An incredible series of fortunate (or not) coincidences (or not) took me on a new path right after my arrival in Brussels. And of course there’s also love (or not) to talk about.
It seems that after the end of my journey in the world I have found less motivation to write. This certainly didn’t happen because of lack of events to talk about. Quite on the contrary in fact, lots of things happened, some of them quite unforeseeably I daresay. There have been changes and there have been constants, perhaps even a small revolution.
Those of you who endured the far too long bitter-sweet ending post of my travels know very well what I believe: the end of a journey is just the beginning of another one. There is no real end, apart for one perhaps. But we’ll leave that for another time. In any case, get ready for another long bitter-sweet post.
I am gonna take it from where I left off: towards the end of February I was in Uganda and I decided to go back to Europe. I was kind of heartbroken, kind of broke, and had no idea of what the future would hold for me. Yay! In two years of travels I found many things, but couldn’t figure out what I really wanted to do after all.
Despite so, I felt carelessly calm. I am not even trying to understand why. That’s when a series of coincidences started to happen, which took me on a new path, on a new project and on a new adventure that will likely go on for a few years. Still kind of heartbroken though. Some things never change.
Are we the masters of our fate?
I guess we are all wondering about how things happen the way they happened sometimes. I mean, who hasn’t been thinking at least once in life: was it a coincidence, or was there something more to it? Like, I don’t know, how we picked up our favourite sport, how we decided to go to a university rather than another, how we met our first love or our best buddies, how we gave our first kiss or got our first job, how we ended up living in the city we live in…
The number of questions that we can put to this test is endless. We could have lived completely different lives if only one of the choices we made would have been different. We could have met completely different people.
This might be a cause of great grief to many, as we tend to linger over a past we can’t change and ignore the exciting mysteries ahead of us. Believing to be the master of our own fate does take a toll on our minds. What could we have done or said to make it better, or to change an undesirable outcome? Probably nothing. Probably we already did our best and we wouldn’t be wondering about it if we didn’t do exactly what we did. But it doesn’t matter, because the truth is that we’ll never know.
Many others would take refuge in some kind of acceptance, certain that what happened in their lives was simply meant to happen. Believing that fate is somehow drawn by a superior force on the canvas of the universe might provide some peace of mind, but it makes life a little dull, doesn’t it? What is this life then, am I really free, is it really me, am I in control of anything at all?
Sure thing sometimes things happen in such ways that we are really tempted to believe someone was pulling the strings behind the scenes for the whole time. There is no final truth to this. To believe something really is just another choice, one that is supposed to make us feel better.
I don’t believe in predestination, that would be too boring for me. So I choose not to believe in it. However, I do not believe to be the absolute master of my own destiny either. If I think back, so many actions that led me to another action that led me to some kind of situations that led me to a decision that took me to a place where, say, I met a nice person, depend on so many different factors that thinking to be able to control them all or even just being aware of them is pure imagination.
So, how do things happen the way they happen? The hell if I know. The best word I can think of to describe it is chaos. Unlike Einstein, I do believe that god played dice with the universe. In the midst of the immeasurable chaotic randomness and incalculable probabilities of things to happen in a way or in another, in the end they must happen in some ways, and sometimes those ways are good for us, and we call it fate, some other times they are bad for us, and we call it mistakes.
The unravelling of universal chaos is deprived of any kind of master, but determines the random intertwining of our lives, with all the possibilities, choices, interactions, influences and consequences that lead us in a specific place at a specific time: now!
Is chaos good, is it bad? It is neither, it is pure neutral randomness and even though it is quite difficult to imagine, it is subject to entropy just like everything else. It is really quite a miracle, in probabilistic terms and human language, to be here right now.
Anyways, I was saying, a series of coincidences…
A series of coincidences
The first coincidence is called the people you meet. If some things didn’t happen in Uganda, perhaps I would have travelled some more months, and I wouldn’t be here in Brussels today.
The second coincidence is called airfares. When I bought my ticket out of Entebbe I wanted to fly to Milan, because that’s where my family is and where I left my clothes etc… It is only by chance that the cheapest ticket I could find was from Brussels Airlines, with a stopover in Brussels before flying to Milan.
The third coincidence is called COVID19. I purposely avoided writing about the lockdown here. Everything has already been said about it. However, two days before my flight to Italy the whole of Lombardy, where my hometown is, was locked down by the Italian government. The epicentre of the pandemic in Italy was exactly where I am from.
