What’s on your mind?


When I decided to take part in the “Zero to Hero”
challenge I really wasn’t sure what I was getting into.  Well
I knew I was going to have to manage to find the time every day to
sit down in front of the computer screen and put my fingers on this
keyboard and write, but I wasn’t sure of how personal it was going
to get. Today’s assignment, or yesterday’s for those of you who are
following six hours behind (this time zone thing is confusing me)
is to write about what’s on my mind. I have so much on my mind that
I just find it so hard to put it in a post,  actually I find
it hard to put in some logical order so that you, the reader would
make sense of my “none-sense.” As I
was reading through the guidelines I came across the “You don’t
have to publish this post if you don’t want to” sentence.
Well I guess for many of you, like me, find that this post
might become just a bit too personal, but I made a choice a few
days ago, I made the resolution of writing more and taking part in
this challenge means to do just that. So it wouldn’t make much
sense for me not to post it. Right? Actually it make a lot more
sense, if I want to become a better blogger and why not, writer, to
actually post it. I need all the help I can get from all of you in
trying to make my 2014, the year my life takes a turn for the best
for once. So here we go. What’s on my mind? Or better, what was on
my mind when I decided to start the blog? Well, I think I kind of
answered this question already with my first post of the challenge
“who I am and why I am here”, where I took you in, even for just a
few words, and told you about why I was here. Maybe just maybe I
can go in a bit deeper and explain that the day I decided to start
blogging, two summers ago to be precise, was the day where I felt
particularly charged, full of energy and a wish to pursue one of my
biggest dreams because that was what I wanted and had wanted for so
many years, but because of my laziness I never came about doing
anything about it. See, writing for me has always been something
between me and me.  Does that make sense to you? I never
really thought about sharing it, I mean who would want to read my
words, my thoughts and feelings? Who? Plus, for one reason or
another I was continuously finding ways of getting distracted from
what I deep down wanted to do.  Never felt good enough.
Low-self esteem you say? Yes maybe. I am bilingual and very often I
am so confused in my head, not sure what language is which and goes
first or second. I think neither or, they just go together, right?
Plus, the big “G,” grammar that is, so confusing when you grow up
between two countries, two languages and two very different
cultures. Oh, just to confusing for me. The day came when I found
that one reason, the one that was not allowing me to pursue my
writing.  What language do I write in? Am I better off writing
in Italian or in English? Don’t ask me why I even came up with such
questions, I guess when I look back now, my answer would have been
to write in both or whatever felt more comfortable for whatever
topic I intended to write about. Just crazy, thinking about it
makes me laugh, not sure why I complicated it so much. All I wanted
to do and still want to do is write. I wanted to tell my side of
the story, I wanted to be able to write so that I could touch
someone’s heart, just like I do with mine so many times when I read
over some of my writings. Life has played it hard, but nonetheless
I keep on trying to achieve my dreams, especially when people tell
me I am to old to change paths and do their utmost to shoot my
dreams down. You think that writing is a means of earning a living?
You must be kidding me! Do you know how many people out there want
the same thing? You think that the world is waiting for you? Some
people have that ability of just crashing you, do you know what I
mean? Maybe you feel excited in wanting to share something you
wrote, or seen, or even heard and find yourself out in the cold. So
demotivating. Anyhow you want to know my answer to all that? Why
not! It’s what I want to do. Unfortunately living in Italy has been
for me one of those choices that I regret and will always regret. I
feel as if this country has prevented me from achieving my full
potential and still does. I know I must overcome my regrets if I
want to move on, but it is just so hard. Honestly if you lived for
a year in this country you would know it isn’t one of those
countries where the young are inspired, pushed to achieve their
best and dared to dream. I remember a slogan used by the US Air
Force when I was in high school in the 80’s, “Aim High” and God is
my witness, that is what I intend to do until the last breath. This
is a country where the old keep a tight hold on what they have and
just won’t let go. I mean can you believe that I have taught for 17
years and am still a substitute? I love my teaching job and I would
have loved to grow in a school together with my students and
colleagues, but yet every year I am forced to change schools. Every
year I am forced on unemployment for three months and what I find
so humiliating is the waiting for months for that money. Calling
and recalling the unemployment offices trying to make them
understand that my kids, my family need to live, nothing more.
This country in a way has pushed me hard in the ground where
at times I did not even dare to fly and found my self content to
just have enough money to pay for my bills and send my kids to
school.  Unfortunately I had no idea when I was 22 what Italy
was, I was fascinated by the life-style, the food, the people and
didn’t think twice about what I was getting ready to do. It shaped
my life. I decided it was time to blog because it was my only
escape,  it was my inner sanctuary. Yes writing my inner
sanctuary, crazy right? But it is what has probably kept me sane,
through all these years of life’s testing me and even my children.
My wife and I had to deal also with the pain of our first-born
being born with SVS (Slit Ventricle Syndrome). I want my blog to
pull you in, offer you insight, warmth, thoughts and most of all
maybe just be heard.  I have the need to write, to tell my
story, one of billions yes, but yet still a story deserving to be
read. “La Dolce Vita” or “The Sweet Life” an expression which holds
a lot of meaning, they are not just a couple of words thrown
together to give you the idea of Italy, but to show you that this
country should have made it, it should be one of the most powerful
countries in the world, yet it is far from it. Does it stop us from
daring to touch the sky? Yes it does, every single day. Do we
accept it and go on? Sometimes, I do, not sure about others. At
times I choose to write and keep on hoping that my life will end in
a different way, in way closer to what I dreamt it would be back
when I was child and wanted to be so many things. God I wanted to
be an astronaut, I wanted to be an actor, I wanted to cook, I
wanted to write. I just wanted it. Do I have it? No.  Not
exactly what I wanted, but who does right? I want to be an example
for my children, I want to show them that there is a whole world
out there and that they should never stop trying to achieve their
dreams, because maybe one day that curve ball will end up being
their game ball. WordPress has been a great way for me to do just
that, a place where to look for my game ball. Funny, I find my self
using baseball lingo without having played baseball once in my
life, but so wanted to, but never found my self in the moment. A
New Yorker by birth and by origins and the Yankees always in my heart.
I remember my grandfather taking me to the stadium in one of my trips to the
States after my parents divorce. The cap I got from that visit and
the memories attached to it, just priceless. So many things to
write about and finally a place where to do it. My blog. Forgive my
rambling on, but hey, there was surely a lot on my mind. Funny
thing is, I felt as if I was sharing it with friends. Almost like
the old tv show “Cheers” remember it? Maybe some of your are too
young, or never watched it.  Those of you who are my age
though, should and what was the title of the song? Oh, yeah, “Where
everybody knows your name” by Gary Portnoy.

