Monday, May 13, 2013

Quality of life

I am a spoiled girl. There is no doubt about this.

I live in front of the ocean. I work whenever I want at the time I want where I want. I travel. I have people who love me a lot. I have traveled to a lot of places, I have seen and known a lot of different parts of the world, met many interesting people, done many things already. I am healthy. I have a wonderful family. I know what it means to deeply love and be loved by someone. I have the job I wanted to do. My job is actually one of my passions.

I am lucky. And I know this. Despite being angry or down or feeling lost, I know that overall I have a fantastic life, I had so far an amazing life.

I am lucky and I am spoiled. Right now, I live in a total status of freedom. I live alone, I have no kids, no schedule, none depending on me. I count on my own capacities and myself. And I like it. I actually love it. But things are about to change. Not necessarily for something bad. But they will change. Commitment is at the door, in my personal and working life. I feel terrified. Petrified if I think about it. I feel I want to run away and hide on a beach somewhere (I actually exactly know where. I have been there once and that place since then represent my mental escape).

What terrifies me most is not the change itself. I am used to changing continuously: places, cultures, people. What terrifies me is to lose things that I now give for granted and are part of my routine. Running whenever I feel like around the ocean, walking to the bakery to buy fresh bread, walking around at any time of the day I want.

I have to move again and overall this next step, this next change of scenario is for good. I am getting married soon and I know that to make it work, we cannot have an ocean in between us. So, I am moving back to the USA and I am lucky enough to have found the job I wanted there. In this economy, this is definitively not something little. So far, so good.

But. I started this blog when I was living in the USA, about six years ago. I can't remember an unhappier, more depressing period in my life so far. I actually started this blog because I was so depressed, so lonely, so hopeless that the only thing that made me feel connected in some way was writing my thoughts, my feelings. I am scared of ending up in the same way. Is this a stupid fear? maybe.

The thing is that I like the USA. But there are also things of the USA that I really do not like. Last night I got to think about naming three things I hate about the USA. I didn't have to think very long:

1) Free guns
2) Need of having a car
3) Waste

Of course, I can also as easily think of three things I hate about Italy:

1) Corruption
2) Lack of a national spirit
3) Superficiality

And so on, I could list three things I hate about France, about Portugal, about Germany, probably about any of the countries where I have been living. However, not all these things I hate weight the same in terms of my quality of life and I deal extremely badly with the idea of living in a country where guns are legal. It makes me feel threatened all the time. It is not my culture. I am not used to that. Yes, European cities are dangerous too. I completely agree. But they are in a different way. There are dangerous parts of the city and you just don't go there. In the USA often is not only a part of a city, it is one street is safe and the next street is dangerous. Why? who knows why. Plus, you never know, but the person walking in front of you may have a gun, as well as your neighbor, as well as basically anyone else. So, some of the things that for me make my quality of life good, which are the possibility to walk or take public transportation anywhere I want to go without needing a car, the sense of freedom in time and space, getting fresh bread when I feel like, are all going to be lost with my next life change. Because I am not going to move to any of the American/more European life style cities.

I can deal with a lot of things, I can adapt fairly easily to different cultures, I can always find my own dimension in a new place. But living in a country where guns are free and owning a gun is the normality is not something I want to adapt to. When I discuss this with Americans, the reply to my questions I receive more often is that guns are necessary to defend ourselves from the ones who already have a doesn't take an extraordinary IQ to understand that this is a circular explanation that will never solve itself. If guns would be under regulation, meaning that people owning a gun has to declare it and that from now on buying a gun would be permitted only in special cases, there would be less uncontrolled guns around, and less crazy people who get the chance to use them and to assault, shoot and kill people just because they are having a bad day.....

Unfortunately, there are so many personal interests in the USA in keeping things the way they are when it comes to guns (or public transportation, or public health system just to name a few things) that the poor Obama will never manage to regulate them. Unfortunately. Because people do not have the chance to understand and appreciate the value of freedom of movement and existence without feeling that you gotta own a gun to defend yourself from others who may threaten you.

When I was living in Germany I used to often work late at night. Late night means that sometimes I would bike back home at 2-3am. Often, I would bike at that time through the forest. I always felt that I could have biked through the forest at that time at night completely naked and nothing would have happened to me. Of course, there may always be the bad luck of meeting a bad guy. This happens everywhere. But if a bad guy doesn't not have a gun, first thing he has to get close to me to assault me, second thing at least it will cost him more effort to harm or kill is a small consolation, but it does reduce the chances to get severely harmed or killed.

Statistics at hand......

I wish I would know how to make a difference and help to ban free guns in the USA, which will be my future home place.

Just to stay on this subject.....this happened just a few days ago and these episodes keep happening over and over in the USA.


Piccola said...

Wow!! You're getting married!! I'm so happy for you!! I haven't been by to read your blog in so long. How things have progressed :) I'm Piccola from Portland. Ale and I got married almost 2 years ago and he was able to find a job pretty fast after obtaining his work permit and we are doing well. We spent Christmas and New Year in Italy with his family. I will continue to read your blog to see all that I've missed out on. I started a new blog but never wrote anything in it. Maybe soon. In the mean time, congrats!! :)

fromtheworld said...

So nice to hear back from you and to read that you are doing very well and that everything is going nicely for you and Alex! Please let me know your new blog, so that I can follow up on you!

Piccola said...

Here is the link to my new blog:

I look forward to keeping up with your migration across the big pond. Will you be on the East Coast or West Coast?

fromtheworld said...

Blog address saved :-)
East Coast....I would have loved to be on the West Coast....I guess from where I will be, it will be easier to visit the East Coast and explore many places I always wanted to visit!