanks to these things we grow stronger and understand how essential faith in ourselves is.