“I had no aspirations to be a musician, but I picked up a guitar for two seconds and haven’t put it down since”. Slash
Adults would ask us what we wanted to be when we grew up, but we were kids holding on to our biggest dreams with no idea of what was waiting for us.
Because of one of the books on the shelve in my room, my first important aspiration was to become a ballerina. I had some back problems and the doctor advised my parents that something like swimming or dancing would have helped. So, my mother happily signed me up to one of the best dance schools in Florence “Centro Danza e Movimento”.
At the age of nine while I was still dancing four times a week I decided that I loved ballet, but I wanted to become famous and ballerinas are not really that famous for exception of the really good ones. I had already started being really hard of myself: not good enough to become a famous and rich ballerina. So, I decided that I wanted to be an actress. And once again my mother indulged my fantasy by calling a professional photographer that took a lot of pictures of me while wearing different outfits in different poses and facial expressions. Then with this photo book she went and registered me as one of the possible actresses for the movies of the American Film Academy of Florence. They selected me as main lead in two different short films. In the first one I was a little girl who had lost her mum in a launderette and, with her snow-white doll, went looking for her around Florence with the help of an old lady who was so kind to guide her around. The second short film was much more tragic: I was the daughter of an alcoholic and a prostitute and I had an imaginary friend which was a big clown (hironic because I have always been scared of clowns). My clown friend helped me run away from that living hell by suffocating my father with a plastic bag and making my mother overdose with extra heroin injections. I ran away with him and the last scene shows me and the clown holding hands and suddenly becoming one. I was the clown all along, he was my alter ego that I projected as a clown.
At the age of eleven I decided that I would have been a great actress, but it was something a bit unrealistic, so I opted for writing: I wanted to be a journalist for a big paper. I joined the journalism society at my school and every fortnight we would meat and write articles about current news and review movies or books. However, I realized that I loved writing but not when someone else was pressuring me to do it. Can you imagine writing for a newspaper, feeling the pressure and either not having anything to say or producing terrible pieces of work? Therefore, while being part of the journalism club, writing every night a personal diary, acting for the American Film Academy and dancing five times a week, I knew that there were many things that I could have done in my life, but I was going to be a doctor.
I chose a classical studies high school in order to pursue this big dream. In my second last year I also did an internship in the heart surgery department of Careggi hospital in Florence. The first two days I measured the vital signs of the patients in sub-intensive care. But the third day and for the following two weeks they took me into the operating theatre to observe the medical procedures followed during heart surgery. I loved it. That was when I realized that I was born to do that.
Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to pass the test to get into medicine and it killed my aspirations insinuating inside me the idea that it was something that I was not capable to do. It was one of the darkest and saddest moments of my life.
On my 19th birthday, my mother, whom always knew where to sign me up next, was in The States and my dad was too disappointed to give me birthday wishes. On top of that there was a huge hailstorm and I fell with my motorbike. In the evening my friends organized me a really big birthday party at a friend’s place. The party was great but I remember being really upset and in need of air to clear my mind. As soon as I got out, M. followed me grabbed my hands and said: don’t panic, you will be great at whatever you decide to do and you are lucky because, even though you cannot do medicine, there are so many things that you are good at. I realized that I didn’t have to feel ashamed for opting for another university. I decided that I was going to do Political Science, with no shame and a lot of pride.
That takes me to where I am today, studying in the United Kingdom to become an International Lawyer. And even though I didn’t get to be a doctor, I just found out that my brother got into Medical School in Rome. And I am happy if he will pursue what is his dream but a little piece of mine as well.
I think that everything happens for a reason and maybe this is what I was meant to do from the beginning. Thank you mum, for never giving up on me and my many and so different aspirations. And thank you M. for making me believe in myself when I needed to.