Journey, In viaggio col dolore

04. MY JOURNEY WITH PAIN. To say no.

Moving to the French Riviera allowed me to live as a singer, have a steady job, and get involved by expressing qualities that I barely knew about myself. 
The benefits as a musician were highly better than the Italian ones. The international place, enchanting, with beautiful, clean, free beaches, efficient health care, a musicians' union, and unemployment benefit convinced me to take that step. Musicians in France depend on the Ministry of Culture, not on the Ministry of Labor. On the other hand, what did I have to lose?
But I underestimated or removed several things that I have realized vital to me over the years. In the place where you are born, there are consolidated securities. You have a specific image of yourself, and you feel supported by your story made of affections, experiences, paths, certainties that you built along the way.
When you uproot yourself, however, do a 'reset.' You start more or less from scratch. It takes strength and courage. To feel good, you need to feel respected, appreciated, and above all, loved. I remember trying to resist there in Cannes, thinking that over time my situation would improve. But that 'resisting' was not precisely conscious.
Going back to October 6, 1994, and the following days when the pain traveled in my body in the form of bites and daggers, I looked at the schedule of my working days. I had worked for more than two months in a row with a single day off for a low voice! 72 days. I found out later that it's illegal.
In those months, I stressed out a lot. I had learned to understand and express myself in French. I found myself in a new and not always friendly working environment, and I emotionally managed the devaluation of myself. I wasn't sleeping well, and I ate things that caused severe inflammation in my body, you know!
As soon as I bond with Pascal, in that place, and in that job, I start to feel bad.
My body tells me to stop and feel what's wrong and find a solution. But I do not have the confidence in myself and the security of telling me that it is better to give up and say a lapidary: " No!" to that Italian manager and pianist who always called me 'Mariangelina.'
Maybe for him, it was an affectionate way to call me, but it sounded like diminishing me, treating me as a child.
It would have been better to 'abandon' that Mariangela, who was proud of herself because she earned her life singing in a chic place. That Mariangela who wanted that her father was proud of her. Mariangela who continued to resist out of pride and needed to feel 'all of a piece' as she had done all her life. For this reason, she did not feel the discomfort of singing on command like a trained dog.
It would have been better to go home, with the tail between the legs, stay in a welcoming and familiar place, and dedicate myself to a musical project in which I believed, with 'my' musician friends to express what I loved most.
The unconscious and the most obvious solution was to fall in love. In this way I could have felt loved, and, perhaps, loved.
So many questions, in hindsight, I would have asked myself:
'Why can't I get all these parts of me to agree?'
"Can I find a way to do it?"
'What would happen if I said yes? What do I feel? What do I step on or put aside? What do I step on is essential to me? ' 
'What would happen if I said no? What do I feel? What do I step on or put aside? What do I step on is essential to me? ' 
'Am I able to say no? Why am I not capable? What am I missing? What happens if I say no? '
'In the space between a yes and a no, there is a whole life. It is the difference between the path you travel and what you leave behind; it's the discrepancy between who you thought you could be and who you are: it's the empty place for the lies you will tell yourself in the future. ' 
Jodi Picoult
'To mend the wounded instinct, to ban naivety, to learn the deeper aspects of the psyche and soul, to retain what we have learned, not to look elsewhere, to proclaim what we want loudly ... all this requires an infinite and mystical resistance. ' 
Clarissa Pinkola Estés
Get out of here
Nothing binds you to these places anymore
Not even these blue flowers
Not even this gray weather
Full of music
And men you liked
It's wonderful
It's wonderful
It's wonderful
Good luck my baby
It's wonderful
It's wonderful
It's wonderful
I dream of you
Paolo Conte