“Italian for Beginners” is a Danish romantic comedy that I watched in the local art house some fifteen years ago and then again a few years later with my wife at home.
I don’t watch a lot of films but I often find myself thinking of this one, for it has one of my favourite film characters: a Lutheran minister who seems so calm and grounded as he talks to others about their various problems.
I have always wanted to be that person.
When I am confident enough, I think I can be that person. My wife used to say I had a lot of potential and even though that was often in the context of me not fully utilising it, I think she was right.
When calm and grounded, I do feel very strong. I have been called “the voice of reason” in meetings more than once and though often insecure about my own abilities, I do think this is an accurate description. It is also when I feel most myself.
But I am usually not calm and grounded. Fears and anxieties often get in my way and my ignoring of these fears and anxieties make things worse. This has always been true and is true even more so now, as I slowly come to realise that what happened last summer really did really throw me off balance.
As I was discussing mindfulness with someone the other day, I thought of the minister from the film and remembered a crucial detail: at the beginning of the film, his wife has just passed away.
I have always seen what happened last summer as an opportunity to do really great things and becoming the person I always wanted to become is one of these things.
But to do so, I first need to learn to deal with my own anxieties. That is more difficult than I realised as I constantly need to fight my tendency to escape from the anxieties for some false reality.
Instead, I need to stay focused on these anxieties to learn to properly deal with them. This is part of the reason I started writing about them on this blog. It hopefully helps me remain patient too.
And then the prize at the end is going to be great.