Tuesday, 13 March 2018

FLORENCE: THE RENAISSANCE

"We need a renaissance of wonder
We need to renew, in our hearts and in our souls
the deathless dream, the eternal poetry
the perennial sense that life is miracle and magic." 
- E. Merrill Root.


Florence was absolutely breathtaking. The Cattedrale di Santa Maria del Fiore was incredibly stunning. To imagine that the human mind and strength was responsible for its creation is astonishing. As the first Italian city that I have ever experienced (well technically a transfer in Bologna - home of Bolognese and Ferrari), I was stunned by the beauty of the warm colours of all the buildings: shades of yellow, orange, peach and beautiful emerald dark green boards on the windows. It was magic everywhere. Florence was definitely the most beautiful city of my entire Europe trip.


Despite the beauty, strangely enough Florence did reminence a bit of China. From the cigarette filled stairways up to our penthouse (yes, you heard me say penthouse), to the old dull plastic bus seats, to some of the deteriorating grey shop fronts. Nonetheless, the beauty stands and I was in love.

Prior to Florence we actually went from Brussels with a transfer in Bologna. My first response was: "That sounds awfully like Bolognese". It being both our first Italian city, my SO laughs and replies with: "Don't be racist, not everything is related to pasta." But so I was right (*insert cheeky smirk*). With a short 4 hour stop in Bologna we went to Peroni and I just had to try their Bolognese: First Italian meal in Italy! 


A new favourite habit I have picked up after my trip around Europe was listening to podcasts. I had to find a way to keep myself preoccupied during those long hours on planes and trains. I feel like I have grown so much more wiser in the last 2 months having listened to podcasts instead of music. My current favourite is 'Inside Quest' with Tom Bilyeu and 'Start with Why' with Simon Sinek and it all started: here. Podcasts are far more stimulating and enlightening and honestly, life feels so much more satisfying when I am feeling so much more productive. I am growing even when I'm just sitting down eating lunch or on a train, and that's because I am listening to these podcasts while I'm doing it. I might even be able to attribute the success of my recent interview with listening to these podcasts. 



Simon Sinek said something upon these lines: "We need to trust each other, and we are more willing to trust those who are willing to help us. I hate the self-help industry... What about helping those next to you to lose weight, to get the job they want? Do you know how to get fulfilment? You can be happy because you did things at work, you can be proud because you did things at work, you can be excited because you had a big success at work. But do you know how you feel FULFILLED at work? When you do something for someone else. That's the ONLY way to feel that way. Do you know why the statistics say over 90% of people don't feel fulfilled? It's not because of the job, the pay or the benefits. It's because we don't help each other anymore. We sit in our cubes and we work, any time we turn to somebody it's because we need something, we need to get something. We don't put ourselves out there simply for no other reason but to help somebody else... Mother nature has provided us this feeling to encourage us to help each other because when we are in groups, trust emerges and our very survival and progress goes up."






With that all said... it must be done. So help more. With the start of a new chapter for many, for me graduating law and entering full-time work, it is time to focus on what makes you fulfilled. Time is short, you never know when your last breath will be. Dark as that may seem, may it bring you the motivation to not live day to day in mediocrity.  

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