PROJECT FRIENDSHIP | The One You Look Up To

There are plenty of different types of relationship one can have with another person. One of them happens when you find a person with whom you have many affinities with, but at the same time is the complete opposite of you.

So let me tell you about the one I look up to: A.

 

I met A about seven years ago through a common passion. Both the internet and our love for a popular series of books brought us together and I like to think of our friendship as solid proof that distance cannot stop a real bond from forming.

Even if we have seen each other only a handful of times, those times have been among the best adventures of my life. We have travelled together across continents and seen incredible people and places together. Those experiences wouldn’t have been the same lived with someone else – A was the friend I needed. Not only do we often share the same interests, but I’ve found in A a kindred spirit that I’ve never found in anyone else. It feels great to live through something with your emotions doubled by who’s next to you.

Even though I love this about A, I might love even more the fact that she’s actually nothing like me at all. I have always seen her as the cooler older girl I wanted to be like, so outspoken and strong and sure of herself. She exudes confidence and that’s always left me awed. This is why she is the one I look up to – I’d like to be more like her.

A is an incredible person. She is very friendly and she can make you very comfortable – as long as she likes you. She doesn’t take any bullshit from people. She’s kind hearted and funny and you won’t get bored with her. She’s creative and she’s good at taking care of people. She is, all in all, the perfect example of the good friend. I will always be thankful to our first common passion for bringing me to A.

 

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X-MEN:APOCALYPSE – mutants showdown!

It’s here! The long-waited final part of the X-Men trilogy made up by X-Men: First Class and X-Men: Days Of Future Past is out in the cinemas all around the world. What will the fans think about this last Marvel blockbuster?

 

The movie is directed by Bryan Singer and welcomes back on the screen not only the most famous of our beloved mutants like Professor X (James McAvoy), Magneto (Michael Fassbenger), Mystique (Jennifer Lawrence) and Beast (Nicholas Hoult), but also “new” characters like the incredibly powerful Psylocke (Olivia Munn) and Archangel (Ben Hardy). Mostly we see new versions of a lot of gifted youngsters we already know and love: young Jean Grey (Sophie Turner), Scott Summers (Tye Sheridan), Storm (Alexandra Shipp), Nightcrawler (Kodi Smith-McPhee and many more!

 

First things first… When are we?

 

The X-Men are a Marvel creation and they comprehend an incredible amount of different characters. It’s hardly surprising that even the amount of movies about them is pretty impressive – we have now a total of nine, if we count the recent Deadpool (2016). As it often happens with such huge series of films, the timeline has gotten slightly… confusing. Not only the movies are divided in three sets of trilogies that have some incongruences between them, but all those who have seen the previous movies know that time travel is involved.

So when is the story of Apocalypse set? We can pretty much say by now that everything that has happened in the original trilogy (X-Men, X-Men 2 and X-Men: The Last Stand) has… not actually happened any longer. While X-Men Origins: Wolverine could still be valid, we have some doubts with The Wolverine, but what’s for sure is that Apocalypse follows up on the actions of X-Men: Days of Future Past, which is the sequel of X-Men: First Class. Since Days of Future Past is the movie with time travel, we start from the future, get back to the past to change events, and then at the end of the movie get a glimpse of a new future. Now with Apocalypse we explore the part of the past from where the events have been changed forever and discover what our dear characters are making with their second chance. So in the end… the ’80s are back!

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When someone calls himself Apocalypse you know things are about to get messy…

 

The story of the movie starts with the discovery of a God-like mutant who seems to be the first mutant in the history of the world – and of course he wants this fact to be well known to everyone, because after taking a forced nap lasted a couple millennia, the guy has really strong ideas about how the world should work and he has the means to make it work his way. While the first part of the plot is a bit slow and full drama (the amount of money the world will have to pay to rebuild everything after Apocalypse’s stunt is unprecedented, but I’m going to say that that same amount of money spent in therapy for Magneto would not fix all the guy’s problems at this point), the second half of the story if full of action. Our “good” mutants have to try to save the world… With some unexpected allies and a lot of twists!

We get to see new sides of people we thought we knew – considering the really high number of important characters, the roles are really well managed. Everyone’s presence turns out to be pretty important and the mutants’ special abilities are incredibly well played. We can’t complain about the special effects either – the fights are not boring in the slightest.

The movie can be said to not have been disappointing – although I must admit to have been expecting something a bit different. Considering the way Singer had directed Days of Future Past, I assumed this movie would also be of a similar kind – action based – but I have to say it was slightly surprising. There sure were a lot of common aspects, but emotions and love stories played a bigger role than expected. Hard to say if this was a good or bad thing!

