I ditched everything… and I went back to school

Italian version here

One day I wasn’t happy. Actually, it had been a while since I had been happy; one day I decided to do something about it: I quit my “secure” job at the company where I had been working for the previous seven years, I left my nice flat in the south-west suburbs of London, I boxed my life up and I bought a ticket.

To go backpacking in south Asia? No, not really.

To open a bar on a beach in Cancún? Nope.

I did something a bit less exotic, yet perhaps more original: I ditched everything, I hopped on a plane, and I went back to school.

I remember that when I was eight I was at the swimming pool with my cousin. I was afraid to jump from the highest dive, although I wanted it so bad. I would spend hours looking down from the edge but with not enough guts to jump. One day my cousin pushed me from behind. From that point on, I spent the rest of the summer diving in.

When I arrived in Boston six months ago, my intention was to try something that I had never tried before. I didn’t want to start over, like others who have left their native surroundings to move to a new continent would say. If one starts over it also means that one placed a period to that moment of their life. I don’t like placing too many periods in my life because I want to leave enough space for anything to happen.

It was when I was about to leave Boston and head back home to (re)start behaving like a 36-year old man with a job that I realised I had long before pushed myself into diving in; as a matter of fact I had jumped. And before I would find myself looking down from that dive again, waiting to be magically overwhelmed by some courage, perhaps I’d better make the best of the moment and jump as much as possible.

I wondered: what is one of the things that I’ve always wanted to do but I’ve never given myself the chance of doing? Being a full-time student and completing my degree.

And where’s that place on earth where I’ve always wanted to try to live, since I was a little boy when my Grandpa would point to me, on his atlas, the city on the other side of the ocean where his pen-pal cousins lived? That would be Boston.

Here we go then. I took a few steps back from the edge, a deep breath, I looked straight ahead (never close your eyes or you’ll miss the best), a few strides and I jumped.

After all, perhaps it’s not true that everything is possible, but it is true that it’s on us to do anything we can, in so far as the desire burns inside us, to make it possible

It’s not the jump itself that’s scary, nor it is what awaits down below. Rather, it’s what happens during the fall that scares. I’ll let you know because I myself am looking forward to seeing!

happytown road

Ellsworth, ME

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