The third week of quarantine has begun.
It started with a gray sky, gusts of wind and a sharp drop in temperatures. However the soul, well, that seems to be lighter.
The last week was a combination of moments of up and down, of lightness and heaviness, of many things you can do at home interspersed with the boredom of having finished them and not knowing what to invent.
Despite these intervals, I had some time to reflect on the meaning of the change. You know by now, 30 is approaching and I have to draw a line and take stock of my life; pros and cons of being a freelancer, pros and cons of life in Milan, pros and cons of being free from everything but chained at the same time.
I didn’t think I’d ever have the time, never the desire and above all the strength to touch these topics with myself, making all the knots come to a head. I have always been one of those of “I keep very busy not to think, because if I stop and think about it is the end”.
No wonder, in short, we live in a world that is so fast that it’s not so easy to even think about stopping. The quarantine, on the other hand, literally forced us to slow down, to stop, in a world that we struggle to follow, very often not feeling in step, like during a choreographic step lesson when you waste time and estrange yourself from the group feeling isolated.
So now I’m here, looking at a PC screen and trying to find the words to write about my change in progress.
Yes, the change has been activated, after a week of total oppression, of feeling of stones in the stomach, of tears, of that sense of distance from your loved ones that was even before but now it seems to be harder, more real, not knowing when you can come back to hug them.
And I don’t want to be trivial, I didn’t think for a second of changing my habits. I didn’t think about not rushing to achieve goals; I didn’t think of leaving everything to move to Bora Bora to open a beachfront cocktail bar; I haven’t thought for a moment about living a healthier life, because I actually like my lifestyle, it’s healthy and varied and I have no reason to change it.
Yet one thing I thought of changing it.
My way of seeing my work.
I’ve always been a handyman, one who has always used head and hands to achieve her goal. One who has never asked herself: “If I lose this job, what will become of me?” because even now I don’t have a job, I follow a way of life.
I thought if maybe it was the right choice to be a freelancer or if I would have agreed to be a classic employee with the possibility of having a good career (certainly more money) and not having the constant weight that having to take care of everything creates.
I thought about it for several days, almost weeks, yet every time I reviewed the various jobs that I could have done, I always went back to being an independent worker. I have probably always liked the idea of rolling up my sleeves and achieving my goals by myself. Surely it is a way of life that I have always sought, that of not having in any way to come to terms with anyone but myself and a large part of this reality that I wanted to build comes from the example of my parents, who could not do what they wanted and have always tried to make us do what we can to achieve our happiness.
In these three weeks of quarantine, I realized that the problem lies not in the type of job I have, but in the way I approach my work, making it, at times, the only (or almost) important thing in my life.
My job is my passion, my secret dream. But it’s not me.
I am many things. I’m certainly a designer, but I’m also an artist, a painter, a little yoga student, an aunt, a daughter, a partner, a sister, a friend. They are one and a hundred thousand. And if I were to fail in the realization of this project I would never fail as a person, because I know, 100%, that I have done everything possible.
So my change was personal, and it was the best thing this quarantine could give me.
The awareness that we are not our job.
I am not my job.
I’m simply Alessandra.