1: The way parents treated their children. When a couple went out at night with another couple to get food, they brought their children. Their children sat in the seats, ate the same food, and held the utensils properly. The kids (especially in Greece) were out until about midnight or later, and then slept the same hours as the adults. They chilled on the beach with their mothers without constantly having to be "entertained" and when they got antsy, the parents gave them toys; not electronics. Having kids in Europe is a joy, not a burden. The more the merrier in those families, and they actually enjoyed the company of their kids. Imagine that, huh?
2: Obviously the food. I ate more food than I ever had in those two weeks, and when I got home I weighed less than I did when I left. You know why? Cause they're healthy, and they cook without butter and shit and sugar and poop. I ate NON gluten free bread, and I didn't bloat, I had more cheese than ever and my body responded more than well to the intake.
The most important thing I took away from it was their coffee. NOBODY walks around with a yoga mat and a venti sized coffee, they sit down and enjoy a croissant with a shot of creamy espresso, and you know what, it does the trick. The more I think about how big our coffee's are, the more embarrassed I become.
3: There were no age limits. On anything. Ages 15-80 were at the bars, all dressed extremely stylishly, and all talking with one another. There were no old women afraid to show their flair of wardrobe, no "oh no I'm too old to wear this or to drink that" - it doesn't matter. Tastes are tastes. It was so nice to be sitting with people of all ages having one conversation.
4: And the most important of all, not one person I met asked me what I did within our first conversation. Not once. And I had learned certain things to say in Italian so I could keep up with conversations, but not once did I have to use "sono journalista di musica." Not once. You know why? Cause nobody cares what you do. It doesn't define you. Here, in New York, every single person is defined by what they do and where they work, there is NO way around it. And yes I lived in the glory of how simple the life was over there, because the coolest people I met were literally a butcher a baker and a candle stick maker, but as I got to talking to this awesome girl I met who spoke perfect English so I didn't feel SO out of the loop - she broadened my mind a LOT. I explained to her how nice it was to not be asked what I do, and I went on and on about how annoying that is to here every time you meet anyone for the first time in NYC, and that your area of work isn't the end all be all of your life, and although she agreed, she made a really good point. She said people in Italy put their dreams on the nightstand, and nobody asks what you do because it's virtually impossible to work your dream career. You can't be a journalist like you can be in NYC, they're all just nice ideas that never come to fruition. In New York City, you CAN be anything you want to be, so when people ask "and what do you do?" it's because you have the resources to become whatever you want. Basically there's no excuse in NYC because you are given the opportunity to make it happen. Obviously the grass is always greener, but I fell in love with the simple life of Italy. When I went to Rome all I wanted to do was come home, save money, and then move back and open up a cafè and floral shop.
I'm spent. I'm so damn sick of this music industry and busting my ass and trying to appease people for nothing. What comes from it? Am I happy? Am I making other people happy? Am I giving myself? No. I'm stressed, I'm broke as shit, I'm up til 3 am trying to meet whoever I can so I can maybe find my journalist break, and I'm so tired of it. I don't care about meeting big producers or DJs or whoever the hell they are. Why am I looking for so much approval from people? What does it do in the long run? We're all human, we're all hustling, and we're all so consumed with this idea of glory. Even how I'm "trying to find my break" - why do I need to be a noticed journalist. As long as I get to write my truths, isn't that all that matters? I want to live a simple life. I also really miss music. I miss listening to it and having time to enjoy a song and love it for just as it is, music. I hate trying to make it a business, it's ruining the purity and bliss of sound for me, and I want that butterfly BACK in my stomach every time I hear a fantastic new track.
The night I got home, I got rid of about 70% of my closet and other random things I own. I am sickened by how many "things" I own, buying new clothes don't make me happy, it makes me poor and stressed out. I don't need a lot. I need love, my books, rent, and the love and company of my family and good friends. I don't know what this means from here on out, but I definitely am just going to try to finish writing my book, and work enough so I can save so eventually I can do whatever it is that makes me happy. I just want to be happy, and I really don't think that's a lot to ask.