 

Stellar Cast

 

It’s really hard to find someone to complain about in the cast – not only because most of the actors have already acted as their characters a few times, but because their chemistry is so obviously solid they’re always a joy to see. We have been shown in interviews and bloopers that all the main cast is at this point very friendly and close – and that sure comes through the screen! The younger and brand new part of the cast seems to have adapted pretty well too – now I can’t wait to see those behind the scenes, considering the X-Men cast is famous to play pranks on each other normally… add a bunch of kids to the mix… what could they possibly have been up to?

A special shout out goes to Michael Fassbender’s emotional scenes and Jennifer Lawrence’ acting – her character has a huge part in the movie and she portrays her fierceness and insecurities perfectly.

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4.5/5 Recommended

 

 

 

If you judge people… | Everyday Inspiration

“If you judge people, you have no time to love them.” – Mother Theresa

 

No matter if you’re religious or not, you cannot deny the wisdom behind these words. The message is clear and to the point, yet so easy to be disrespected.

It might be a common human flaw to judge easily and negatively other people. Whether we’re talking about a haircut we find particularly unflattering or a poor choice of matching colours in someone’s outfit, to more important topics like a friend’s decision to marry someone we don’t approve of or to quit their job to find their true self – it’s always easy for us to have strong opinions on other people choices.

What most of us don’t realize is that their opinions can sometimes result unfair and unnecessary. It’s all good when you get asked for advice, but one should never presume to know the right answer for someone else better than those people themselves.

But these is not quite what Mother Theresa meant to say, or at least not all of it. Judging someone based on their choices or lifestyles takes away from you the real pleasure of knowing someone. Starting any kind of relationship with a mental block because of some silly prejudice is downright sad and cuts any possibility for real love and understanding.

Even when we don’t understand someone’s motivations, even when people’s point of view are so different from ours we might as well come from different planets… it should always be a priority to try to be open minded. We might even learn our own ideas were not the best – because what else makes the world interesting if not the fact that we’re all different?

Sadly most societies raise us to have firm prejudices on thousands of different things, one for all being that our way is the best way. I hope we can somehow learn, while growing up, to be more accepting of the different.

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PROJECT FRIENDSHIP | The Little Sister

There are plenty of different types of relationship one can have with another person. One of them comes somewhat closer to having an actual blood bond with someone than the average friendship feeling – it’s almost like having a real sibling, or in my case a little sister.

Let me tell you about my little sister: C.

 

I should start by saying that it took me a while to even decide on what to call this kind of friendship that ties me with C. Some of my favourite options included:

  • The One I Cannot Get Rid Off At This Point
  • The Begrudging Protectiveness
  • The Exasperating One You Can’t Help But Love

Now all these titles sounded maybe a little too digressive, but I think they already give you a pretty good idea of how I feel towards C. I have know her for as long as I can remember and, even though she’s really only a handful of days younger than me, for some reason I have always considered her to be my little sister.

Not having any actual siblings, what do I even really know on the matter? It’s hard to say for me, but I imagine I would feel the same way for her if she was related to me by blood: sometimes I cannot stand her, in that childish sort of way of someone who annoys me by stealing all my toys. If I had to spend all my time with C, I know I would go nuts pretty quickly – yet at the same time I seek her out and think about her very often, needing to know what she’s up to.

She’s my little sister because I want to be there for her whenever she needs me. She’s my little sister because I am more than willing to throttle whoever is crazy enough to hurt her. She’s my little sister because I want to spoil her endlessly and be the one to teach her things. She’s my little sister because I always want her to know that I’ll always be there for her, the one firm point she will always be able to count on – no matter how far away from each other we might be.

“There might be millions of roses in the whole world, but you’re my only one, unique rose.” – The Petit Prince

She’s my little sister because it’s my duty to protect her – even when I don’t agree with her choices, even when I don’t even really understand her, even when I get pissed off with her.

When we were younger I thought we’d grow up to be just like one another, but now I can see we couldn’t be any more different. I realize it’s much better this way – our differences help us improve each other and balance us. We’re two kindred spirits with completely different world views – just like good sisters, we help each other grow up.

