Тhe longest week in my new life

       author: Angela Maddalena

The longest week in my life (since I arrived in Bulgaria), was three weeks ago.

OPEN SPACE foundation, the organization I’m working for as a volunteer, organized and hosted a training course called “Freedom of (Hate) Speech”, here in Sofia.

We all, as volunteers, were invited to take part in the course, but me, as part of my work, i helped in the organization “field”. I typed it correctly, my dears, it was sort of a war field for me. I will tell you the story, off course, if you keep your patience for a little while.

First, as in every story, this one has a setting too: Sofia city, Bulgaria, in the National Training Center for Olympics, that hosted our participants and our course.

After more than one week spent in answering emails, and after some “trip” from the airport to the Training Center, walking the participants safely in place, the real work begun.

Now, as an explanation, i must say i was never, never in my whole life, in charge for any kind of organization process; only exception for this role were, off course, parties. I’ve hosted the most famous Halloween’s and Carnival’s party in “history”, during university, but i have never ever tried myself with the real responsibilities of an adult job in this respect before. To deal with important things, like tickets and timings and money refunds made me, suddenly, an adult.

It was not pleasant, not easy, not at all my idea of fun. But it was important.

Actually, for me as a person, for my personal improvement as an “wanna be adult” person, this sudden and unwanted (in the first moment) amount of responsibilities,  was more instructive than the actual training. Because, honestly, if you want to really do something useful for your environment, if you want to become a better human being, you should first of all learn how to put other people’s needs before yours, at least sometimes.

This is the meaning i give to the expression “being adult”. I come to believe that everyone can speak about love, but it means nothing if we keep living our lives as self-reported egoists.

I feel the need to be totally honest in this respect, i never liked those kind of people that spend their time talking other people about “love”. In my personal, and punky, idea, love is mostly related to one’s family, friends and closed circle of people. Love is not, again in my opinion, the answer for every problem in the world. I don’t believe that the hate (speech) problem would be ever solved just sitting in circles and talking good words one to the other. I actually believe in actions. But talking is not, and never would be, a real action.

So, as a summary for this experience, i am happy i took part in it, totally. Not because of the games or the talking, but because i really felt different, after it, as a person.

To still be myself, unchanged in my personality, but in the same moment improved, more self confident about my skills than i used to be, was a real gift for me. Because i really want to be an adult, a caring and acting person, an accountable one. I want to actually make a change, not only speak about doing something. Maybe, i’ll never be able to gracefully accept a compliment in public, but this is not a priority. This is not a reason for one’s life. I don’t think that my way will ever change, but my perception of the reality is already changed, and that is the only thing that matters, i believe.

I can be a hard one, and also this will never change, but i could use it, this criticism ability i have by nature, to help the others. At least, to do something practical.

And yes, I’ve learn sarcasm from Wilde and stubbornness from my mother and i will never be able to just say “let’s make love not war”, never in my life. But this doesn’t mean I’m a bad person or a useless one. This i have learn, during the most long week of my new life: i don’t need to change. I don’t need to fake a different personality just to be accepted. I don’t need to change in order to fit in every environment. You can also not fit. Is normal. To win hate, in his different forms, the most important thing to learn is to love, yes, love, one’s self. We all can be useful, make an actual difference and be the better version of ourselves, and we don’t need to fake nothing to reach this important result. We are a key to overcome hate, only if we firstly admit the existence of hate. Even inside the back of our souls. We cannot be saints, nor we need to be smiling clowns in every moment of our life. We only need to be humans and, even more important, our real selves.

The “Angie’s Blog” is a rubric led by Angela Madalena (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