What kind of fears do you have?
I guess I have a lot of different fears; I’m afraid of my stomach being sick – that’s something my brain knows and uses to get me into stressful situations. If I start sweating and thinking I’ll throw up, I know that’s an anxiety attack coming. It’s not pleasant, but I think anxiety is something my generation is experiencing on a large scale and we all are working on overcoming it. So I guess my biggest fear is letting my anxiety get the best of me, and ultimately not letting me live the life I want to.
Do you stop yourself from taking action because you are afraid of making mistakes and /or dealing with the consequences?
Not usually. I am quite an impulsive person. If I let myself think too much, that’s when the anxiety kicks in. I prefer to live my life based on instincts: if something feels right or good, then I should do it. If something feels off, on the other hand, then I should get the hell out. That does not mean I do not have regrets though! Sometimes I think I should not take action on the spot, while in hindsight I probably should have.
What is better, to have tried and failed or to never have tried at all?
Definitely, to have tried and failed! My father always told me, “better to have remorse rather than regrets” – which I kind of think sounded better in Italian, but the point is: better to think I should have not done that rather than I’ve missed out on a good opportunity.
What negative inner beliefs dominate your life?
I tend to catastrophize sometimes. Climate change is real and it will kill us all; I should not have children because the world will absolutely be destroyed by the time they are fifty years old. Politics in Italy are always going to be conservative and I will never have rights: the right to get married, to have children, to adopt them, to live a regular life without always being pointed out as different. Italy will never give me good job stability: I’ll never achieve the work-life balance I used to have when I lived overseas, and I’ll never make a living by editing books.
… and if you let these negative beliefs go, what would happen?
Sometimes I feel the weight of all these beliefs, and that’s what drives my anxiety crazy. But I also need to remind myself that all of those conditions can be changed, and I make part of that movement of change. Letting it all go would mean making it easier on myself: my worth is not measured by how productive I am or how others think of me. I need to concentrate on what makes me happy, here and now.
What positive inner beliefs dominate your life?
I like to chase good feelings. When I was seventeen, I lived in Brazil for a year. I travelled for a month from the city of Recife down to São Paulo with a group of fifty people my age. It was incredible: we got to see so many different places and enjoyed every second of it. I felt protected, relaxed, and like my existence really made sense. I realized I did not want to go to university or work in an office: I just wanted to travel and feel like I felt during that month.
So I believe in finding freedom: freedom in whatever we choose to do, to be. Freedom to be ourselves. To always be on the move, to explore, to never stop learning.
I also believe in being grateful and thankful. I believe the universe has a plan, it cares about us and has our back. At fourteen, I loved the book Stargirl by Jerry Spinelli. It talks about a non-conforming girl living in a town near the desert in Arizona. I loved the freedom it conveyed with the descriptions of the desert; nine years later, as a birthday present for myself, I spent two nights sleeping in the red desert near Uluru, Australia. I was wrapped in my sleeping bag and looked up at the stars – with my glasses on, otherwise I would have seen nothing – and started crying. I felt the universe was hugging me. I had to go that far to realize I was guided, and by being kind and grateful I could be anything I wanted. We all can.
What thoughts inspire you?
I read books about Buddhism and mantras and meditation, all to find out that my mantra was meant to be Alanis Morrissette’s Thank U song. Just like the song, my inspirations are easy: images of the sun at golden hour, a car driving on a dirt road, no tall buildings in sights, living in contact with nature and being thankful for being able to breathe, to read books, to enjoy the food we eat and to be able to love. While I do not want to completely isolate myself from society – I still think it’s important for me to represent the queer community in Italy, and to advocate for our rights as we have close to none - I also think we need to stay close to what really matters. And to me, for now, is the earth and the people I love.
What would you like to change in the world?
I’d love to contribute to the change of our Italian politics for the better. We need better inclusive laws and conversations, and while I have no interest in becoming a politician myself, I do believe we can make a change by being ourselves, coming out as part of the LGBTQIA+ community – visibility is key – and simply just by keeping the conversation going.
I’d also love to see more attention to our planet and the climate crisis we are living through; I try to do my best by getting myself close to a minimalist life, keeping my choices sustainable by preferring a vegan diet and avoiding single-use objects. I am not the perfect messenger, far from it; I have a lot to learn and I have not been making all of these choices for long. But I’d like to inspire the people around me to make small adjustments as well. That would definitely mean a lot to me.
… and what action do you take towards making these changes?
Like I said, I think working with the people around us is a great starting point. I try to get my point across whenever I can. I know I have been inspired by people I know and love personally, so what better way to thank them than to spread the message?
What is your biggest dream?
I’d love to have a family and live on a farm. I want to get married to the woman I love – with full rights, not just what we are granted right now. I want to have children with her and I want her to also be the legal mother of our kids. I also want us to travel often and do sports – roller-skate, learn how to surf, go on hikes. I want to soak in the sun and work the earth with my bare hands.
Sounds simple and basic, I’m aware, but ain’t it crazy how privilege works?
What are you grateful for?
I am grateful for the ability to love; to know love, parental love, familiar love, unconditional love, passionate love. I am grateful for being able to think on my own, for being creative and to have writing skills by my side. I am grateful for the earth, the sun, the deserts and working the ground. I am grateful for country music and plane tickets. I am grateful for being guided, and taken care of.
About the author:
I am a lesbian intersectional feminist who loves to read books and write thoughts down; I mostly travel around in search of new adventures and cultures to learn from!