“If you ever find yourself stuck in the middle of the sea
I’ll sail the world to find you
If you ever find yourself lost in the dark and you can’t see
I’ll be the light to guide you

We find out what we’re made of
When we are called to help our friends in need

You can count on me like 1, 2, 3
I’ll be there
And I know when I need it
I can count on you like 4, 3, 2
And you’ll be there
‘Cause that’s what friends are supposed to do, oh yeah
Ooooooh, oooohhh yeah, yeah

If you’re tossin’ and you’re turnin’
And you just can’t fall asleep
I’ll sing a song beside you
And if you ever forget how much you really mean to me
Every day I will remind you

We find out what we’re made of
When we are called to help our friends in need

You can count on me like 1, 2, 3
I’ll be there
And I know when I need it
I can count on you like 4, 3, 2
And you’ll be there
‘Cause that’s what friends are supposed to do, oh yeah
Ooooooh, oooohhh yeah, yeah

You’ll always have my shoulder when you cry
I’ll never let go, never say goodbye
You know…

You can count on me like 1, 2, 3
I’ll be there
And I know when I need it
I can count on you like 4, 3, 2
And you’ll be there
‘Cause that’s what friends are supposed to do, oh yeah
Ooooooh, oooohhh

You can count on me ’cause I can count on you”

 – Bruno  Mars

 

Buddy

Feeling HOME | Everyday Inspiration

I have never truly felt at home in my own hometown.

Don’t get me wrong – my city of origin, Genoa, in the north of Italy, is truly beautiful and full of places to explore and admire. I was lucky to be born here, but this does not negate the fact that it has never felt right for me.

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Pegli, Genoa (Italy).

Have you ever had the feeling that you were just not meant to stay in one place? This is what Genoa is like for me. I love it, it will always have a special part of my heart and it will always be familiar for me, but I just know that it’s not where I’m meant to spend my life.

I don’t feel part of the spirit of the place – it has never given me a sense of peacefulness. But are there really places that are more meant for us than others?

I believe there are. The very first time I felt in complete harmony with the world around me was when I was walking down the streets of Cambridge (England), during a holiday I spent there to improve my English. I wasn’t doing anything special: it was a sunny morning and I was walking towards my morning classes. In that moment, I had the most intense sense of certainty that that was where I was meant to be in that exact moment. It’s a great, powerful feeling.

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Cambridge (England).

That same sense of having found my place has never left me during my months in Edinburgh (Scotland). I don’t think that’s where I’m meant to be forever, but I knew that it was right for me at the time.

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Edinburgh (Scotland).

One should always seek their true home. Don’t settle for wherever you have found yourself to be just because it’s easier – feeling like you belong somewhere is truly one of the best sensations in the world. Wonder, explore, don’t rule anything out. Everyone has a place in this world – find yours.

PROJECT FRIENDSHIP | The Platonic Soulmate

There are plenty of different types of relationship one can have with another person. One of them is what I can define at best as being completely, platonically in love with some else – it’s a friendship that runs so deep to almost be confused with “true love”, but without the sexual aspect of romantic love.

Let me tell you about my Platonic Soulmate: G.

 

G and I have been friends for quite a long time now – about nine years. It started out slowly and grew into something incredible. I like to think of our friendship as a truly special one, because she is truly special to me.

What makes me think of G as a platonic soulmate? Well, it’s quite simple. What I feel for her is different than what I feel for anyone else. I could go on for hours talking about her. I could tell you that one she smiles at me, I feel like I just got sun kissed by the most beautiful star in the sky. I can tell you that her eyes change colour depending on the weather and her a bit following her mood as well. I can tell you I love the three little triangular moles she has on her arms and I love her curly hair, even when it gets a bit unruly. I can tell you that her voice has the immediate power of calming me down and her laugh is the most perfect melody out there.

…So you might get why this sounds a bit like someone talking about their lover, but she’s my best friend and I think of her as a perfect angel.

Just the other day I had one of my “moments”. G had posted some selfies and I felt the urge to sigh dramatically at her beauty and show those pictures to my mother, asking her “how is she so beautiful?”. My mum smiled at me knowingly – she knows by now how I can get about G. Sometimes I worry – does her boyfriend tell her every day how lovely she is? By God, I hope he does. I should make sure he does…

But this is only the least important part of G. The real wonder is on the inside of her. She is one of the most complicated people I have ever met, and I love that about her. You cannot simply understand her at a single glance – she is a multitude of truths, carefully layered, carefully guarded.

If I had to associate a quote from a book to me and her, I would say this is the one:

“…If people were rain, I was drizzle and she was a hurricane.” – John Green

Because while I don’t think there’s anything particularly wrong with drizzle, it’s something that’s just there – you might as well not notice it at all. Who on earth can miss a hurricane? If it passes near you, it will hardly go unseen – unless you’re the blindest, most unaware person on the planet, and in that case I feel sorry for you. Sure, if it presents itself when you’re not expecting it, it might even hurt you. It might leave a scar. But damn, what an honor to survive a close meeting with a hurricane. Some things – people – are worth getting hurt over, because they leave a mark in your life that changes you forever.

