Café Minerva, Piazza Duomo, Athene’s temple, Siracusa, Sicily, Italy. That is where I am writing from this very moment. I am attending a training with leading experts in my field. I was selected amongst 300 applicants and 100 of us made the cut. PhDs, experts, researchers and there is me, an unpaid intern.
The past few days I have tried to climb my Everest, sometimes I succeeded other times I failed. Siracusa is known for its great food, its beautiful weather and its rich history. I find it magical. Even so I have been struggling. Making friends has proven almost impossible. I keep setting these high expectations just to be crushed. This I only realised after talking to my therapist and piecing things out.
I feel very uncomfortable in social situations at the moment. I have felt a little alone and a little brave, so during this trip I told myself to get out there and meet some new people. Except when I did, they weren’t as I expected. I thought with some I shared similar interests but she was not interested in hanging out with me. My roommate only wants to watch series all day even though we are in Sicily, the sun is shinning and the place is filled with civilisation and a rich history yet to discover. I don’t understand her. I just let her be. She is nice anyways.
So my Everest is to have a meal at a restaurant, and by meal I mean no salad with dressing on the side. I tried once after a tearful phone call with my therapist. He worked up some courage in me. I don’t trust myself but I trust in his professional words and if I fall flat on my face I can hold on to my support system.
Piazza Duomo, a group of participants, diner. I did not know most of them. Anxious and embarrassed I ate my Mediteranean salad without sauce. Are you sure you do not want dressing? Yes yes, I ate too much pasta today (lie). I was tired physically and mentally so I went back to my hotel and crashed in bed. There I did not eat more. Because dinner was at a table with company this time. Even though I am very much below my calorie intake. I wanted some sense of normality. A word I should be allergic to these days, but for now I will use.
I tried at least, tomorrow is another day.
It is up to me to change and recover. But I have to believe and mean it. Not just tell myself superficially and still continue in my comforting rituals. I have to break free, believe and put it in practice.
I hope to get there eventually.