Alla quindicenne che ero (To my fifteen self)

ENGLISH VERSION BELOW

Cara Cristina,

prima di tutto guardati intorno e guarda che meraviglia ti circonda. Il mondo è vasto e bellissimo e nei prossimi anni avrai occasione di vederlo e scoprirlo. Fino ad oggi lo hai guardato con un occhio solo e presto i viaggi e le esperienze che farai ti apriranno anche l’altro. Allora i colori e i profumi saranno più vividi e la novità, che ti investirà come un tornado, ti farà comprendere di cosa sei capace, quanto vali e quanto poco valgono le piccole cose superflue di cui spesso ti circondi. Ancora non lo sai, perché adesso non uscire un pomeriggio o una sera ti sembra che ti faccia perdere le esperienze più importanti della tua vita. Capirai invece che il tempo non si misura, come ti hanno sempre fatto credere, con i minuti e le ore ma acquista valore in base alle persone con cui lo passi e come queste ti fanno sentire in loro presenza

 

Non conosci molto della libertà oggi, ma imparerai che per te è il valore più importante. Imparerai a disprezzare chi volontariamente se ne priva perché, dal tuo punto di vista, getta il bene più prezioso. Gli schiavi di una relazione o di un’amicizia o, peggio di tutti gli altri, i servi delle apparenze, proprio come lo sei tu ora e lo sarai un po’ per sempre, saranno il punto da cui allontanarsi.

Non avere paura di lasciare il tuo porto sicuro, la casa e gli affetti, ma non dimenticare mai da dove vieni e cosa ti ha dato il vento per andare avanti: l’amore.

 

Conosci la malvagità delle persone. Quella si incontra presto. Non sai però che si coprirà dietro veli sempre più sottili e a volte ti accorgerai tardi del lento lavorio con cui ti voleva corrodere. Non tutte le persone ti apprezzeranno e ci saranno due categorie: chi te lo farà capire subito e chi te lo nasconderà per usarti all’occorrenza.

 

So che hai paura che qualcuno non riuscirà mai ad amarti. Ma prima che tu chieda a qualcun altro di farlo ti conviene cominciare da te stessa. Comincia già ora a capire quanto è inutile essere perfetta all’esterno e coltiva la tua persona. Il tuo obiettivo non deve essere quello di diventare una “bella ragazza”, tu non lo sai ma che risate tra qualche anno quando vedrai che fine hanno fatto, il tuo obiettivo è diventare una bella persona. Una scatola piena di esperienze e di vita, un rimedio auto difensivo alla noia mortale di chi sa sempre che direzione prenderà la sua vita. La tua è una strada piena di curve, non saprai mai cosa ti aspetta. Ma prendi la rincorsa ad ogni curva e guarda indietro solo per capire se potevi fare meglio. Cerca sempre di migliorarti, per quello non c’è un punto di arrivo e dubita sempre di chi si sente arrivato.

 

Forse dovrei avvisarti fin da ora della mediocrità dilagante in cui ti troverai. Dovrei forse dirti di non partire per i tuoi viaggi o per l’Università, consigliarti di stare a casa e non aprire la gabbia d’oro in cui ti trovi. Dovrei dirti buttare il GGG che custodisci ancora gelosamente sulla tua libreria ben in vista. Ti dovrei proprio avvisare che Philip Roth,  Khaled Hosseini, David Grossman, Italo Calvino, Giovanni Verga, la letteratura greca e quella latina non salveranno il mondo. Non lo salveranno dalla nebbia che lo avvolge e crea questa cappa insostenibile in cui vince chi è semplice e destrutturato, o forse dovrei dire invertebrato, e ciò che comporta pensiero e riflessione viene con regolarità impressionante scartato. Sei condannata alla sensibilità, proprio così come Sorrentino fa dire al suo personaggio-capolavoro Gep Gambardella. Ma forse puoi salvarti. Getta i libri di scuola e affonda il naso in un libro qualsiasi di Fabio Volo o in una di quelle insopportabili biografie di personaggi insulsi della TV. Comincia ad inalare anche tu l’aria della mediocrità così non arriverai così come siamo diventate adesso: incredule davanti alla banalità, incapaci di tuffarci eppure perennemente escluse. A quest’ora saresti perfettamente a tuo agio e forse avresti molti più amici rispetto a quelli che accuratamente selezioni.

Qual è dunque la verità? Si stava davvero meglio quando si stava peggio?

