“Conosci te stesso”

Amalia Nan Renjana (INA AFS to Italy YP 16–17)

“Conosci te stesso”

“Know yourself”

That’s the phrase that I learned in philosophy class. Who knew I would be able to learn philosophy in Italian? Well, at least I didn’t. And there are a lot more things that I didn’t expect to happen to me on these past 2 other months.

Want to know what I didn’t expect? Me. Being sad.

I imagined that I wouldn’t ever be able to be sad throughout this year. With all of the fortune, blessings, and opportunities for being here should have made me smile, always. It started out so smoothly and perfect. I thought this year would be the best year of my life. But then this thought is exactly what made me suffer. Because when something doesn’t go as I planned, I’ll go crazy about it. I go crazy when I feel like I miss some memories, some opportunities, something than can’t be repeated. There are so many small problems that got accumulated into a serious depression for me.

The thought that I am not special makes me scared, but the fact that I can’t force people to see me special scares me even more. So I tend to make decisions for other people, to make them happy, to please them, to make me look special in their eyes, but I forget to consider my own happiness. And for that, I made bad decisions that I think will influence all of my experience for the whole year. My priorities went downhill and they changed with time. As my host-mother always says; that I always blame myself for everything that happens in the universe. I reached the point when I hated myself. And it was such a horrible feeling. After that, I began to not being able to see beauty because I was so full of myself. I was so egoistic so I let the sadness win and block me up.

I’m going to stop myself here.

As I was there on my bed, hiding under my blanket, thinking hard and stressing about this newsletter on how can I make it such a good writing because it feels so hard to choose 1 theme and at first I really didn’t want to write about my sadness because it sounds so pitiful meanwhile there are so many beautiful other things to tell.

But now I have a worthy story to tell. When came my mom to my room. Yes, my host-mother. I was seriously talking about a half an hour ago. Not yesterday, but today, for real. At first she was just asking why did I look so stressed out and she noted that there is something wrong with me. And in fact, she is more than right. There has always been something wrong with me. I really didn’t want to say anything to her because I have kept these problems away as a secret for a long time now. And the last person that I want to know about it is my mom. Because she doesn’t need to know, she doesn’t deserve to know. She had done so many good things to me, and I just don’t have the heart to tell her that I’m not okay, after all what she has given me.

But she stayed. She didn’t move until I answer her question on what she could do to help me. I started to tremble; I wasn’t ready to tell her all. But something pushed me to pull a scratch of paper from my bag in which was written all my problems that I always intended to give her since a long time ago. So I ended up giving her the letter and she started to read it. After that, happened the deepest conversations that I have had with her. I opened up and let her see me all weak and vulnerable.

The problem was always the same from the start. It feels like the world is teaching me a lesson that I will never understand; to be grateful for what I have. The thing is, I knew that this is my problem and I already knew all the theories on how to overcome it. But I just can’t get it out of me. I haven’t succeeded to take the solution and solve my problems. I just left them inside my room, locked them up, and put a smile for the rest of the day.

But my mom did. She did it for me. She stabbed me in the heart using her words and compassionate hugs. She repeatedly said on how incredible I am, and that nothing happened by chance. All the decisions that I need to make were really tough, but it was tough because each of them were beautiful. And the point is to see how many wonderful things are approaching me. At the end the stories will make a big painting, and each person has his/her own painting. And my painting? is colored with tears and struggles, and also pieces of precious joys. But no matter how it will look like, it is mine, and mine only.

Now I’m up to my next homework; to be happy because I’m grateful, not being grateful only when I’m happy.

Walking both towards and leaving behind 5 months has got me such a strange feeling. It has been an intense path course of thinking, thinking about life. The true journey is not to search for a new land, but to search for new eyes. Finally said, I can’t really say that I’ve learnt something. But that’s the point isn’t it? Socrate, a Greek philosopher once said, the wisest man is the one who knows the not knowing. Keeping us empty, humble person, who’s ready to learn anytime and wouldn’t have any limits of continuing the research of ourselves. To know ourselves.