This meant on one hand that it wasn’t a good idea for me to actually go back home. I could have forced my return home, but then I would have found myself locked down together with my mother… No way! As much as I love her, that would have not been humanly endurable.
The choice was kind of obvious then, just stay in Brussels, I told myself. That’s where you lived for 12 years, your friends are there and they can host you for a while, and if you are going to find a new job probably that’s the place where it is going to happen.
Done. At Entebbe’s airport I explained my predicament (I skipped my mother part) and they let me modify my destination for Brussels. To date, I am still living out of my backpack stuff as I did not manage to go back to Italy.
Crazy huh? But get this…
Right after my arrival, or should I say return to Brussels, a friend tells me that a friend is perhaps looking for someone who might want to open a new wine bar… all very vague. Alright, I say, I can go have a chat with these guys, just out of curiosity. Three days later I was the owner of speciality coffee and wine bar. All of a sudden I had a new project to work on and an exciting one too.
Honestly, I have been talking about having my own place for ages but I would have never done it on my own, and most of my friends are happy with their office jobs and not into entrepreneurship. I could have done it anywhere around the world, I never had concrete plansto go back to Brussels, but a real occasion never came up, and again, I didn’t feel like doing it on my own in a faraway country.
Then I make an unscheduled, totally random come back to Brussels, and in a few days boom, I am on it. Freaky, huh? I believe some people would totally call this fate. But it isn’t, it’s the chaos going my way!
Anyhow, after some renovation works during the lockdown we are almost ready to open again. But I’ll dedicate a separate article to the bar, it deserves it 😉
… and love (again)
Yeah, here we come to the bitter part, not everything goes my way apparently, that would be too good, right? Love love and love again, where to start… let’s see… perhaps just go and read my previous post? That would help, same old story ahah. Not really though, stories are all different, and unfortunately they mean something different for the people involved.
First of all, I must say my sex life has greatly improved in Brussels, which is good news as such. It helps the mood, including coping with disappointment.
Then, most importantly, I hung out with a girl I like for a short while. What, a coincidence? Mmm.. I am not so sure. I knew her for a long time and always kind of liked her, and we were more or less in touch. Of course there are all the coincidences that made our paths cross, but that’s old news. The real coincidence might have been the COVID19 again here, as it is probably the reason why we got to be a bit closer for a short period. In any case, I was certainly not the master of my destiny.
As it turns out, again, it was just sex. I am not complaining one bit, let’s be clear! On the contrary, how many chances do we get to make love with a girl we really like? I am glad I could have those moments, and I am normally fine for friends with benefits kind of deals that are mutually satisfying. I am never going to call this a mistake even if it didn’t go my way, take that chaos!
I am just saying…that I wanted more with her, I wanted it to last longer.
I know I am becoming repetitive, but after too many years of solo living and travelling and all, my mind is starting to play tricks on me, and I found myself fantasizing about this.
Truth to be told, there were no signs of interest or room for misinterpretations from the beginning. This one is all on me. What can I do, I get close to people and when the chemistry works, and it did work for me, it’s a crush. Perhaps I just need a special class on “How to interpret the signs and don’t get ahead of yourself.”
Like for the girl in Uganda I wouldn’t call this love, I really believe love is something that develops in the long term and when there are the same intentions on both sides. But a crush is a crush, the feeling is real, and even though there were no reasons for me to think it would lead anywhere else, it still sucks to be pushed away, I still have to go through the usual shit. Luckily there’s the new project, and there are also girls that don’t push me away, so what do you know: life gives, life takes.
It sure is becoming a little ridiculous this routine of mine where I keep falling in love with people that are not interested while I don’t pay attention to people who are. I mean, it is ok to give it a try but to persist when there is no response is borderline stupid, and demeaning. It’s a freaking vicious circle though: someone wants me but I want someone else who also wants someone else and so on and so forth. It would be hilarious if it was a film. But I am not a kid anymore, it is nice to dream in two, not alone.
Anyways, no big discussions about love and sad songs this time. I stand by what I have already written: as long as the experience helps us grow, it is fine, it is positive. I am trying to work on my issues and learn to focus on those who feel like connecting more, they deserve it, and I do too. The chaos of the universe might have something up its sleeves any time.