2020-feels

Thirty

The time has come. People start to say that you are “thirty-years young” to try and make you forget that the best part of your youth is now behind you. It had to happen at some point. To be honest, I’m glad it did. Let’s get this over with.

Last year, at the end of my Twenty-nine post, I mentioned how I did not want to make any predictions, after the ones I made for Twenty-eight all failed spectacularly. At least that’s proof that old age is giving me some sort of wisdom.

My hopes and dreams of finding a job in motorsport all came crushing down on me little by little, as Covid-19 ravaged around the world, companies focused on saving jobs rather than hiring new blood, and everyone turned crazy (one way or another) in response to the pandemic.

Or maybe I was just not good enough to make a case for myself at one of those companies. That’s also a likely explanation.

But I cannot and will not complain: my life is good, I am privileged. I’m surrounded by people who care about me, I have a roof above my head, a job, and dreams. Yes, I still have dreams and ambitions for my future, despite being out of my 20s. A true millennial, I guess, without the avocado toast and whatever horrible fake-coffee beverage other millennials drink at Starbucks.

Where I spent most of my days since I got back to work.

The pandemic has taken a physical and mental toll on me: I have been spending a lot of time at home, losing more and more the will even to walk around. It feels weird to say: I am not walking and do not enjoy doing so, at the moment. Tell that to my former self, who thought he was going to walk around the world in 2013. He’d be ashamed of the Alessio who turns 30 today. But maybe, in another way, just maybe he’d also be proud of what’s become of that young man who reached Santiago de Compostela in a late April’s morning, after a life-changing experience on the Camino.

I’ve done many things between that day, and today, which would have seemed impossible at the time. These years have been filled with a crazy amount of personal and professional development, without forgetting to treat myself every now and then.

I spent most of that time abroad, in my Neue Heimat (new homeland) of Berlin, discovering little by little what it means to pretend to be an adult, and then actually try to become one. It still feels weird to be in between two countries, and feel like different parts of you belong to one and not the other.

I sure hope we don’t get some stupid form of Brexit in Italy as well, though my trust in the general public has sunk to below zero after watching how large parts of the population have reacted to the Covid-19 pandemic.

We were asked to do two things: stay at home and, if you can’t do that, at least wear a mask to help stop the virus dead in its tracks. We all know what happened.

Non-sense. Absolute non-sense. We’ve seen how much a significant portion of our society cares about the health and safety of their fellow citizens, aided and fuelled by opportunistic men who will “never let a good crisis go to waste”. I watched in horror and disbelief as the months passed.

The only consolation is that, as a man who loves history, I got to witness the defining event of the next decade, and for sure one of the most important events of the 21st century. It also consolidated in my mind that in this world, despite all the claims and public good will, it’s as always “every man for himself” when it actually matters.

I’ve learnt the hard way that others will bail on you at the first sight of inconvenience to their personal circumstances. I’ve also learnt that having a few key trusted people around you really is the last line of defence before mental insanity.

It is time, however, to look beyond, and try to understand, like every mediocre recruiter never fails to ask, where do I see myself in five years.

This might be a self-fulfilling prophecy, as I intend to do a few things that I’m about to say, but I really want my thirty-first year on this planet to be about doing something different: get out of that nice little comfort zone that I created for myself in Parma over the past year and a half, both professionally and personally.

With the Alma Corse project gearing up, I am determined to create a new solid reality in motorsport, and make sure it can last.

I will admit, part of my motivation to start Alma Corse is to stick it into the faces of those people who’ve rejected me, time and time again. This gives me some sort of “dark energy” that is a nice complement to the more noble goals of our initiative.

It’s impossible to predict how it will go, but I am ready to take the leap nonetheless. Maybe the “2013 Alessio” would still be proud of that, even though he’d probably think I’ve mainly become a middle-class sell-out. What a shame.

Sorry 22-y.o. Alessio, I hope you’ll understand me when you turn 30.

In the meantime, keep walking.