So, until our
next assignment, I’ll keep on looking for a place “Where Everybody
Knows my name.” Oh, wait but that is the “Zero to Hero” challenge.
Thanks guys.

Photo is courtesy of: U.S. Naval Support Activity Naples, Italy


2 responses to “What’s on your mind?

  1. I just love reading your blogs – easy to read, interesting and informative. I am not surprised you regret moving to Italy. It all sounds so wonderful until you have lived there, I haven’t but I went out with a man from Naples for a few years and the stories he had to tell! His family were poor (still are) but his father worked all hours, all days to bring in money as the family didn’t eat if the father didn’t earn. He worked outside his whole life and never had a bank account. He reached retirement age 2 years ago but the gvmt kept putting off paying him due to lack of funds. He now does get peanuts and has had to take up part time work as a carer. His wife has also had to go out to work (now over 60) for the first time in her life.
    My ex was hit by a car 4 years ago in Naples – luckily not too bad but couldn’t walk for 2 weeks. A case cut and dried over here – it took 4 years to get the payout from the insurance company over there. It would take months here. I don’t think people look past sun and pizzas when thinking about Italy.
    I have also had a pizza from Michele pizza where Julia Roberts went. I normally only like pizzas with lots of toppings, but you only have the choice of cheese and tomato there. I didn’t think I would be that keen but it really was the best pizza I have ever eaten.

    • Thank you so very Michele, it is so important to receive feedback from your readers because it gives you an idea of the direction you’re going in. You can understand my frustration with this place, but unfortunately choices made carry their ripple effects for years to come. I am paying the effects of the choices made when I was only 22 and fresh out of college.
      I will not stop dreaming though, of somehow making it no matter the difficulties. Happy New Year to you and thanks for following and giving me feedback, most of all sharing with me your life’s experiences.

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