Closing a big chapter and Summer recap

This Summer has been a memorable one, not only because of the last Avengers movie (LOL) but also because a big chapter of my life has been closed (the fact that it happened along with Marvel is only a funny coincidence).

June was spent mostly at home freaking out over my thesis presentation as well as fighting with the worst heatwave in history.

July can be summed up with one word: GRADUATION. The actual day it happened is a bit blurred in my mind because of the stress but also the insane heat (38°+). Most of the public buildings (as well as private houses) are usually very old here in Italy so there isn’t a proper air conditioning system. My University is one of those, so it was like graduating inside a volcano, I don’t even know how I managed to not faint (probably because of the adrenalin flowing).

I’m not going to lie, I loved my studies but I’m also very happy to be done with University in general, for several reasons I’m not going to share. Looking back, I’ve spent my twenties discovering who I am. Not that I didn’t have a personality but I used to do certain things (like going out for dinner every single Saturday, reading certain books, wearing some kind of clothes, etc.) only because it was what everyone was doing, without even questioning if it was something I really wanted to do. For the longest time, I’ve even hidden my musical tastes without even noticing.

It turns out that I don’t like to go out every single Saturday because I’m an introvert (another thing I didn’t know); fantasy is not my favorite genre, even if my absolute favorite books are The Lord of the Rings and Harry Potter and my all-time favorite author is JRR Tolkien; I love to wear dresses, while jeans feel uncomfortable and make me look out of shape, but I’ve spent my whole life wearing jeans because it’s what everyone does. Same thing with bags. I always bought large handbags because my mom taught me to carry a huge number of “just in case” items. It never occurred to me that I personally needed fewer things and I could afford to carry a smaller bag.

I know, this may sound silly, but it looks like I’ve put my life on autopilot the moment I was old enough to choose things on my own. Not sure why, probably because it was easier not having to decide too many things. How did I figure it out? Simplifying my life.

I didn’t “konmari” my entire house nor my whole wardrobe, but I still managed to reduce my possessions and, most importantly, my mental clutter and it’s still a work in progress. I didn’t start labeling myself a minimalist and getting rid of everything, instead, I started paying attention and asking myself questions and, I guess, it paid off. It’s a process and I feel like I’ll never be done with it, but I guess I can say who I am now. It only took me a whole decade to discover it but I’m glad it happened before entering my thirties.

To conclude the Summer recap, August has been spent on a staycation. I couldn’t afford to travel but, at least, I’ve been able to properly relax after 10 years of University, rediscovering old hobbies of mine and, let’s be honest, watching a lot of Netflix. This is going to be the first September not going “back to school” and it’s both terrifying and exciting.

11 thoughts on “Closing a big chapter and Summer recap”

  1. first off, congratulations again on graduating! i can’t wait to see what life has in store for you next. will you help polish a museum into a small gem? dig up the next exciting big thing? or just some really really interesting tiny thing that you have to develop the eyes for to appreciate? something else entirely? i’m so excited!

    and also congratulations on those insights. there’s always a tinge of frustration, i think, in looking back and thinking ‘why didn’t i figure this out sooner?’ or ‘how could i not see that? it’s so obvious!’ – but so often, it’s only obvious in hindsight. in these occasions, i remember something a colleague told me in my very first semesters of studying philosophy. we were on our way to a seminar, talking about its topics and the discussions that happened the week before. i told him i’m intimidated by how the more seasoned students manage to handle these concepts so freely, take things apart and put them together in new ways, or feeling out weak points and hammer at them with observations from somewhere else. i felt i could only remember and repeat the things i learned in the couple of seminars i had been in at that time. he said ‘in the beginning, there’s always collection.’
    and he was right! we start collecting the building blocks that eventually become the tools we make ourselves with, but when we only have a couple of them, we can’t have the perspective of someone who has many blocks and has seen what they can do when put together in all the different ways.

    so yeah, in the beginning, we do what we have seen everyone do because it’s how things are done. and then we have multiple ways of how things are done to replicate. and eventually, we understand the entire space of options and can forge our own way. but it can only start with collection, and not seeing the obvious.

    1. Thank you so much! I decided to not do a PhD for now so my work horizon is a bit limited at the moment (here in Italy, you need to have a PhD in order to work in a museum), we’ll see. 🙂

      Life is always trial and error so I guess it’s normal but it can be frustrating at times!

  2. Congrats on your graduation and the start of a new chapter!

    Also, I feel ya. I wore pants for so long even though I’ve just loved like two pairs or jeans, the rest was just.. I felt too dressed when wearing tights and skirts because everyone else was dressed down so to speak. So many years in uncomfortable clothing! I too fought myself for not doing what “everyone else” was doing (still am, sort of), and didn’t even know about introvert/extrovert til I was like 25. It helped knowing that I’m wasn’t friggin’ Sideshow Bob or something just because I was the first to go home from parties, but I still need to remind myself that I’m not abnormal.

    And I couldn’t Konmari anything, because I have lots of stuff that absolutely doesn’t bring me joy, but I still need them. Among the optional stuff, everything that doesn’t serve a purpose or tickle my fancy, is out anyways.

    1. Thank you, Ellet!

      Oh, yes. I had the same issue in the beginning: feeling overdressed wearing tights and such but then I decided I was feeling so uncomfortable with jeans that I got used to it and now I don’t care if I look overdressed, haha. I also discovered I’m a Highly Sensitive Person ( so I have the whole package of weirdness but, at least, I know I’m not mad!

  3. Congratulations! I’m very happy for you.

    I’m in my 30s and this year I’m starting my 2nd undergraduate degree, can you imagine that? I thought I will stop learning after graduating from University, but now I want to do it all over again (and harder, as it is a very demanding University).

  4. Congrats on your graduation! And I love all the realizations you’ve been thinking about recently.. it really takes years to get to know ourselves, and sometimes it feels like it’s a life-long process.

    Have you read the book Quiet? It’s about the power of introverts and all their gifts and talents, and how different personalities function in societies that place value on extroverts above all else. It’s really a fascinating book that’s made me look at my own introversion in an entirely different light.

  5. Congratulations on graduating and best wishes on whatever’s next 🙂

    (I discovered I was an introvert while I was in graduate school and suddenly everything made sense, and I no longer felt weird about parties being exhausting/a chore, among other things. It was one of the best things to come out of my graduate education!)

    Hope you will have a wonderful autumn this year.

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