Last January I was stuck in a job I hated. An ordinary clerical job badly paid. Miles away from my studies, my passions, my aspirations. Two and a half years of company life that put a strain on my psychological and emotional health.

Mid-January – after a really bad crisis that scared me as much as it embarrassed me – I quit. By the end of January I was happily unemployed. By February I was back to university to take another Master Degree, in International Relations. During the semester, the intellectual pleasure of restarting my brain was immense. In March I went to New York for ten days, to visit a dear friend. New York, right? New York. Now, I’m not a big fan of the American culture, but New York IS one of the hearts of the world. In April I went to Amman, my white and dusty Amman, custodian of some of my best memories and it was emotional bliss. Back in Rome, I found out I had won a scholarship to study in Australia so in July I moved to the southern hemisphere. I attended a university in South Australia for one semester, adding dozens of people to my international address book. During the mid-semester break, I spent ten days in Bali – one of the best little trips of my life, thanks to the perfect company and to the colours, the scents and tastes of Gili Air and Ubud. By the end of November, after handing in rivers of essays and taking my exams, I flew to Darwin to start an ecstatic road trip across the lonely and savage nature of the Australian East Coast. The end of December and beginning of the new year saw me on another road trip with my brother: from Adelaide to Brisbane, sunny Christmas in Melbourne and New Year’s Eve watching the fireworks over Sydney Harbour.

Well, don’t you think this is a year to celebrate? A year that began in the deepest darkness yet brought me on four continents. A year that brought me to rediscover the sort of academic and intellectual activity that is so satisfying to me. A year that brought me people, places and experiences that I cherish and hold dear.

It’s been a year that makes me proud of myself and of my strength. The strength to change and evolve. The strength to refuse to give in. The strength to start all over again. The strength to leave and build.

2015 will be a year of fighting to avoid the mistakes I did before and build an emotional, intellectual and professional path capable of dissolving all the frustration I experienced and bringing about the personal satisfaction that comes from the refusal of giving up.

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