Home, comfortable home!

That this pandemic has completely revoluted our lives is a quite accurate and simple summary of the last year. Everyone has been shaken and disrupted in different ways. 

Among the many changes - in work, travel, social relations - the most significant revolution that occurred in my life regards the feeling, thoughts, and perception I have about my Home.

I was born in a beautiful village in the Italian Alps, one of these idyllic places for tourists that you desperately hate when you are an adolescent. Peaceful, beautiful, and with a healthy lifestyle, amazing scenarios, but generally nothing exciting to do, nothing fun, nothing special ever happened.

I don't think I ever hated it, but I vividly remember feeling desperately claustrophobic for a week (only 😆 ) when I was 16. I was going every day to my high school, 40 km down to the valley, for 5 years. And thus, from the bus windows, I was staring at the mountains all around, on the left and on the right, so narrow and closed to each other, for the all double-length of the way I was doing every day

But that was a quick moment, easily evolved in the philosophy that "I don't hate it, but my life can't be here. It is good for holidays". Well, never thought was more true. I studied anthropology probably to unconsciously force myself to build my life outside the valley, where opportunities weren't available for such a quirky job. I have been a bit snobbish, that's true. I felt that it would have been a waste to set my life here, while there was so much of a world outside.

I had the luck to be away, in Poland, and Jordan, and then in the UK, my current second residence. In all these experiences I have been super lucky, I met wonderful people, so beautiful places and did amazing things. This now sounds like a privilege, and I feel so sorry for these young students who can't enjoy the pleasures of Erasmus and Exchange projects.

Then the pandemic hit. I was just starting my PhD in Liverpool and, to be honest, I was never more determined to take flight with this new, much more stable and significant experience in Liverpool. 

After 4 months I was stucked in the UK. At the beginning, I didn't really suffer from the all situation, I must admit. Flowers were blooming, and an exceptionally warm weather was interesting Britain.

But then winter hit and the hit was even stronger when associated with the pandemic, the psychological aftermath of a difficult, paralyzing year, and the continuos in and out from local and national lockdowns. The weather was miserable, and so was I.

I came back to the little village, a month ago. Since then, I went from feeling discharged, tired and unmotivated to flourishing again. Well, life is still difficult, uncertain, ever more fluid. But since I put a foot in my parents house (!!!) I simply feel better. 

This is not an accusation to the UK. But it is a celebration of "homelands". For me, it is real and true that there is no place like home. And I am understanding it only now, through the awareness that I didnt have to do anything to feel better; that I didnt have to put any effort into be positive; that I didnt have to rely upon yoga or meditation or prays to relax; that I didnt have to question everyday my reasons to be in a certain place.

Well, it helps that food is great, I am in the green and in the nature all the time, the weather is good and the sun shining. It helps that I am with my family, in the place where I wont ever need to adapt, because it is simply the one where I belong.

Home is The Place. The pandemic limited movements, enlarged distance, set new borders and strategies of confinement. 

It also allowed to work from home, which with all the problems and issues, is now for me a great cure to my enthusiasm and soul.

If I have to chose a place, one only, where to spend a new lockdown,  well that would just be home.

Mortirolo, February 2021


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