Disappointment. Sadness. Lack of recognition. All sum up the look in their eyes. I didn't rob a bank. I didn't kill a man. I am not a junkie. I am not an alcoholic. I am not a failure. Yet that's how they look at me.

I fucked up a little. I took some steps away from them. I decided to walk the trail I chose not the one laid out for me. Is it so surprising? Is it so awful? That I have an identity of my own? That I'm tired of taking orders from others? Doing what others want me to do?

Are my opinions so avant-garde that they require that frown on their faces? Are my ideals too much? Are my dreams way too big for little Malta here? Well good that's how they're supposed to be.

I could be the yes girl. I could say yes to anything anyone wants. May I borrow your notes? May I take your lunch? May backstab you? May I treat you like dirt and then demand your help? May I walk on you and clean my shoes, I don't want to dirty my mother's good carpet you see. May I look down on you like you're a nothing? Yes.

No. No. No. I can't do that anymore. That girl is gone. Dead and buried where no one can find her.

Did I disappoint you? Did I surprise you? Did I shock you? Good. You do not know who I am anymore? Even better. Because the more you knew who I was the less I recognised myself in the mirror.

 I finally learnt to utter the word no.


To Italy with love

Another 12 hour shift is finished. Dead tired and knowing there's another one waiting for me tomorrow. I try to think happy thoughts. My mind instantly goes to places I want to visit. And then it goes to Italy. With all the busy days I've had it seems no more than just another day dream. Another place that has an unticked box in my bucket list. But it isn't a dream. And I haven't made it up. Pisa, Florence, Rome. I was in those places.

 And no it wasn't a movie-like vacation. They never include things such as rain or getting sick in a movie. They do not include a full day wasted lost in the middle of God-knows-where. Nor do they show two souvenir shop addicts getting lost because they lose their sense of direction whilst in a shop.

 And that's good. That's better. That's what makes me sure that they were real. The squabbles with my friends. Being drenched in Florence. Throwing a coin in the Trevi Fountain so quickly you're not sure you wished for a real wish or just not to get soaked once more. The endless supply of croissants. Being hit by a chocolate bun on a train. Trying to find a place were pigeons do not roam.

All these are a proof to me that it is not a figment of my imagination but I was really in Italy. I did walk on the Ponte Vecchio and was ambushed by an old man talking about locks and how it is a symbol of marriage. I did rub a a big bronze pig's snout to make sure I go back to Florence. I did go to the Vatican. I was in the capital city of Italy. I was under the leaning tower.

I was there.

That hunger for travel was fed. And yet instead of being satisfied it just grew more hungry. But most importantly, at night, I will not have to bring up images I got from movies about places I want to visit and pretend that I'm there. All I need to do is think of Italy, of the sound of the train, the incredible scenery and the fond memories that are sewn in.