This post is dedicated to my sister. She’s been going through a rough time and I just want her to know that things will get better.
What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger
I remember that night as if it was yesterday. The night when I got cold feet. I didn’t want to leave my family, my friends and the comforts of my home to go to Canada and start all over from scratch. I knew though that that was the right choice and the path I was supposed to take for my life and happiness.
My initial idea was to study Art History at the University of Toronto. Having a father who’s an artist will pass onto you that love for the arts, but then something happened. I went to talk to a professor at the university and she said: “You live in Rome and want to come study art history in Toronto?” I have to admit, the way she said it made me rethink all my life choices. That’s when I gave up on studying art history in Toronto. I scrapped that idea because I wanted to live in Toronto so badly that I needed to find another subject to focus on. This is when Journalism came in. I’ve always loved to read, writing wasn’t my main passion, but I knew I was able to come up with a good story if I wanted to. I started thinking, maybe Journalism is the way to go. But I didn’t want to spend years and years in school if it wasn’t to study English literature or Art History. In the Summer of 2011 I started giving up hopes of going to school in Toronto. I was already mentally preparing myself for a whole year in Rome studying.. was it Italian literature? maybe. I don’t remember at this point, but that’s when my parents found a Journalism program at a college in Toronto! At first I was over the moon, knowing that my dream was going to become a reality and then the fear kicked in. What was I going to do? Living in a country that I have always thought of as home, but still unknown.
I was petrified, I wanted it so badly, but at the same time I didn’t want to leave everyone. My friends kept saying that I was brave, that they would never be able to leave like that. And here I was, trying to put on a happy, brave face for all those who asked me: “so, when are you living?”
During the month of July I filled out all the forms I needed to complete the application for the program. I did the tests, obviously all in English, which was a little weird since I had been studying in Italian schools for my whole life and although I always understood English, those tests were challenging at first. I did think of giving up. many, many times, but I also wanted this so badly.
So I did it. I got on the plane by myself for the first time ever and it was exciting. Knowing that you can do something all by yourself, win your fears and look back at all you have accomplished is a great feeling.
Life isn’t easy, it never is. There are highs and lows, ups and downs, but knowing that you’re not alone, knowing that there are people who love you and can help you and believe in you even when you don’t believe in yourself, that’s the greatest gift we can get in life. Without my family, I would probably have stayed in Rome, my life would be completely different, I wouldn’t know the friends that I have today and I wouldn’t have the perfect job that lets me go back and forth between Toronto and Rome.
The struggles never end, life is just that, one struggle after another that rewards you in the best possible ways when you overcome the challenge.
All of this is to let you know, my dear, that life does get better. The struggles that you’re facing now will make you the person you’re meant to be at the end and that nothing is forever.