My life in Italy
Life and family
I was born in 1990 in a humble family in a working-class area of Palermo. My parents unfortunately split up when I was a kid, but I have always had a great relationship with both of them.
My mum is the most amazing and strong woman I have ever known, she has always been there for me and always put herself in second place to look after me. She was a housewife and a mum (I think two of the hardest jobs in the world!), she never stopped for a moment, being busy with housework or with me and yet, she never looked tired! I remember endless afternoons when she used to help me with my school homework trying to cook dinner and tidying at the same time… Mum you are amazing ❤
Another very important person of my childhood was my mum’s father, nonno Pippo (grandpa Joseph, Pippo is short for Giuseppe). He was a farmer with a big land in the heart of Palermo and lots of farm animals. He was our rock and we loved him so much even though he had a bad attitude 😀 But I think this is what happens when you love someone! I remember him feeding me on the sofa when I was only a few years old watching animals documentaries on the TV (I have to thank him if I love animals!) or playing cards with me on a rug in the front room. Unfortunately, he left us too early in 2004.
My list HAS to begin with Miriam, who is the sister that I have never had. I said HAS, in capitals, because she’s my bestfriend and also very jealous of me 😆
We first met in 2004 when we both started the Liceo (the equivalent of year 10 in England). I couldn’t stand her at the beginning even though I have no idea why, I just didn’t like her! After a few weeks we ended up being deskmates, I started liking her for who she really is and we are still friends after nearly 15 years!!
She got married last year and is about to deliver her first baby… that means I am about to become auntie!! ❤
She has been by my side through everything in my life, nobody knows me better than she does! In these 15 years of friendship we have laughed and cried together, we have told each other off, we have argued (a lot!), we have never judged each other. That’s what you call friendship! Sadly Miriam had to leave Palermo for 5 years to attend the University in Agrigento, a hinterland Sicilian town, 200 km away from Palermo. I was very sad but I knew she had to pursue her dream to become an architect.
While she was away, suddenly, my boyfriend left me. I was devastated as he was my first boyfriend and I couldn’t see myself with anyone else. Somehow, Miriam managed to make me feel her love and less alone.
I had started going to a local church (Parrocchia Annunciazione del Signore in Palermo) with my mum a few months before my boyfriend left me and I have to say I couldn’t have gotten through everything if it wasn’t for my faith. This is when and where I found new friends.
I started singing in the church choir and this is how I met Chiara. She had been singing in the choir for years already and we became friends week by week while explaining me how to sing counter melodies.
Chiara and I have been friends for 7 years now and until I was in Italy, we were together all the time: at the church, at my place or at her’s, out for the week ends… in other words, inseparables! 😎
Chiara’s boyfriend, Manfredi is like a brother to me. I have always had a special relationship with him (even before they got together) and even if he can be very annoying sometimes, I love him very much 🙂
In church I also met Ioana, Miriam D. (another Miriam! 😉 ), Alessia and Ninni (I will talk in more depth about him in another post called “My life in England”!).
I finished school when I was 18, I graduated at the “Liceo Scientifico B.Croce” in Palermo and then was when I thought – “Now the fun begins!”- I could not have been more wrong!! It’s funny how you can’t wait to grow up and when you actually are a grown up, you just wish you could be a child again.
It was me then starting the University (which I didn’t finish because I didn’t have enough money to pay the University tuition) and LOOKING FORWARD to finding a job to earn some money and be independent…. ahahah!!! Well, finding a job in Sicily, and everywhere in Italy nowadays, was as hard as hitting the jackpot (or vincere un terno al lotto as I would say in Italian!).
I spent six years looking for a proper job with no results. I did small jobs such as tutoring (which is not paid a lot), telephone operator in a few call centers and I was also an Avon Representative. Three jobs all together for something like 300-400 euros per month. Tell me if I could live like that. That was just so frustrating!
My friend Ninni was lucky though, he found a job as chef in England. He left Italy on February 2015, we gave him a big leaving party and promised each other we wouldn’t have lost contacts.
I remember that day like it was yesterday, the 11th of March 2015, Ninni gave me call: “Are you still looking for a job? The pub where I work is looking for a new waitress, would you like me to arrange you an interview with my manager?”
And I was like “Why not?”.
But that’s another story 🙂