Just Friends

Late Saturday night/early Sunday morning, I was in bed with Frida sleeping on my side when I watched a BuzzFeed video, Making New Friends as a Grown up, the first episode of a new series called Real Mature. It is, obviously, about the process of making friends after you reached a certain age. I think it's really interesting and go watch it if you hadn't.
Probably I liked this video so much because it talks about something that I think it's so important in almost everyone life and still it's underrated: friends.

When you are a kid it's super important to have friends, they say, but growing up the pressure it gets more on love interests. Or am I the only one who felt that? People aspect you to have crushes and find a boy/girlfriend, while looking for new friends would sound juts weird. Giving my lack of interest in the "love department", I always got mad when someone said "just friends". As if a. being friends and being in a romantic relationship are per se two different things and b. being friends is something less than being lovers. I may not being able to understand this because I've never been in love, but when I think about the best friends I had in my life, "less" is the last word that comes to my mind. Not all the friendship relationships are the same, not all have the same intensity and affection, but the very good ones are irreplaceable. Even the ones that ended and the ones that ended badly.

I'm now 22 and looking for a love partner would be acceptable while just hanging out looking for new friends would be..., again, weird (?) I'm going to study abroad so I guess I'm gonna make new friends. It won't be easy, I'm shy and have social issues. But I don't want to overthink about it right now. I'll deal with this when the time will come.
For hard that it will be, anyway, at least I will be surrounded by people who share for sure one of my interests, we will all study the same thing. I cannot but wonder what I would do in other situations with no university or work mates to bond with. And why it's to difficult to even imaging a similar situation is perfectly explained by a girl in the video, Sophie: I guess the hardest part of making friends is admitting that you want to make new friends because you feel like when you are an adult you should have already have friends and you should have already find your place in the World, but really you don’t know what it’s going on at all and that’s ok.

Having always lived in the same small place, and having always idolizing eternal friendship, in particular with girls, as the ultimate goal, I arrived only in the last couple of years at a conclusion that completely turned upside down my way of thinking. I was rushing to create and consolidated my "girl gang", but I cannot know how things are gonna change, how the others and me are gonna change, not every friendship is meant to last forever but this doesn't mean that it can't be beautiful and meaningful. And mostly, you can never know who is waiting out there and what a new person can give you. If I didn't send a particular email almost three years I wouldn't have found my best friend, someone who I was so clearly meant to meet, who lives almost at the other side of the world. (More on this soon)

What about you? Do you have something special in your life?

The September Issue

It may be years late, but I've finally watched The September Issue, the 2009 documentary that reveled the behind-the-scenes of the production of the September 2007 issue of American Vogue.


I'm not particularly into fashion, but I am curious by nature and the idea premise of this film intrigued me. As many viewers before, I expected a little of drama and Anna Wintour, but for sure I didn't expect Grace Coddington.




As a pale teen who lived in a convent in the Wales and read outdated Vogue magazines, at 17 Grace won the Young Model section of a Vogue competition and started her modeling career.
At 26 she was badly injuries in a car accident and eventually entered British Vogue as Junion Editor. Was in July 1988 when Grace joined Anna Wintour at American Vogue, of which she is the creative director.




Not only Grace is fun and passionate and sassy and I cheered for her the whole time of the film, but she is an artist. I'm sure that the process is way more complicated than what we can see, but her talent and her eye for details are undeniable. In the three pieces she produced for the issue, she didn't just want to take good pictures of  models wearing expensive cloths. She wanted to tell stories. 
She creates Beauty. And inspires me to do the same.


In 2012 she published her memoir, Grace. I want it. I need it. Right now, please. And go follow her instagram @therealgracecoddington, it's worth it, I promise.


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I just want to tell you, dear readers, that I'm working on this blog, probably its aspect will change a few times since I won't find what I really want. I've struggling in visualize how I want it to look and I'm never happy with it. I realize that I prefer white and simple blogs, but at the same time I want something a little more personal.

On the side of the contents, I'm working on different posts at the moment and I've kind of create a schedule. I don't know for how long this will work, but for now I'll post an inspirational post on Monday (about a book that I read, a film or a tv show I watched, something that for some reason resonated with me the week before); an article/diary entry on Wednesday/Thursday; photos or drawings on Friday or Saturday.

EDIT -  May 27: I still need to work on a couple of details, but the new design is here. Hope you like it. I do. It's in black and white, simple, but with a little of yellow (Why yellow? I don't know. I was thinking at the camps of sunflowers around here). The photos are bigger and there is everything I need on my page. There are more elements than before but I feel it more open and ordered. 

Frida's Diaries #3

Hello everyone, here another Frida's update. She doesn't want to let her fans wait for these posts, so asked me to tell you that she has basically took over my Instagram (she loves being at the center of the attention) and you can follow me her if you want.


The last couple of weeks passed so quickly, running behind this little pest. One moment she is bitting happily one of her bones and the next one she is bitting me. Especially when her teeth are hurting or she is bored. We took her out for a walk or two every day, but she is still a disaster, walking on leash. Every time she understands we are going somewhere, Frida embraces the Drama Queen inside of her and starts all this scene: I'm so tired, my eyes are closed, don't you see that I am yawning? I can't leave the couch. But when all those people compliment and cuddle her on the street she is in seventh heaven.



Frida hates many kinds of noise and, I recently found out, also music, if she doesn't understand where it comes from. Last week I played few notes on the piano, as you can see in this video, and it really confused her. And when I tried to play at little of Fur Elise, one of the few things I remember, the music freaked her out. For real. She even peed on the floor.


Instead, one of her biggest passion is my bed. She runs up on the stairs (she doesn't know how to go down yet) to jump and play and sleep on it. I have many photos of her sleeping on my bed. I'm sorry, but her positions are too adorable and I'm fascinated with the ways she manages her long long legs.




