Welcome to the 21st century: where half of the population is online and the other half is queuing to buy their first smartphone. We've invented E-books, E-mails, E-cigarrettes, E-commerce and E-learning. Technology has made it possible to democratize information, save time and communicate worldwide. And while I acknowledge some of its benefits, I wonder: Is technology making us better or is it E-killing our humanity?
Well, I’m positive I am enslaved by instant relief, endlessly refreshing the Deliveroo app to check if the order is already on my doorstep. It amuses me that we build apps to keep us from getting distracted by apps (you know where this is going, don't you?). Is this hyperconnectivity making us disconnect from our inner-selves? Aware of the inconsistencies (after all, I'm writing on my MacBook to publish on my digital blog and share the link on Social Media. Guilty) I decided to take some time away from newsletters and marketing campaigns. I may appreciate the world bombarding me with data (not really), but I realized no one was going to pay GoogleAds to show me what I am and what defines me. So here’s a Q&A from me to me, with love:
What makes you feel alive?
Laughing and crying all at once. The strange sensation in my stomach before I do something for the first time (I’ve long declared myself a fan of “first times”). The fresh air pinching my cheeks when I leave my apartment every morning for the mandatory dog walk. Vivaldi’s Four Seasons concert in F minor “Winter” (even in summer).
What is something you love about yourself?
I believe enthusiasm is my best asset. I try to face life with excitement, I get inspired by the randomness of it. Pairing socks after a year of hide and seek makes me happy. A bonjour from the angry lady that shouts at everyone from her balcony makes me happy. My mum sending me a reel on Instagram makes me happy (and proud?).
What does a perfect day look like for you?
Okay, it’s imperative that I start the day without the alarm clock tearing me apart. I have the most hideous alarm sound you could ever imagine. Will I change it? Probably not. Waking up naturally, well rested and with the additional rolling under my sheets for an undefined number of minutes (hours?) is an all-time favorite of mine. A perfect day involves buying mimosas (the flowers and the cocktail), a bubble bath with a face mask on, endless Sex and the city episodes and, at the risk of sounding corny, cuddling with my boyfriend and dog. I could also fit in a unique thrift find and sketching modèles vivants at La Grande Chaumière.
What are some things you had to unlearn?
The way you envision your future self will probably change (a lot). Let me illustrate. When I was finishing high school I fantasised about my first day at college. I would wear a pink striped Ralph Lauren shirt and cat-eye glasses, a nerd-but-make-it-classy ensemble I probably got from Elle Boots and Sharpay Evans combined. By the time I reached college, my Hello Kitty turned into “hello skater” and my valedictorian ambitions were only a dish on a two page menu. This doesn’t mean we should stop having life goals neither that reality is worse than what we idealise, it’s just that we need to plug change in the picture and accept it. We are exposed to millions of inputs and experiences and it’s just natural to be shaped by them, constantly. This means good can turn into great and bad doesn’t last forever (as I was saying, I’m an optimist).
What was a major turning point in your life?
When I was 8 years old, my dad was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. I was surfing between not understanding the specifics and feeling it all. As an only child and daddy’s girl, you can imagine how much this altered me, it shook me to the core. I remember vividly the letters I wrote to him with my poor orthography, I can’t forget the effort I made to put together some money and use it to buy the perfect gift for my darling mum and dad to cheer them up. I was suffering, we were suffering, and after a very long painful road, full of pointy stones and barefoot, he made it. We knew how low our chances were, and we still won the bloody lottery. When you make it through such an intense experience, you tend to relativize everything else. And you become quite hermetic. How could you not? your soul needs a reliable, thick wall to protect you from living that dramatic event again. I had that wall up for a long time, living rather careless and loving partly just in case. But everyone knows that, with time and warmth, even the most vigorous metal can melt.