As a two-year anniversary of temporarily moving back to Italy is approaching, I’m here ruminating on how naively optimistic we were when we took that decision. Nothing really went the way we hoped for, no matter how much we tried.
I think I should see the outcome as: never rush to take disrupting decisions when the rationale is based on a sentiment that might not last. I’m not going into a deep analysis on why and how we got to that decision — the classic what if thought excercise is also utterly pointless in this case — this post serves more as a personal memorandum for the future.
We moved four times across four towns and three different regions over the last couple of years. All our belongings from a previous life in the UK are resting in a garage, ready to be picked up and restart. I have nothing against a nomadic life, yet, this isn’t: it’s just jumping around waiting for some right moment. There is no real growth.
Moving back and re-adapting is tiresome and distracting. It took forever to be near completion of my game audio studies, because in the meantime I’d done collateral things, bureaucracy, music work, helped my elderly parents and more, rebuilt my online presence, all while my life was on standby.
There are indisputable positives that came out of this time in Italy. I reconnected with people that otherwise I would have lost forever; stayed close to my family and friends in a time where the pandemic would have forced me to be locked away for months on end; ate well and didn’t face the ridiculous daily drops of idiotic Brexit-related news in a country — the UK — that still isn’t capable of facing the simple truth of what had happened six years ago.
At 25, I left my hometown. Couldn’t stand the narrow-minded tunnel vision of a smalltown life, so I moved to Milan, a big city full of stimuli. Fifteen years later, I migrated to London, which meant uprooting from my home country to a place that looked and behaved differently, tired of the many Italian shenanigans that corroded me to my very soul.
This is it: moving back to Italy, because from afar it looked like it was improving, was wishful thinking. Twelve years ago this country was an alien place for both my wife and I — it’s too short a time for an entire culture to morph into something radically different.
It’s all still here: the noise, the nation-wide hive mind behaviour, the obsession with being smarter than your neighbour, the lack of respect, the idolization of whoever sounds louder and more controversial. This whole country looks and behaves like an algorithmic-based modern social media feed. Finally, seeing how in the workplace, after all these years, there’s still the exact same mixture of disorganized arrogant incompetence that pushed us to the ground back then, was the final straw.
I’ll own the mistake, it’s mine, hopefully I’ll learn from it.
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