It occurred to me a nights ago that this June will be 30 years since I finish secondary school. Incidentally it’s also 30 years since I left Italy but that’s a different story. (Or is it?)
Anyway, I got thinking about the people I had spent five hours daily with and set about to retrace as many as possible to organise a meet up. How easy was that??? The first email address (found by simple searching a name and a profession) was replied in less than 20 minutes. The ball was rolling. The first phone call turned the little ball in a huge avalanche and within 24 hours we have a huge Whatsapp group chat and 80% of the people found and onboard. Some of them stayed in contact with each other, others have disappeared. People have got married, some have divorced, not everybody has children, there are doctors and dentists and pharmacists, teachers, housewives, lawyers and who knows what else. Some live in England like me (and I didn’t know!!), some in Dubai… some have written books and some are poets… some are Classicists and researchers, others love horses and ride everyday… some are in politics… some in business…
I can’t wait to spend an evening reminiscing and catching up.
This is most of us, probably I’d estimate this being from 86’/87’… not sure, could be later. I’m the one wearing the white sweater on the right of the photo. Eyes closed. Bad fringe, but it was the 80s after all.
I don’t have any real ties to that time and that place. I left a few months after the end of school and never really returned aside from a few visits, and I often wonder why. Why don’t I feel the tug of belonging. Why don’t I feel ‘lost and unmoored’ after all that’s the town I was born and grew up in … (well up to 19yrs). I don’t know. I like to ‘pop’ back. Nothing has changed. I can walk the centre of town with my eyes closed. Yes, the shops are different, it’s tidier, prettier, but it smells the same, the light is the same. It’s a strange feeling.
Which brings me to the next question… what makes you feel a sense of belonging to a place? What defines you? Is it… people? Is it the geography? The language? What give you a sense of identity? Is it the colour of your skin? Is it where you live? Where you were born? Is it your traditions? Your past? A mix of any of the above? I’m researching this subject for an assignment and it’s a fascinating subject, and I would really love your answers because frankly I find it extremely difficult to form a coherent reply for myself.