One, no one and one hundred thousand is the title of the book of a famous Italian writer, Pirandello. The whole story is about self-consciousness and the perception of the world. If you haven’t read it already, I really recommend you to do it because it will change the way you look at both yourself and everyone around you.
Meanwhile, I give here my interpretation!
A person can be defined as “one” when he knows and has experienced only one socio-cultural context: many people do not travel and have grown and developed their lives in only one place. So, being “one” means for example that you speak always with the same group of people, have the same point of view, walk the same streets and eat the same traditional food of your region.
Personally, I have never wanted to be just “one”, because I perceived my city and my routine too small for me and for my personal growth in the future.
For that reason, since I was a little girl, I decided to learn languages, to travel and to get to know new people abroad. Travelling gives me special sensation and enriches me as a person. But there is a big difference between traveling for fun as a tourist and relocate your life to another city in the world.
In fact, when you move, most of the times you are leaving part of yourself behind –it can be friends, relatives, pets, home, familiar spaces- and you have the strength to build up a new life, with new people in a new environment. And that’s when a person can be sadly defined as “no one” when leaves his/ her place of origin to move to another city or country and does not have any friend or family there. For that reason, he/ she feels a bit lost, because people around him/ her live their life without engaging with him/ her.
After my graduation, I followed my heart and moved from Milan to Madrid. Fortunately, I did have a person with me, who has been a pillar in my choice and my integration in this new city. Although, I have to admit that I lived some tense moments when I did not know where to start expanding my real social network in my new neighborhood. I felt a bit lonely because basically, no one knew me and my close friends were far away.
Once in Madrid, I needed to create and develop a new group of people, friends, spaces, and habits. Where to start? Well, from my experience I decided to volunteer for an association in my neighborhood and teaching my own language to some children and adults who wanted to learn Italian. These simple experiences opened my eyes and gave me the possibility to start to feel comfortable and accepted.
Later on, with my choice to attend a Master’s degree things have only got better… now I have multicultural friends from South Korea, Peru, Chile, Mexico, Spain, Italy… we love to organize multicultural meals and events to share our traditions and to learn new realities. I really feel “one hundred thousand” now. And you, how do you feel?