My advice for everyone going into next year is this: make an effort to give people the benefit of the doubt.

I cannot count the number of times – both online and off – I have seen people beyond furious with one another, learned the situation, and realized the entire thing stemmed from a misunderstanding that could’ve easily been dealt with if one person had decided not to assume the worst of the other.

It’s exhausting to exist as a member of a minority group sometimes. I know that. There are so many people who hate you simply for existing and whose words are intended to hurt you.

But they aren’t, I think, the majority.

Take the time to ask yourself– is it possible that this person meant something other than my initial impression of what they said? Is this person discriminating against me, or did they simply word it in a way that isn’t clicking? Is this disagreement stemming from an irreparable rift in moral values, or is this something we can agree to disagree on? Is this person being cruel, or am i expecting them to know something they’ve never had an opportunity to be taught?

You are not obligated to act as anyone’s teacher in life. maybe you don’t have the energy to take the risk of finding out whether someone is being cruel or not. you are entitled to your anger even if the other party meant no harm, but consider whether there’s a more productive way to channel your hurt.

What impact do you want to leave on the world? on other people? is there a way you can respond to a hurtful remark that takes care of your own wellbeing without harming someone who may not have meant to harm you?

I hope we can all work together to make this upcoming year a kinder one. i think we could all use a bit more of that.


I saw you again and I didn’t come to meet you. You were my best friend and now I don’t even know who you are anymore, I don’t know what you do, I don’t know if you’re engaged, I don’t know if you cry, I don’t know if you and your mother have made peace. We said goodbye in silence, when I greeted you I knew it would be for the last time. Nobody, you know, has ever said goodbye to me without my knowing it before, maybe I pretended not to, but I knew very well when the end had begun. It was with you when I told you that I had met a man and in the following months I have not cried for any quarrel I had with him. I didn’t call you to tell you he was a jerk, as he usually did. When you asked me how he was doing with him, I replied that it was okay, that for once, I had nothing to tell. I didn’t have the classic stories from “he didn’t call me and then I didn’t call him either and now we haven’t heard from each other for days”. It’s okay, I told you. It’s not possible, you replied. You believed that my good was also fiction, that I was lying to myself, that it was not me and I agreed with you “you will see that one day we would be here talking about it, about yet another man with mental disorders that I had”. But the days turn into months. And the months became twelve. And in that year I changed, changed for him you insinuated, my red hair had become blonde, my clothes were completely different. And instead, if we were still friends, you would have had proof of how wrong you were. You would have seen me buy six bottles of shower gel with the smell he hates, because it doesn’t matter, I like them. You would have seen me save money for a tattoo that he didn’t call too good. You would have known that when he told me he prefers blond I went to get myself a copper red tint. You would have known that I have a skirt that he defines as an old woman. I have always remained of the opinion that the best shopping you can do is with a friend. You never understood that he would never take your place. You did not understand that if they had asked me which “forever” I believed, I would have answered, without a doubt, between two friends and not between two boyfriends. I really believed in it when I told you that I wanted to share a house with you, so similar to me. And a thousand times I told you that if you wanted to talk over a coffee, Saturday would never be sacred to me. I would never have been the one of “I can’t on Saturdays” but “now we organize ourselves”. We had been friends for ten years and no man would ever replace that friendship. But you decided it wasn’t true and I have too much dignity to beg for love and friendship from a person who doesn’t want me anymore. And so gradually, our conversations became colder, almost circumstantial. I never looked for you and you did the same to me. The worst of clichĂ©s. But I don’t forget and I will never be mad at you. I will be nostalgic. There have been too many good things between us to make me angry. There are calls that lasted hours, I was on my cell phone, I hate it, so much alone with you. There have been whole afternoons at the Castello Sforzesco, walking through the park in autumn, not knowing how to dress in spring, complaining about the heat and then watching the snow. For years, many years. I saw you cut your long hair into short and then regret it. I felt you tired with a job that took you all day and I was close to you when you were without a job and you felt sad. I saw you in love with a wrong man and I didn’t tell you anything, I waited for you to notice. I would have been there. We spent the New Year in a taxi because, as usual, we had made up our minds on what to do at the last minute. We spent another New Year among the people and the following New Year instead at your house watching movies. You were there when they told me on the phone that my fears were correct and that he was cheating on me. You saw me change, not a man, you saw me completely lost after my first relationship and then you saw me completely lucid and merciless at the umpteenth relationship gone bad. You were there with me in the disco and you were there when our evenings became quieter and the evening ended with an aperitif and it was no longer going on all night. It was you, not a man. No boyfriend would take your place. I didn’t come to meet you because I didn’t want to destroy what was left of you.

%d bloggers like this: