Viaggio verso a Casa
MILAN – MARCO VELARDI
As I was growing up during my teenage years in Italy, I’d always imagine that having my own home would be such a natural and straightforward thing. Like something you would graduate to after going to university – purely a matter of passing a final test and there you would be, sitting in your living room reading a book from your carefully organized and dust-free bookshelf, cooking tasty recipes out of an endlessly filled fridge and having a wonderfully loving cat who wouldn’t scratch any of your record covers. Well, probably this wasn’t my exact picture of life as a grown-up, but I was definitely ignoring a lot of the things that I would later have to come to realize.
After all, finding a place that you can call home is not that easy a task, and it doesn’t come without a good dose of mistakes and possibly a few headaches. It took me three years, a painful breakup and lots of self-questioning, but in the end there I was, sitting in an empty flat wondering how to fill it without spoiling the freshly painted walls. I realized that I didn’t really own much besides way too many boxes cramped with books and magazines, a mobile phone and an old laptop – still no bookshelf or fridge in sight. I wasn’t ready for the idea that the apartment would begin to get older. That, after time, the walls would show the signs of their inhabitants, that plants could get overwatered and die from one day to another. I always questioned whether it was me being careless, or if everything that was happening was just the slow daily process of transforming a house into your own personal space. And even if thought I had it all sorted in my mind and I was making room for tiny errors here and there, I realized I wasn’t even close to the bigger picture until last year, when all of a sudden it was two of us calling these four walls a home. Life as I knew it completely changed, toothbrushes became two, mugs multiplied, and breakfast in the morning didn’t taste the same anymore: it was actually much better. I slowly rearranged life around our new formation, and it got me thinking of all the new unexplored aspects of life I didn’t even know existed. A home is both fun and exhausting, it involves a lot of sharing and giving, but more than that, it is an endless possibility of journeys, which is what makes it special for me.
The writer is the editor-in-chief of the magazine Apartamento and a creative consultant at his own design agency SM Associati in Milan.