By Antonio Castellano
So here we are with another SCAB from me. Maybe this time the expectations are high due to my last SCAB, the one about my nightmare flat. Even if my flat is still the same, I won’t tell you more about it. Not worth it.
We are in the middle break, taking rest after the 6 most intense weeks of my life. I’m happy about being able to breathe and wondering with my mind rather than run and try to fit everything in literally every single second of my day. So as well now, I will just relax and I’m going to use this chance of writing to put my thoughts off my brain.
I went back to Italy 2 weekends ago! The school, the nightmare flat and living alone abroad have kicked me hard out of my comfort zone. I probably made it a bit more dramatic than it has been but I felt like my life had been changed forever irreversibly. What I felt is that I couldn’t go back to my comfort zone in Rome anymore. Everything was lost forever. Yeah it was a bit too dramatic. I realized I wasn’t like this when I went back in Italy. I dove into the comfort zone so deeply! I found that everything I left were exactly the same. And that really turned me up again. Those two days were just amazing. I didn’t do anything special, I just lived my normal italian day. But this time I enjoyed so much because it wasn’t my routine anymore and I realized I had missed that so much. Once you are out of it, you start to miss and appreciate a lot of things. It was so good waking up in the morning not freezing, have your lunch and dinner cooked, eat together around the table with your family and biking around the best parks in Rome with 26 degree!
When I came back in London it was a bit of a shock, I felt like I lost a lot of energy. I missed home more than when I left in september. I didn’t have the best days at school for that reason as well and I lost my motivation. Friends here told me I was “home sick”, I hadn’t heard that expression before. If I was sick, I needed a medicine, but which one?
During this 6 weeks I feel like I’ve realized a lot of things and yes, of course my life has changed irreversibly but in a good way. I came here to do this course for professional reasons but it turns out that it’s more of a personal journey for me. I feel like I’m facing more private and internal fights and challenges rather than ones linked to my job. Surely I’ve realized I’m not the best art director or creative person in the class and probably I still won’t be in July. Sorry Marc for that. But it doesn’t mean I won’t give my best in this course. I just think that there are some people that have already understood the process, they are simply better and they are smashing it. So I’ll just stop chasing success, if I keep putting too much effort into the competition, it will end up breaking me. I’m already a very sensitive guy and truly I can’t say if it’s a strength or a weakness. Running out of breath just to “BE THE BEST” and blow every classmates away will just kill me or change me into a piece of ice. And I don’t want that. As I’ve already said in previous SCABs, friends and relationships are what is most important for me. Making someone I care about smile means everything to me. It’s just priceless. For me it’s more important than success and money. I know that friends can come and go and friendship can end, I have experienced it. But it is worth it, for the time that it lasts. Also neither success nor money last forever. I met a lot of successful people during these weeks and not all of them seem to be so happy and peaceful in my opinion.
Talking about happiness, two weeks ago it was my birthday! I had low expectations, I thought that the only celebration would have been a slice of cake for breakfast but it turned out being an amazing day, with wishes from all my classmates, small party at the pub and a lovely dinner all together with 15 people! Good relationships are what makes people happy. And it’s not just me saying that. Trying to be a bit white hat, and talking thought data, I want to tell you about the longest study done on happiness. It was made by Harvard over 75 years on more than 700 students*. It has shown that the secret of a happy life is having good relationships.
So these are the reasons why I don’t want to lose myself in seeking fame, forcing myself to be a bad person to my classmates or denying my needs. It’s more an internal journey for me finding myself in a new place, meeting new people and just growing up. Yes, I feel like I’m changing. I started to take everything in a different way, not a heavy one full of responsibility and expectations. I lost nothing, my life in Italy can always exist and I haven’t said farewell to anyone or anything. This nightmare flat is not the flat I’ll live in for the rest of my life, this insecurity won’t live forever in me. An I’m so lucky to have the chance to live this opportunity.
So everything has started to change. Now I see this adventure in a different way. It’s not like “survive or you failed and you’re worth nothing ”. Now it’s like a game. And You never want to experience a game like “survive”.
From now on, there’s just a sentence in my mind: play it.