 

ENGLISH VERSION

To my fifteen self

Dear Cristina,

First of all look around and be thankful for the beautiful things that surround you. The world is wide and amazing and in the next years you will be lucky enough to see and discover  part of it. Until now you have looked at it with one eye only, but soon your trips and your experiences will open up the other eye too. Then colors and smells will be more vivid and the big news, which will strike you like a tornado, will make you understand what you’re capable of , how much you’re worth and how meaningless are those superficial things you surround yourself with.

You don’t know it yet, right now not going out with your friends for one night seems like you’re missing the time of your life. But you will know the real truth: time isn’t really measured with minutes and hours, but, in the economy of life, time is evaluated based on the people that were with you and how they were making you feel.

You don’t know much about freedom yet, but you’ll learn that is the most important value for you. You’ll learn to be disgusted by the people who voluntarily deprive themselves of their liberty because, from your point of view, they’re throwing away the most precious thing. Those who are slaves to a relationship or to a friendship or, worst of all, to appearances, just like you are now and will always be a little, those people will be the point from where you’ll have to walk away.

Never fear to leave your pretty little harbor, your house and your loved ones, for the unknown but never ever forget where you come from and what gave you the wind to sail off: love.

You know people can be mean. That’s an early lesson. But you don’t know yet that cruelty will hide under more and more veils and it will happen that you will found it too late, after a long work of destruction of your self-esteem. Not everyone will like you and there will be two types of people: those that will tell you that right away and those who will hide their opinion in order to use you when needed.

I know you fear nobody will love you for who you are. But  before you ask someone to love you it would be better for you to start loving yourself first. Your goal is not to be “pretty”, by the way I won’t spoil you where pretty girls end up but let me tell you is really funny. Your goal is to be a good person, a box full of experiences and life, to be the perfect antidote to the boredom typical of the people who know exactly what their life is going to be. Your life will be a difficult and curvy road, you will never know what happen in the next mile. But take a deep breath and run, never look back except for asking yourself: “what could I have done better?”. Always try to be a better person, there’s no finish line for that, and doubt those who tell you they are done in their path.

Maybe I should tell you though about the reign of mediocrity where you’ll end up. Maybe I should tell you not to leave your home for college or for your trips and advise you to just stay home and never leave your golden cage. I should tell you to throw away your Rohal Dahl  book that you jealously still keep in your bookshelf. I really should warn you that Philip Roth, Kahled Hosseini, David Grossman, Italo Calvino, Giovanni Verga, greek and latin literature won’t save the world. They don’t save it from the thick haze of the unsophisticated which surrounds us and makes it hard to breath. In this world simplicity and banality win over any other thing implying thoughts and consideration, which is regularly rejected.

You are sentenced to sensibility. But maybe you can save yourself. Throw away your school books and get yourself some idiot harmony novel or some of those unbearable biographies about famous people. Begin to inhale this air of mediocrity so you won’t be the person I am now: clueless in front of the banality of the world, incapable of jumping in it so ending up as outsiders. Maybe if you do so you’ll be perfectly at ease in this world and you’ll have more friends, more than the few you accurately select.

So what is really the truth: were we better off when we were worst off?

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33 thoughts on “Alla quindicenne che ero (To my fifteen self)

  1. A lot of people will identify themselves (in their own way) with what you wrote,Cristina. Too many I would say.

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    1. Nessun evento scatenante, i miei pensieri hanno un periodo di incubazione che varia dai 15 ai 24 anni 😉 Mi Sono sempre chiesta se chi è superficiale di natura in realtà abbia ricevuto un dono meraviglioso: la leggerezza e la capacità di non accorgersi di quanto tutto sia nella maggior parte dei casi basico ed insipido 😉

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  2. Brava Cristina !
    La conoscenza e la consapevolezza sono un bagaglio pesante da portarsi appresso, ma il mondo ha bisogno di persone consapevoli…mettila così : è un piccolo sacrificio per un mondo migliore. 😉

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  3. I like that you wrote talking to yourself from the future, or the present to the past. What was once important, becomes not important. What was once the world, turns out to be completely untrue.

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  4. Great advices to your younger self. Very mature advices as well. I have so many, but the lessons we need to learn at that time. To become who we are today. Funny, Roald Dahl is one of my fav too!

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  5. It’s so interesting to see a blogpost written in Italian and English. I think Italian is such a beautiful language. I think a lot of people would give themselves the same advice you did. It’s sad how hung up on petty things we are as teenagers. If only we knew better!

