Civita di Bagnoregio

Twenty-nine

At the end of last year’s post, I was convinced that the year that just finished in my life would have been all about travelling around the world, because of my job. I wrote:

It looks like the next twelve months will be more of the same.

Well, that didn’t happen. As if I needed another reminder of how unpredictable life can be, here I am, writing from Italy. I’ve spent the last months of my life here, back home, which seemed impossible in February 2019. As a matter of fact, I’ve actually decided to go “back to school” and pursue a MBA in Bologna, with a focus on supercar companies and motorsport.

True Italian supercar, properly parked

This has been a very exciting choice, with a slow build-up over the months, after I got accepted into the program. My colleagues at McKinsey have been fantastic in supporting my choice, and I’m grateful for the opportunity I now have to pursue this “small” dream.

It’s nice to be back in Italy, after a 6-year-long economic exile to Germany. Life as an immigrant is not easy, but also to come back is not a walk in the park. There are many things that I miss about Berlin, and many things that make me go crazy about Italians now. This would have made my past self laugh incontrollably for a good minute or two, but it is the reality now.

It also doesn’t help that the world feels “odd” to me since a few years. There’s a shadow of herd stupidity and digital obscurantism that, at times, really makes me feel uncomfortable. From the rise of nationalists agendas, to science deniers (WTF people, seriously?), I’m sure there are a lot of people like me that can’t help but wonder if and how it is all going to stop.

crossroad
Crossroad on the Shikoku Henro

Maybe I’m thinking often about this because my next few months can be described as a cluster-fuck of a crossroad. The variables are many, and the opportunities still unknown.

On the other hand, a lot of good things have happened. I’m worried about the future because, deep down, I’m aware of how good I have it now. There’s no denying that.

I’ve been exposed to realities that up until this point in time were only “dreams in a drawer”, as we say in Italian. Visiting Ferrari in Maranello has been a fantastic experience, same as yesterday’s visit in Lamborghini. While walking down the production lines of sportscars like the 488 Pista or Aventador SVJ, I felt like being able to watch Michelangelo draw the Sistine Chapel.

It’s also been a year of personal reflection, and I enjoyed most of all the opportunity to finally be around a few of the people I really care about in life. The opportunity to be able to hop on a train when necessary, and to be flexible. The freedom not to be bound by plane tickets or compromised schedules.

Last year I also wrote:

This year I will move to my new flat, most likely.

That didn’t happen as well. Now that flat in Berlin will see a new life, with new tenants, which is also OK. It’s important to have the awareness that some long-term decisions you take might not always turn out the way you imagined, and that’s fine. At the time, with the information I had, it seemed like the best option.

Hindsight is 20/20, just like this year, the thirtieth of my life. We’ll see what happens between now and the big milestone next year. This time, I won’t make any predictions.