Among the things I want the most in life, if for G to be happy and safe and healthy. I can hardly think of something I wouldn’t do for her. But I have to admit that there are two main reasons I could never give her up, and they are selfish reasons – though maybe, in the end, love is always a bit selfish. I’m still unsure about how love is supposed to work.

The first reason is very simple: she makes me happy. Spending time with her, talking with her about even the silliest things makes me happy. I don’t want to ever give up the feelings that she makes gifts me with, because they’re something positive I can always count on.

The second reason has to do with the complexness of her personality – I think I can say in all honesty that gaining her full trust was a very long process. I can’t pinpoint the moment I did gain it, nor when I even started trying to. But now that I feel like I have that trust… it might be one of the most precious things I have. I will die first than betray that trust. Because a lot of people trust so easily, but not G. So to be gifted with something that barely anyone else has… it makes me feel like one of the most special people in the world. I am forever grateful of this.

So this is why I like to think of G as my platonic soulmate. I am in love with her in the purest of ways and there is not a single thing I would change about her.

She
May be the face I can’t forget
A trace of pleasure or regret
May be my treasure or the price I have to pay
She may be the song that summer sings
May be the chill that autumn brings
May be a hundred different things
Within the measure of a day.

She
May be the beauty or the beast
May be the famine or the feast
May turn each day into a heaven or a hell
She may be the mirror of my dreams
A smile reflected in a stream
She may not be what she may seem
Inside her shell

She who always seems so happy in a crowd
Whose eyes can be so private and so proud
No one’s allowed to see them when they cry
She may be the love that cannot hope to last
May come to me from shadows of the past
That I’ll remember till the day I die

She
May be the reason I survive
The why and wherefore I’m alive
The one I’ll care for through the rough and ready years
Me I’ll take her laughter and her tears
And make them all my souvenirs
For where she goes I’ve got to be
The meaning of my life is

She, she, she” – Elvis Costello

 

Cat or dog person? | UNDERESTIMATE

Are you a cat or a dog person? This is such a common question, a silly one maybe, but I have been thinking about it and I believe it can be easily underestimated. Don’t you think in many cases it can actually tell a lot about an individual?

I have a theory that, at least in many cases, preferring cats over dogs or vice versa can actually sort of tell what kind of people you are more likely to find fascinating or attracted by.

Let’s make an example to clarify…

First of all, I think that when asked why someone prefers cats or dogs, the answers are usually quite similar to one another. People will tell you they like dogs more because they give affection freely, loyally and enthusiastically, and are generally very friendly and happy creatures. They act how they feel, they are positive beings and the embodiment of a warm hug and a smile. Those who like cats will tell you that a cat is a more fascinating, obscure creature. You have to really earn their trust with hard work and patience, but once you do their loyalty is unwavering and gives a deeper satisfaction. A cat rarely really loves more than one person, so being that one person makes you feel special. They are complicated and unpredictable in their behaviour – it’s hard to tell what a feline is really thinking about. Their eyes are often a mystery.

I am a cat person. I prefer cats. What does this say about me? Well, I think is says that I am generally more fascinated by people who act like cats – like my best friend for example. Years of hard work to get her full trust, and it is one of the biggest and most precious achievements of my life. At the same time, I am probably a lot like a dog myself: friendly, enthusiastic, I like to lick your face when you’re sad. This is probably why we work together, me and my friend – she definitely loves dogs more than cats. Do you get my point here?

Try to think about this theory, applying to someone close to you in your life: are they cats or dogs people? And you? Are they more like cats or dogs? And you?

The differences between a cat and a dog

Underestimate

Life is beautiful | VISION

Let’s start by saying that while I might act wise and profound, I’m just a 21 year old who knows very little about life. That being said, I do believe I have had my fair share of good and bad adventures during these handfuls of rotations around a merry star of our universe. What I have gathered so far is that while there are a lot of bad things going on in our world, life is so very… beautiful.

I must admit I am an optimist and a dreamer at heart. Maybe I have far too much faith in humanity sometimes. But one of the things I am most positive about is that the key to a happy life is to be appreciative of what we have. I write this as I am attached to an IV in the hospital, where I have been for almost 9 hours and it still looks like I’ll be for a couple more. I know life can be tough. But it’s worth fighting for.

Maybe today wasn’t the best day. It wasn’t yesterday and it won’t be tomorrow. But you can be sure that tonight I will still fall asleep smiling and thanking whatever power is above for giving me these days, this life, the chance to see all that I have seen. Because the rain looked pretty last night. Because my best friend had a nice day. Because my mum is always here for me. Because my cat smells nice and my stepdad is the best. Because it’s good to be alive, always, no matter the hard times you have to deal with.