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  6. This gets pretty deep. I know that there are so many things that I would like to tell myself when I was younger but for the most part I am not sure what I would want to change. What if it changed my path too much. I guess the best thing we can do is just keep working hard to find how we can change today.

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  7. I always wanted to learn a foreign language. Such magnificent post to be written both in Italian and English. Such deep and mature pieces of advice for the 15 y/o self. I always wanted to write to my old self but never had the push to do so.

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  8. Insightful thoughts and advice here. 🙂 It’s interesting to write to our younger selves. But I think I will keep that to myself or just write it in my journal that isn’t online. There were some things I did that I think were a waste of my time and resources.

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  9. I’ll quote you “Never fear to leave your pretty little harbor, your house and your loved ones, for the unknown but never ever forget where you come from and what gave you the wind to sail off: love.” These sentences describe me right now. I have ventured far away from home for a career but the most important thing is to not forget the roots. Because I believe the root defines me and makes me what I am. It is for the root that I am where I am today. Thus, if forgets the roots, one forgets him/her self.

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  10. The main thing I would tell my 15 year old self is to value myself more, which you touched on. Many of my mistakes were made because I cared too much about pleasing others.

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  11. Different phase of life teach us different things, at fifteen we could not wait to grow up and get out of our comfort zones. And now we know the importance of the comfort zones we were in during our teenage. To get matured and learn we ought to make mistakes that is the way we grow. Awesome post btw. 🙂

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  12. If I could go back and had in time to my 15 year old self, I would just observe I would not say or do anything. Because whatever we went through, from little to big things have shaped who we are today. If my 15 year old self knew that everything will turn out okay, maybe I would try as hard. Everything happens for a reason.

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  13. We have many things to tell to our youngerselves. But it’s not something we should focus on too much. We may have some regrets, or some things we would have told ourselves to do better, or to avoid. But in the end, our choices all along our life are what define us and where they lead us now.

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  14. If I don’t read the title I would assume this letter is from a mother to a daughter, yet this is a letter that comes from your deepest thought. A life lesson through a beautiful letter.

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  15. That would be quite a letter! I would have plenty to say to my 15 year old self. The 15 year old me and myself today are polar opposites. I’d like her to know it turned out well after all.

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  16. You show such beautiful maturity regardless of age, if I could give my 15 year old advice it would be to never let the bullies get to you because you are worth so much more than they will ever be.

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  17. Adoro questo post! Suona quasi come una poesia. Sono d’accordo con le parole che hai scritto, ci ho rivisto me stessa quando ho lasciato l’Italia per spostarmi a Londra. Ho avuto il coraggio di lasciarmi alle spalle la mia gabbia di insicurezze all’esplorazione di un paese nuovo e sconosciuto. Per quanto riguarda i rapporti che ho ora qui in Italia, solo uno se ne salva, quello del mio ragazzo e me. Probabilmente se potessi scrivere una lettera alla quindicenne che ero, mi sarei detta di smetterla di cercare amicizie vere perché non ne avrei trovate comunque, e tutte quelle stronze lì se ne sono fregate di me. Le avrei detto di non piangere per nessuno e di vivere la vita con più scioltezza e serenità!

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  18. There are very few moments or things I would probably warn my 15 year old self about. There are a few things I said to people of great importance that I would change but as far as all of the experiences, I dont think I would want them to be any different.

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  19. That’s a beautiful letter. I think it would be painful for me to write to my 15 year old self. I have to say though, Khaled Hosseini and Roald Dahl might not save or change the world, but they provide a beautiful escape from it for a few hours.

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  20. I love the classy Italian words. I wish I could understand it. Haha. I remember I wrote the same letter to my younger self and it feels refreshing actually. Your words are full of realizations and I guess that’s a sign og maturity.

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  21. Very wise and sad at the same time . That’s the most beautiful age and one of the happiest time in your life . Heads up and have fun, that’s what 15-16 is for

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  22. I am thinking of probable reasons why one would write his/her 15 yr old self. Here are some reasons I have so far: 1) To give advice 2) To warn about something life-changing 3) To encourage to keep going. Whatever the reason may be, the end goal is really just to help and send some love.

    Just putting this out there: Life always gets better and whatever trouble/despair we might be in, God is our Redeemer and our Saviour.

    http://thetopknotters.com

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  23. It’s great to see a 15 year old girl talking to herself like this. You have a lot to see. This world is a blend of different shades. Sometimes happy, sometimes sad. You have to be brave to face them all. I am 25 and still feel there is a long way to go.

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