Failure

This is probably one of the most annoying words in any language. Annoying, depressing, tear-worthy. I have encountered it few times in my life and I wish I had not.

Admitting I have failed at something makes my stomach turn and my brain get angry. Simply because failing is my fault and no one else’s. I cannot put the blame on my teachers for getting a bad or mediocre grade. I cannot put the blame on supermarkets for me gaining weight.

Saying “I have failed” is tiring and infuriating, so much that whenever it happens, I get cranky the whole day, until I have interiorised my failure and I am ready to move on. Admitting my failures is a process that has to happen in order for me to have mental clarity and sanity.

If I were to find the root of the problem, I would go as back as primary school. I was not used to failing. I always had top grades and was considered a nerd. That went on during middle school, getting admitted to high school with the highest grade possible. High school, on the other hand, was a low blow. Teachers expect more than average and they are not willing to give you more than you worked for; sometimes they do not even give you that. Of course, my behaviour changed too: I started working harder and smarter. I understood what they wanted and tackled the skills I lacked.

Unfortunately, no matter how hard I worked, I sometimes failed. Usually, that happened in math (surprise…not). It has never been my strongest subject and it still is not. I have admitted that, despite my pride, and I moved forward, doing what I can.

Failing, or getting a mediocre grade, at math is not acceptable, but it is not catastrophic either. What hurts more is getting a mediocre grade in a subject I usually am one of the best at. Not getting the maximum in Italian or History or Philosophy stings for two reasons: firstly, because it hurts my pride, secondly because people have high expectations of me. This last part is something I am still struggling with.

Hearing my teacher say “I expected more from you” hurts more than them saying “You sucked at this”. In the last case, something must have definitely gone bad, where I could not have done anything to mend it. In the first case, it is all my fault, because I have set a certain standard that people, and also myself, are accustomed to and now expect.

Failure and expectations go hand in hand, especially because when I fail, there are always people who cheer. When you almost always are the best, people start rooting for you to fall. Had you been less stellar, your fall would not have made so much noise.

I guess failure itself is not so bad; everyone encounters it in their lives and it is normal and part of being human. What matters is how we deal with it and what we take from it. I believe in the “You win or you learn” motto. That is what life is all about: progressing and learning, which most often than not, are quite the same thing.

Thank you for reading.

xx

 

NYC Travel Diary

In March I went on a trip to New York City, which lasted about 9 days. This trip was the culminating event of a course I have been taking since November. This course is called National High School Model United Nations (NHSMUN). It is a branch of the Model United Nations (MUN), aimed at high school students.

The whole course lasted from November until February and it focused on diplomacy, diplomatic language, modern history, geopolitics and such. We then did a simulation in Rome, in a parliamentary room, where students from Central Italy came together to work as one.

Finally, we had to go to NYC to take part in the big simulation, which brought together students from all around the world. I was part of the Economic and Financial Committee (ECOFIN) and I was representing Mauritania, alongside a girl from another part of Italy.

Let’s get started with the trip.

We left on the 13th of March from Fiumicino Airport, in Rome. All of our flights were operated by Iberia, so naturally we had layovers in Madrid.

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Waiting at the airport. Luckily, there was a student who could play the piano and he made time pass faster.

The flight from Rome to Madrid lasted 3 hours and was uneventful. There we had about an hour layover, but since the gate was pretty far, we had to run there to catch our flight. The next 9 hours, strangely enough, passed quickly. I saw the film “Arrival”, which was neat.

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Finally, we arrived in NYC at about 7pm. It was quite late, I had no internet on my phone, thinking that I could catch some wifi. That did not happen. It was very very cold as we waited for the car which would take us to the hotel.

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Tired.

We finally arrived at our hotel, Hilton Midtown. It is a very nice hotel and the room was cute, once you figured out how the heating worked. The elevators were also quite a challenge. IMG_7058

We were 4 girls in the room and let me tell you, it was such a mess that the cleaning lady refused to clean it. That was quite a hint.

