Lady Sofia

        Author: Angela Maddalena

My name is Angela, Angie for the majority of people I know. I’m coming from Campobasso, Italy, and living in Sofia three months now.
People keep on asking me what I’m doing here.
I do not know: the truth is I have no idea.
I don’t know why I thought of coming here, nor why I decided to take part in the EVS program, nor why I chose this country and not another.
So, all this adventure began with the end of the university, with the return to the province, with the evil feeling that attacks you after two weeks in your parent’s home, when you realize that you are not there on vacation, to eat as a piggy and watch the telly from the couch, but to stay. Indefinite time, which seemed to me the infinite mode of the verb “some how surviving”.
It started with the death of the cat. It started with my heart in pieces and there was not enough glue to hold it together again. It started with the idea of ​​running away, with the viscous feeling that some long friendships leaves when the nodes come to your brush and you find out that you no longer want to fight.

Not me, sorry, I just wanted to give up. It started with the feeling you get when you decide to retrieve the fiches you still have and change the table.
Because that’s what it was.

I changed table.
Just this.
I had no idea what to expect, I had no expectation. Magically, having no expectations, first time in history, has helped me to finally see the reality of things, to accept them as they come.
Lady Sofia (the statue, I mean) should symbolize knowledge, research and wisdom. My first feelings at her feet were peace and intellectual serenity. Finally. For a few seconds, the first time I looked at her golden face (of the statue, I mean) I did not feel pain.
While everything I had desperately struggled to defend crumbled, I felt a modern version of Nero: singing, I let the ruins burn.
Who writes history books does not realize what it means “Nero sang and played the lira while Rome was burning.
they paint him like a crazy man and maybe he was, I do not doubt it. But try to think about it: if a huge city is made of wood and takes fire overnight, how do you save it? You can not.
Knowing that there’s anything you can do, nothing at all, throws people into discomfort. But to accept that you can not do anything, to accept that feeling, to let go of the senseless desire to remedy all accidental injuries that can occur, is a liberation. Let this filthy city burn, we’ll build a more beautiful one.

Whether you believe it or not, Lady Sofia whispered more or less these words in my ear: “Let it go, she said, the fragile girl you were: you will build a better one.”
For once in history, I did not fight. I did not try to save rocks and ruins. I ordered a coffee, sat and I just looked at the statue for hours. From that day on, I was different. It looks like a silly thing, but it’s true.
Feeling alone in a foreign country can be scaring, but it can also save you life: snatch yourself once and for all from the infested cobweb ruins you were used to live in, in your mind.
Understanding nothing, including the language, can help you start thinking again; if you are lucky, you will think in a different and better way, more practical. I was lucky.
I started building a new self, on the ruins, in harmony with the new “landscape of my soul” here in the east.

What do I do here? Why did I choose this country? Why Sofia? Why did I choose to stuck my brain with a language impossible to learn and with a totally different life?
I do not have the slightest idea. I do not need to know it. I just need to live it.


The “Angie’s Blog” is a rubric led by Angela Maddalena (Italy)

and is part of the project “Freedom of (Hate) Speech“.
It is funded under European program “Erasmus+”,
KA 1: European Voluntary Service and Training Course for Youth Workers.

National Agenda for Bulgaria: Center for Human Resource Development