I believe in the power of positivity. I believe that having an optimistic view of the world and appreciating every single little good thing is extremely helpful. If that is naïve of me… so be it!

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“I choose to be happy today.”

 

Vision

I write because… | Everyday Inspiration

I write because I am fascinated by words. I find they hold a beauty unlike anything else created by men. While on one side they are purely meaningless and have no real tie to material things, it’s marvellous the way over time humanity has created such a huge variety of them and studied perfect ways to use them for various needs. I would love nothing more than to get glimpse of the moment the very concept of a word was born – what must have that looked like?

What’s in a name? that which we call a rose
By any other name would smell as sweet.” – Shakespeare

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I write because I like to express myself. The idea of leaving any kind of print of my passage on this planet is a strong source of motivation, even if I have no delusions that anyone will remember me for my words. I still think it’s worth a shot to try and express my opinion on things, as I am sure that sometimes everyone has something worth being heard. I believe in the individual power of making small differences.

While wandering a deserted beach at dawn, stagnant in my work, I saw a man in the distance bending and throwing as he walked the endless stretch toward me. As he came near, I could see that he was throwing starfish, abandoned on the sand by the tide, back into the sea. When he was close enough I asked him why he was working so hard at this strange task. He said that the sun would dry the starfish and they would die. I said to him that I thought he was foolish. There were thousands of starfish on miles and miles of beach. One man alone could never make a difference. He smiled as he picked up the next starfish. Hurling it far into the sea he said, “It makes a difference for this one.” I abandoned my writing and spent the morning throwing starfish.” Loren Eiseley

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I also write because I would like to make a living out of it someday. I’m not sure whether I want to be a novelist, a journalist, or even just work on social networks, but I know I would like writing to be somewhat relevant to my profession. So practicing could be useful for my future as well. Considering I’m also interested in a possible career in academics, having a way with words could help me get something published in my field of study. There are endless possibilities.

“Either write something worth reading or do something worth writing.” – Benjamin Franklin

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So that’s it. I write because I like to. Because I feel it’s something that I am meant to do in my life, even if for none else but me. I write because it makes me feel good.

 

 

The rainbow shines over Italy

Yesterday’s date marks a revolutionary day in Italian history. Equal rights take a step in the right direction with the passing of a new law on civil unions for LGBT people. So what exactly changed?

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The Good…

Civil unions ensure the basic rights that straight married couples have. This means the right to your partner’s pension, aliments in case of divorce and hereditary privileges are now granted to same sex couples. Divorce is actually easier and quicker than in regular weddings, cutting times and expenses for those who no longer wish to stay together.

While to be considered a couple you have to share a residence and have moral and material duties towards your partner, there is no mandatory fidelity in civil unions. In case of premature death of half of the couple, the living has the right to keep living in the previously shared house for 2 to 5 years (depending on how long the relationship has lasted and if there are minors in the picture).

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The… Bad?

Of course not everything has been fully addressed and some points remain a bit dubious. The first thing worth mentioning is a part of the law that did not pass – the “stepchild adoption”. Kids that are biologically of one of the partners won’t be able to be adopted by the other one, or at least this is what the law states. The unclear – but positive – factor is that at the end of the day judges will be able to address every case on an individual basis, so the real decisions will be up to them.

What also remains missing is a title for those who will engage in civil unions. They are not married, so what are they? While Shakespeare might be right when saying that names are not truly necessaries in determining the true nature of something, a lot of people are of the idea that having an actual title would help granting this new unions some validity among the masses.

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The reactions

As with any big changes, people’s responses have been the most diverse. While there is probably a significant portion of the population who simply does not care either way, there is plenty of people whose opinions are hard to be missed.

Celebrations have been held. The colosseum has been lighted with rainbow coloured lights and tweets have been shared by famous supporters. The LGBT community has celebrated this important victory together with their supporters in the classic joyous pride style.

It remains impossible to ignore the haters – on social networks and in interviews, you are bound to find the comments of those who claim this new law to be morally wrong and against the principles Italy is founded upon. From the iconic “my relatives didn’t fight a war for this” to the disconcerting “if we give those people these rights, what is going to happen next? Anarchy? Dictatorship?”, it is impossible to escape the most radical views. Still this won’t spoil the hopeful atmosphere that we are enjoying today – you cannot get the rainbow without some rain!

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“It matters not who you love, where you love, why you love, when you love or how you love. It matters only that you love.” – John Lennon

Survival