That night we went out for McDonald’s in Times Square. It was so so cold that it started lightly snowing. We got back towards midnight and then we went straight to sleep, too tired to function.

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The next day, on the 14th, we were faced with Snow Storm Sally. At the beginning it was cute and new, but then we had to face the cold and the metres of snow. We had breakfast at Joe & the Juice, near our hotel, where I had a protein smoothie. IMG_4380

We then tried to go to the Museum of Natural History, which was closed. I was on the verge of a nervous crisis as we walked through Central Park, in the snow storm, with our guide who was not a good enough guide and did not know where she was going. Fortunately, I made a new friend who I am still on touch with and we took a taxi back to the hotel, instead of walking.

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I was so cold I felt like crying. We ended up just staying in the hotel for the rest of the day, since it was so cold.

On the next day, we actually started working. But before that, we finally visited the museum! As always, we had to hurry to make it in time for the Opening Ceremony, so we only had an hour. A friend of mine and I managed to visit almost everything.

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After this, we got dressed up and we attended the Opening Ceremony, after attending a couple of briefings on the rules of procedure and such.

The 16th was the most intense work day, since we had to attend 2 sessions in the afternoon, while in the morning we attended a conference. That evening most people went to the Empire State Building, but I was not feeling well and remained in my room.

The next day we attended our last two sessions and we were finally free to go. We visited the Museum of Modern Art (MOMA), that was close to our hotel.

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That night we also attended the Delegate Dance, but I only stayed and danced for a bit, since my feet were killing me, having worn heels all day.

The next morning we left for the UN Headquarters and we attended the Closing Ceremonies. It was nice, being seated in the front row, and watching people make their speeches.

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In the afternoon we visited the Guggenheim Museum. I liked the way it was structured on more floors and how there were little to no stairs.

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On the next day we went to visit the Statue of Liberty, Ellis Island and then the Brooklyn Bridge. We had to walk quite a lot to get to the subway station, since there was a marathon going on.

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Before going to the Brooklyn Bridge, we visited Wall Street, where I was excited to see the statue of the Fearless Girl.

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After that, we visited the 9/11 Memorial. It felt surreal. All the names written there really gave it a spectral atmosphere, and despite there being hundreds of people, it was silent.

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Finally, we arrived at the Brooklyn Bridge, and we walked all the way to Brooklyn. It was tiring, but it was most definitely worth it.

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On the 21st of March we left. Unfortunately, our layover in Madrid lasted 6 hours and I fell asleep on the table. I was exhausted, both mentally and physically. We finally got home on the 22nd.

What I left out of all this diary entry, so to say, was a very deep emotional experience which saw its beginning and end in the same week, only to leave me heartbroken, then mend my heart and then break it again a couple of days ago. But this experience would not have been the same without my heart experiencing a whole array of emotions, from love to panic.

Thank you for reading.

xx

Australia Travel Diary – Part 2

I cannot believe it has taken me this long to make the second part of this post, but here I am and I have a lot to say. Here you can find part 1.

There are also photos taken at the beach that I posted on another post, right here, in a swimsuit review.

For the rest of our trip I took pictures of the scenery and of all the beaches we went to. For example, we went to a pretty private beach, called Golden Beach, with very little sand but great water. Unfortunately, again thanks to the jellyfish alarm, I was too scared to get in.

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Another place we visited was a hill near Maleny from where we could see the Glasshouse Mountains, which are very dear to the people native to Australia.

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We also went to Point Cartwright where I sunbathed a bit and then took some pictures of the ocean.

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Our flight back was less eventful and I could not wait getting back home. It was an amazing and fun trip with family and if I ever am to come back to Australia, I would have to stay for at least a month to really enjoy it as it should be enjoyed.

Thank you for reading.

xx

Australia Travel Diary – Part 1

I finally decided to make this blog post and I am terrified of how huge it is going to get. I have to divide it in at least two parts in order to not bore you guys, so bear with me.

