Tuesday, March 1, 2011


Hi. My name is Crys, and I'm a scientist.

Well, I suppose that's not entirely accurate. I'm actually doing my PhD at the moment, which puts me in a limbo between being a student and a full fledged scientist. I still get a student card, but I also get paid to do my research. Well, kinda. I was supposed to get paid, but thanks to the fact that the entire world is going to shit, my fair country of Italy included, I now have to work for free for four months before I get paid anything, which isnt the greatest news for someone who moved to a new city with rent to pay explicitly for this job.

Hi. My name is Crys, and I'm Italian.

Well that isnt 100% accurate either. I was born in the United States, only to move to Italy when I was a tiny little baby. My mother is American and my father is Italian, and I was raised in Italy and went to an international school that followed first the British then the American curriculum. I used to identify myself as both, until I moved to Ireland for college. This was in the height of the Bush years, and everyone had had just about enough of American obnoxiousness. Then there's me with my American accent, and identifying myself as Italian-American only made them raise and eyebow and assume that I was from Jersey. Those few that gave me a second chance to explain myself told me the term was not accurate for what I really am, and since I have forever refused to use the ponzy title they came up with for the international children of my generation "Citizens of the World" (barf), I have since then started to refer to myself as Italian. Also the scholarship that I was using to be there was exclusively for EU students, so there was that. Now, I suppose you can think of me as the best English speaking Italian that you will ever come across.

Hi. My name is Crys, and I'm broke.

Luckily I'm not as close to broke as I could be, but I'm getting there. More then anything I feel so screwed by the system that this whole situation has made me feel like no matter what I do I will forever be struggling to keep my head above water. Coming from a middle class family, I have only now realized that despite the chances I have been given with my education, I can still end up failing miserably and never be able to give my children the same things that were given to me growing up. I know how ridiculously spoiled and pig-headed that sounds. Many will read that and think "pfft look at this little bitch, didn't you know life was going to be hard? Did you think everything would be handed to you on a silver platter? Life is a struggle." Of course I knew that. And I am no stranger to working hard. I earned my scholarship. I have worked every single summer since I was legal. I worked my ass off and graduated top of my class. I have lived on beans and rice for months when the money wasn't coming in in college. I suppose it's just different when you're a student, there's always the naive belief in the back of your mind that once studying is over things will work themselves out. Knowing something and really understanding something are two completely different things. It's like when you're a kid, and you know you're going to die one day, of course you do, but its only until your mid to late-teens that you really start to understand your own mortality. It stops being something that is going to happen eventually and all of a sudden you understand that your actions can have mortal consequences. I remember when it happened to me because, as a result, I developed a fear of flying that I never had before, especially since I flew maybe 4-8 times a year. So yes, I knew that life is hard and you have to work to get what you want, but it took me getting to this point to understand that sometimes you can work really hard and really deserve it, but still constantly get the short end of the stick.

The unbelievable thing is that, were I to have the opportunity to go back in time and have a do over, there is no other place that I would rather be in this point in my life. I have no regrets as to the choices I've made, but rather it's the circumstances I find myself in that I wish were different. On the one hand, I suppose that's a comfort. On the other, it really drives home how little control you actually have over your own life.

Hi. My name is Crys, and I'm scared, confused, yet hopeful, optimistic, with an enormous jumble of thoughts in my head that I suppose it's time I start getting them out.

No comments:

Post a Comment