I wrote this piece at the beginning of June 2016 after I broke up with my German boyfriend. I wrote it believing every single word of it and thinking that no one could ever make me change my mind.
I moved to England for a summer job with two options in my head, either stay in the Uk for a while or wait for Canada to approve my Working Holiday Visa and spend a whole year over there.
And then out of the bloom it happened and I met THE guy. I was extremely convinced of my plan, and that’s why I hesitated for a few weeks until every molecule of me told me that it was time to move to that beautiful place of feeling genuine love for someone. It didn’t matter how often my head told me I was not ready to fall in love with someone or how dangerous that would have been because deep down my soul I knew there was no other path I could have taken.
And so the crazy, funny, full of energy guy made me realise one more time that you can’t help falling in love, you can’t put your feelings on hold for a year because of a promise. You have to go for it. And that’s what I happily did.
That’s why last September I decided to stay in the Uk and moved to Brighton. And the reason I did it is that HE found me, he recognised me and didn’t give up, even if I spent weeks repeating him and myself it was not the right time for a new relationship. But as they say “Life is what happens to you while you are busy making other plans”.
When I was 16 years old, I used to tell my family and friends. “I’ll get married at 27, have my first child at 28 and the second one around 32.” I had been extremely convinced and proud of my plan for a decade, and no one ever had the courage to tell me “it’s not entirely up to you” or “maybe you’ll change your mind at one point”. Nope, this was part of the biggest project I had for my life that included being a successful business woman working in PR and living in Milan.
Now, 16 years later I can say loud and clear “Oh boy I’ve never been so wrong in my entire life” and to be honest, I also think I sounded pretty scary at the time. I’m 33 years old and instead of carrying my second child and sleeping next to a lovely husband I’m backpacking the world. Since four years.
It’s at the age of 28 that everything changed and I trashed my plan. Instead of walking down the aisle I broke up with the marvellous boyfriend I spent six years with. Rather than enjoying my hectic and fruitful career in PR, I resigned. Instead of living in a charming apartment in Milan, I put a few clothes in a backpack and moved to Australia. And then back to Italy. And then to England. And Germany. And England again.
Today, four years later, while my life is still far from average and I have the feeling that no one can stop me in one place for more than six months I made a promise to myself, the promise to be single for at least one year.
I know it sounds crazy but let me dig in a little bit. If you are asking yourself why I’m doing it the reason is pretty simple; because I’ve been in relationships since I was 16. Creepy, right? If I count the number of months I have been single the last 16 years, I can barely reach one year. I was technically single when I left Italy for the first time in 2012 but in my heart, I was still in love with that boyfriend I left when I headed to Australia, I was just a bit more in love with myself and the idea to finally figure out a few things about myself. At the time, I constantly felt lost, incredibly insecure and from time to time also miserable.
After a few months in Australia, I made the painful effort to look deep inside my heart and recognise I couldn’t stop exploring the world and knowing new people, new cultures, new languages. I also learned I don’t care about money, beautiful clothes, and brands and that’s what turned my life into an extraordinary circus.
Despite this recognition sometimes I still have the urge to fit in, to be part of the society I grew up in. But it doesn’t matter how hard I try; every time I give this “ordinary life” another occasion I end up cheating on myself. And, even worse, I break people’s hearts, and as a result, I live with a feeling of guilt that rarely leaves me alone.
I know there is someone out there that wouldn’t mind sharing this crazy lifestyle with me but until I find this person what I need is some “me time” where my decisions and my programs depend entirely on my dreams and necessities. I want to feel that freedom of making choices/mistakes that will not hurt anyone.
I know I’ll miss sleeping next to someone, I’ll miss cuddling on the couch during those long rainy days and walking hand in hand in an unknown city. I’ll have to learn how to kill spiders by myself, open those damn vacuum-sealed jars and buy/change light bulbs. It’s going to be tough, but I know my THE ONE is just around the corner, looking for a crazy hippie that will happily explore the world with him. It’s just a matter of time…