As some of you may know, I left for Australia at the end of December for my winter holidays, along with my grandmother. This whole trip happened because my uncle and his family live there and grandma has not seen them in years. Therefore, it was high time we got a move on.

We left on the 21st of December from Fiumicino Airport in Rome at 8:45pm. Of all the airports I went to, Fiumicino is the best organised, in my opinion. We bought our tickets with Qantas, an Australian company, but all the flights were operated by Emirates.

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I tried to dress somewhat casual, since we had to go from very cold temperatures in Rome to very warm ones in Dubai and then Brisbane. I wore a simple pair of leggings with a camisole and a long shirt on top, while keeping my bomber jacket in my backpack, which was my hand luggage.

The flight to Dubai was 6 hours long and it was not too bad. We had dinner on the plane and I tried to sleep, but my main problem is that I cannot sleep unless I am extremely comfortable and this was not the case, since we were flying Economy.

We got to Dubai, where we went through customs again and we went to our gate for our 5-hour layover. Weirdly enough, this layover did not seem so bad. I went and got Burger King (which was not as good as I am used to) and just waited. The way currency works in this airport is that you pay with whatever currency you have (I am not sure they accept all currencies, but the main ones yes) and the change they give you is in their own currency, so the dirhams.

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Next, before boarding the plane we had to pass through additional customs to make sure that we had no liquids. Next, our 14-hour flight started. This was the roughest for me, since when we still had 6 hours left I got very bad heartburn from something I ate (pro tip: do not eat things that you so not know for sure you react well to). I had to go and ask the cabin crew for some medicine and finally, after two pills I felt better.

The flight seemed infinte, but we finally made it to Brisbane, on the 23rd of December in the morning. It was of course very hot, since it was the middle of summer. Our family lives an hour away from the city, in a town called Landsborough, not really in the middle of nowhere, but close. They live near the mountains people of Australia hold saint. We made a quick stop at a fruit store and I loved all the colours.

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My uncle’s house faces a forest where hundreds of birds are heard singing everyday, and I must say I am not used to any type of noise, besides cars passing through the city.

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On Christmas Day, our second full day there, after catching up on much needed sleep, we went to a beach, Mooloolaba, which ended up being amazing. We only went there in recognition the that day and we walked around its shore.

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Everybody is extremely kind and welcoming there, I noticed. The day after, the 26th, we went to the Australia Zoo, which is property of the Irwin family, Steve Irwin’s legacy. It was very interesting, huge and well kept. The ticket does cost quite a bit, but it is worth it, since you have access to every show and facility.

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On the 27th, we went to Brisbane to spend the night. We wanted to take the train from Landsborough, but the railway was not working so they offered us a free bus ride to a farther away train station and we took the train from there.

Once in Brisbane we visited a square and then a “shopping centre” which was in the open and that is where I stocked up on gifts and souvenirs.

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Then we checked in at our hotel, the Urban, which was very neat, with very nice beds and bathrooms, but if you want to go there for the pool and hot tub you will be disappointed. Anyways, it was very accommodating.

We ended up having lunch and cocktails near the river, at a very busy and young place, the Bavarian Beer Café.

I loved it.

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This is part 1 for now. I will add a second part to this for sure, since I bought a camera there and had fun with it.

Thank you for reading.

xx

Life Update – December 11, 2016

These last few months have been pretty intense and full of experiences. Plus, the rest of December and the beginning of 2017 are also going to be interesting.

So, first thing’s first : I passed my driving theory exam! I felt so relieved, since I have been stressing myself out ever since I started studying in July. Good things take time and I feel so happy. I have been practicing driving for the past month or so and I think I will take my exam in February. I am not bad at driving, but I can always get better and if I am to get a license, I want to be a really good driver, so that I can actually take on that responsibility.

