Written by Giorgio Rinaldi
Illustrated by Luigi Russo
Once again I decided to make something. Something impulsive, unplanned. And it sounds fine as long as you’re not me. I never do impulsive things. I have impulses but whenever I listen to them the result is a disaster. Even when buying something online, as an “impulse buying” it usually takes me up to a week (at least) from the first time I scroll and put stuff in the basket to the moment I actually click BUY. Even the website (not to say the customer service on the chat) goes: “For god’s sake! Pick one! Either buy it or empty the freaking basket!!!!!” and then afterward I spend a whole month feeling bad and ashamed. Anyway, I decided to make something.
So I’m in the kitchen and it’s all improvised. I grab this and that and I have no room, it’s a mess, I start to feel frustration and self-loathe. Nervousness, rage, and then it’s all a chaos: it’s all dark, pans and dishes thrown around, me punching myself, bumping my head against the cupboard… it’s over. It escalates and I can’t seem to calm down. So I walk in circles like a caged animal and try and breathe. To calm myself down. I want to tell myself: It’s okay to shout, to throw things, it’s fine. You can be upset and frustrated, it’s normal. Then you’ll plan it better, you’ll organise and it will all work out. You tend to panic and get anxious when something is too sudden and unexpected. When it’s not planned. But there’s nothing wrong with it, nothing wrong with you, in you. You’re fine. You’re perfectly fine. It’s just something you do, just part of you. Something you have to deal with and work on. Everyone has to improve. You did change. You changed a lot!
Do you remember how you were long ago? Do you? Try to look back at your life. At yourself. You really did change a lot, even if some still see you as the same guy. You had no friends at all, you didn’t want any, you just wanted to make it on your own. No need to have someone to help you, to drag you down. Then you opened up a bit, you let someone in. And it was hard because of all the previous times you did that and those people disappeared. You’ve had friends when you were little but then you’d move, change school or they’d move and change school or city or house. And you’d be left there alone, sad. The only person that could understand you, share your life, that you’d open up to would be gone. You then decided to give up and be on your own. During high school, after a few years, you made some friends. That was tough again.
You were this chubby little boy everyone would make fun of. You were annoyed and annoying, people would complain about you being stubborn, stingy, too direct (or rude). You were being detached, building barriers; walls. But they couldn’t know. They wouldn’t know. And then you started to face yourself and various things and it was scary and confusing and you had friends there to support you. But you never opened up, not fully, not entirely. And that’s because you were still afraid of judgement, of them using it against you. As an excuse, a gossip, a fun story to tell around; to joke about. When it’s not funny. And that has happened and you still remember that pain of being made fun of. Obviously at that age we’re all different. We don’t know. We don’t understand. But you felt like the “you’re not in their shoes, you cannot know, try and imagine how it is” was true only for you. You felt like no one ever tried to wear yours. Maybe you never gave them a chance. You’ve always had this idea of yourself; this ego. You wanted to be someone, someone important.
When they taught you about John Lennon’s imagine you said: “I want to be him”, before that you had similar dreams. You wanted to change the world, you believed you were great, amazing; a genius. And you acted consequently, excluding people, secluding yourself. But that’s not all. You kept on facing critiques and obstacles. You kept on failing, being told off. You have this double belief: you’re God and an absolute idiot. There’s no in-between. One second you’re the greatest, you write like Leopardi, your ideas are similar to those grand thinkers of the past, you’re in good company, soon you are stupid, useless, dumb. You’re incapable. You burn everything you’ve done, you smash it. You throw it, throw your brushes. You’re a failure. You failed. Failed yourself and the goal. You’ll never make it. And while when growing up you probably learnt to accept your work a bit more, you still live in-between, you’re still hanging on a thin line, swinging between an abyss of delusion, depression, failure and self-hatred and an ideal of perfection where you are a genius, the Creator, God the almighty.
And you hate those mood swings but deep down you believe they’re the reason why you can make art and you fear you’ll lose them one day. And you hate to be down and avoid people when that happens and search for friends and want to do and do and do stuff when you’re up all night and work endlessly for days when you feel great. And you might have learnt to accept yourself but are still afraid. Afraid of people not liking you, thinking you’re bad, weird, judging you, labelling you. And it’s frustrating. Frustrating feeling down and not asking for help; not being able to. It’s annoying having people around not doing exactly what you want, because they don’t understand, they don’t see it like you do. Your way. A very specific way. And you get upset and discuss and push them away. And because it’s all in your head and you don’t express it, no one can figure it out and you just hate it. And friends come and go because they’re lost in this little silent game. And you’ve never learnt how to express needs, nor feelings or emotions and all you are able to do is to substitute them with money.
So that you spend a lot of money on friends and friendship. And time. You seek their attention, you still seek it. Desperately. And when you’re not reciprocated you feel rejected, alone and stupid again. But you have to understand that this is you. You’re all those things. You’re annoying and moody and depressed sometimes. You’re presumptuous, full of yourself and full of fears. Insecure and shameful, you are yourself. And you should accept what you are. You changed a lot in those years, over the years and you will probably still modify your attitude and beliefs. But you are you with all ups and downs; pros and cons.