Why am I not 23, I asked myself But then, I didn't want to be 23 when I was. Any woman I could possibly have been interested in then (or now) would not have been interested in the clumsy, faltering boy I was then (not that I'm any less clumsy now, but hey). I was so full of anguish and unresolved questions. I still am, but I may have got a little better at managing them... and at managing expectations. No, I didn't expect to be king of the world, or rich, by the time I got to this age. I expected to be dead. Or a tramp. Or mad. I've more or less managed not to be any of those things yet and maybe not for a while. I'm reasonably good at (not best in the world but rather quite reasonably good) at what I do and what I do is something I love doing, even if it is a minority interest and my friends (those of my friends who have been there to witness it) will patiently tolerate it rather than passionately embrace it. I do passionately embrace it nonetheless and it is a very important facet of my life (and no, it is not the taking photos and it is not the teaching -"hows the guitar teaching, flavio?"-, which is a consequence and not a bad one and I do love it and, feck it, I'm good at it but it's not the prime motivator, not the reason why I took up music knowing I'd be forever half a step away from indigence) and I find myself in a place that is not where I started this journey but one that has become my home -and luckily, it is one of the few spots in the world where, although horrible things happen from time to time, you don't look over your shoulder all the time, you don't expect 'the standard issue kick on the door' in the early hours, you can be who you are and if it may lessen somewhat your employability prospects, you still can be that, whatever you are. From long haired semi-hippie too-old-to-be-playing-goth as is my case, to foreign or LGBT or whatever hand life has thrown at you and you must play. Not perfectly, this island is full of things that must be addressed but is a whole lot better than so many other parts.
And in the meantime I'm still here, too old to be playing goth, for sure, or even classical guitar concert player when I hardly ever play a concert, but still here, making music and being me. And, yes, teaching guitar and taking those pictures of my friends being as silly as I would dare to hope to be. Happy Birthday to you all, my friends.