 

One early morning, while my mom was in the bathroom (they sleep together), Frida run through the stairs and into my bedroom, take the last piece of a bone she was eating the night before and jump on me. When my mother came and tried to take her, she fell asleep in five seconds. We slept together until I had to wake up.


Last Saturday, instead, we spend the all night together. My mother wasn't home, so we made ourselves comfortable on my bed and I may have not slept much, but Frida had the time of her life. In the morning I gave her breakfast, we played a little and then she fell asleep on my bed again.
She loves physical contact and her goal is always my pillow.


Other new favorite spots are the kitchen chairs, from where she always hopes to get some food, and my brother's bed. She realizes that there was a bed in his room too and immediately conquered it.


I know that I keep saying this, but every week she becomes taller and bigger and stronger (she weights 10 kilos now!). She discovers new things every day, learns new tricks (if a couple of biscuits are involved) and also the look on her eyes changes so quickly. Frida is still just a puppy, but sometimes I feel overwhelm by the way, and the rhythm, of her growing.



Frida and I hope you a lovely weekend.



That time i didn't speak up for feminism.

There has been one time when I didn’t speak up and I’m still thinking about it. It was around a year ago. My housemates Ila and Mela and I organized a little party at our apartment. A very little party. Mostly Ila’s university mates. For the first half of the night the couch had been monopolized by one of them and her two housemates. I had never met them before. One of the two was an imposing 26/27 year old with a loud voice and rude manners. I don’t know how the conversation started, but I suddenly found myself listening to this woman talking about how in her hometown in the South everyone is so obsessed with being famous, to be chosen for the Big Brother and become a celebrity. According to her, to do so every girl was sleeping with everybody. An infinite list of women who, she said, were willing to fuck producers&co. I walked away, sick of listening that never-ending slut shaming, wondering how all the other people around the couch could stand it.

Some time later I was talking with a couple of Ila’s friends when I over-heard another insulting list of words coming right out of the same woman’s mouth. Faggot, poof, dyke, tranny of shit, that kind of words. She was still sitting on the couch, talking about people she was the only one to know. Insulting people. Someone were still listening but not really hanging with her, and Mela too. Even if I knew it was only to be polite, it made me pretty annoyed. I was almost going to ask the woman to stop talking like that or leave, when the three of them left on their own to go somewhere else.
When she walked out of the door and I finally breathed again, I realized that despite how uncomfortable she had made me in the middle of a situation, the party, that was already stressful for me, I should have said something.

From that night, I always try to apply my two points rule about speaking up for feminism and social justice:
  • there is no shame in remain silent when I am not in a safe situation,
  • but being uncomfortable or in front of people I don’t know should not stop me: my arguments may not change the mind of the person in question, but may lead to new conversations with the other people around. 


Unstoppable

Don't wake me up. Is your love big enough?

In the last couple of Mondays I shared with you two books that I liked. Yesterday I was thinking of something to write. Maybe a movie. But nothing really caught my attention in the last week. Not until I stumbled upon Unstoppable, the new single of Lianne La Havas.


I'm sorry to say that I didn't know Lianne La Havas before, but thanks to Spotify I closed the gap listening to her previous album Is your love big enough? 



I don't remember the last time I bought a cd, but after just one song I felt that I needed to buy her new one, Blood, that will be released the 31st of July. And I did it. 


Recently I struggled a little in founding new music that could move me. Unstoppable was the song I was looking for. 
Lianne is an English songwriter and multi-instrumentalist. Her first album won the iTunes' Album of the year in 2012 (where was I in 2012?) and as she said, Is your love big enough? is not a song about a relationship with someone else, but more the relationship with herself, a discovery of a new self-respect. It's quite easy, generally, to write about your pain, but also you should write about your happiness as well, because it is just a stronger emotion.
For Blood, instead, she has been inspired by her heritages, Jamaican from her mother side and Greek from her father. Can't wait to have it in my hands.
The soul in her voice, the style of her music, how beautiful she is while singing live. I'm already in love with this girl.


And for a moment you were wild with abandon as a child.


I love bringing around my Lomo cameras and my second-hand Olympus, but I'm really bad in taking the pictures to get developed. Last week I finally took a couple of rolls to the photographer and found that that one of them was way more older than what I expected. 

The first photo that come out of the envelope is the cake of my 18th birthday. That night most of my school mates, my scout friends, my drummer Agnese, my cousins and a couple of childhood friends/neighbors went to eat and chat at my house. In a week I was gonna be on my first flight for my first vacation abroad by myself: London. And I was ready to start my last year in high school.

I don't remember to have taken this photo of my brother. It was probably the summer '12, but I've no idea where we were.

I should have taken more pics with the fisheye at the first Paint my run in September 2012. I didn't participate because the next morning the first class of my second year at university was waiting for me. And I don't like to run. In the first pic you can see my father, my brother, his girlfriend and some friends, everyone with my dad's bar t-shirt one. I love how the pink hearts stand out, even in all that color. The second is a closed-up of Simone and in the third there are two girls who went in elementary school with me. Living in a small village means that people from your past are everywhere.

At the end of August 2011 I organized a little trip to Vienna with Lucia. We took a night train from Bologna and come back with a night train to Bologna four days later. In the mid time we walked, visited everything it was possible to visit, did a little shopping and walked some more.

I didn't remember this photo either, but it was a nice surprise to find it there. The colors are perfect. I even like my stupid fingers on the left.

Francesca and I, at the Notte Bianca (white night). We were at the park and there was the show of a dance studio and we sit on the far swing set for a while, in the dark, chatting.