Updated: May 12, 2020
I'm writing this from my second home city Rome. Travelling always inspires me, I get new insights and gain new perspectives. Looking back on my past here in Rome. I realize that so much of who I am as a person has been shaped living here for so many of the formative years of my 'gioventù' (youth in English) or my early adulthood. Your environment is a big part of what shapes your personality. I guess I have an Italian alter ego that I love to reunite with, to make sure she is still alive and well fed;)
I first came here when I was 18, as an au pair for the summer. It wasn't love at first sight. It was different, loud, hot and lonely. But I came back. I wanted to learn Italian so I watched stupid shows on TV, I read books and magazines. Underlining and looking up words in my dictionary. I was nervous to speak, I felt stupid, and made mistakes, but I never gave up. Learning a new language is a steep mountain to climb. It will take practice, perseverance, discipline, hard work, failing, embarrassment, lot's of listening and repetition. Since it was difficult getting to know new people spending all day with a child. I spent lots of time alone, studying, dreaming, longing... (and I have to admit I shed a fair few tears).
One night looking out the window observing the people passing by I thought to myself that maybe one day I would return to study acting in Rome.
Having a group of friends to hang out with, and talking with my friends without any difficulty or misapprehensions. That dream seemed impossible, TO BIG, just plain crazy. Considering the work I would have to put in. But I f*cking made it happen!
I came back the next summer to do an intense course in Italian, where I met so many amazing new friends. I finished up my studies in Oslo and moved to Rome permanently. To learn a language well, you have to live where they speak it. I immersed myself in the culture. Working, studying and living la dolce vita. Even though Rome is a fantastic city with so much history, art and culture, it is also a very chaotic city and extremely difficult to live in. With so much complicated bureaucracy, everyday chores like going to the post office can take up to an entire day and leave you energetically drained. I think I barely made it because I was young(er)..you know, in my twenties;)
So much happened in these (approximately) eight years that I lived there?! And over ten years travelling back and forth..crazy to think about! So much went down, so many life lessons that has shaped me into the person I am today. I'll save some stories for my future book, podcast episodes or other artsy projects that I've got going on.
Revisiting old chapters of my life being back in my eternal city, I was compelled to write a letter to my past self. I have some issues with my younger self, haha, but she was young so I forgive her. She was just doing her very best with what she knew at the time.
Maybe I can inspire you to write your own?
Below are some instructions in you feel compelled to write yourself a letter.