Next up, I got accepted to participate in a diplomacy program put forward by the Italian Diplomatic Academy, which will culminate in a trip to New York to take part in a simulation of a meet at the United Nations headquarters. This will happen in March and I cannot wait. I went to the first three hour lesson last week and, despite it being gruelling, it is totally worth it. I think that this whole course and final experience will serve me as a lesson for my future.

Another thing I am very proud of is that I finally donated blood! I say finally because I tried to donate right after I turned 18 at the beginning of the year, but I was told that my blood pressure was too low. A week ago I tried again, since the guys who take care of these donations came to my school, and I succeeded! It took me 5 minutes and 32 seconds, which is very fast. They will analyse a part of the blood I donated to make sure that it is healthy and they will send me the data in a month. I really wanted to donate, since there is a high chance that my blood type is 0, which means that everyone can receive my blood. I also want to make this a habit, because I think that it is a moral duty and there are no consequences for you, besides being tired on donation day.

Probably the most exciting thing this month has to offer is that in precisely 10 days I am leaving, with my grandma, for vacation in Australia! My uncle lives there with his family, so we are going to stay about 2 weeks with them, to spend the winter holidays with this part of our family, at the beach. I am trying to prepare myself for the long trip, but it will be worth it 100%. I cannot wait; I have already started packing and shopping for the trip.

Thank you for sticking with me until now and get ready for travel posts.

xx

Outfit of the Day – November 20, 2016

Surprise, surprise, an all black outfit.

It was a sunny day and I decided to finally wear my new Converse shoes and what better way to style them than to put together an all black ensemble.

I wore a pair of simple black leggings, the less sheer I could find. On top, I wore a black camisole and a long black flowy shirt.

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The strong piece of this outfit is of course the black leather jacket, which I got from Bershka years ago. It is my most loved piece of outerwear and it still looks brand new.

I apologise for my lack of posting lately, but I have been extremely busy with school and life in general, so I have neglected this aspect of my life. I promise I will try to be more consistent. In the meanwhile, thank you for reading.

xx

 

Focus

I have thought long and hard about making this post, since it is mostly an impulsive one, based on recent events in my personal life.

The word “focus” seems very hard to materialise in our lives, especially nowadays, since everybody seems to lose said “focus” of what they truly want in life. What I mean by that word is complete and utter determination to achieve a certain goal. It is up there with other words like “ambition” and “drive”. It is something that you create and you work with. I do tend to judge people by how these three entities manifest in their lives and I admire people who have the same goal-driven mind like me.

The problem arises when this focus has to be shared by various aspects of one’s life. For example, I am the kind of person completely focused on school and on a future career, so when something else comes into my life, like a possible love interest, my focus unfortunately shifts. I say “unfortunately” because I have noticed, every single time that has happened, that when my focus has to be shared by more than one aspect of my life, the initial goal loses importance. I lose focus of school and my grades go slightly down. I lose focus of keeping myself happy and I start focusing on keeping the other person pleased, which is not how things should be.

I would love to be the kind of woman who can manage all aspects of her life impeccably, but I am not, at least not right now, not at this age. The ability lo balance various aspects of life comes with age and experience, which means that for now, I will have to settle and keep my focus on one single goal.

I have seen the same thing happen to friends of mine, in slightly more drastic ways, such as being almost left behind in school. On a good note, that has not happened to me and it never will, since I will make sure it will not.

The whole purpose of this post, besides trying to bring comfort to other people who might feel the same as me, is to also keep me accountable, to make sure that I do not make the same mistakes and that I do not lose sight, that I do not lose focus of what I truly want in life.

If you ask me, I must quote Beyoncé : “Make sure you have your own life before becoming someone’s wife”. Yes, this might take it to the extreme, but if, for a relationship, you have to let go of your goals, then let me tell you it is not worth it, since your career is the only certainty in this hungry and fast world. Your work, your grind, your hustle, whatever you want to call it, should be the main focus, and once you have that checked, then you can share your focus with whatever else may please you. But for now, I need to get back in my lane, the fast one.

Thank you for reading.

xx