WARNING … this is a very long write but, notwithstanding my usual reluctance to come out in the open, I wish that you come to know me as the real person that I am instead of a fake character behind the posts that I am being honoured to share with you!
Hi! I’m Mariella, but my closest relatives and friends like to call me Marie, so that’s how I’m going to introduce myself!
First of all, kindly bear with me, as English is not my first language and I might not be that much proficient in writing in it! So, no trolling on this subject, please! 🙂
I was brought up and still live in the gorgeous island of Malta … that tiny speck in the middle of the Mediterranean sea … with my dear husband and my two, splendid kids, even though I dare to say that my heart doesn’t completely belong here, as I have a roaming soul and I crave to know about and experience different cultures. Everything here is on the smaller side of the scale but dreams are big, and so were mine. Why “were”? I should probably write “are”, as I’m trying to fulfil one just right now by creating and nourishing this baby blog, something which I’m very thrilled to do instead of always postponing the farfetched idea of writing a book due to the uncountable excuses and obstacles, which never end. But, dreams are many and, as the name of this blog implies, I’m at that stage in my life where I don’t know if I’m in the middle of it or not, nor how much is left of it for me to check off all my wishes from my bucket list! No, no … I’m surely not that old, says she who keeps on inspecting the mirror for any new appearance of a wrinkle! But, time does tick by quickly and life hurdles do not make it easier to achieve all that might be written down by us on our personal plan. Instead, they keep dragging us back and forth. Having said so, there are always those moments, which we need to be constantly aware of, when we can look at the bright side and try to give birth to one small dream at a time.
In the middle of the journey of our life
I came to myself within a dark wood
where the straight way was lost.
Back to the simple me and my background!
I can be defined as a true example of a perfect introvert and a full-fledged Piscean! My upbringing and my past life experiences continued to mould me like so, the art of prudence having been put on a golden pedestal from my early childhood together with toxic relationships tumbling down along my path. But, unless in one of my self-loathing moods, I’m proud to be me! Like the majority of introverts I secretly love the idea of being the heart of a party but hate to be in the spotlight when I’m in a crowd! Well … a glass or two of wine or a few shots of vodka help a lot to somehow partially obliterate this boundary but, without such perks, that’s who I am in the normal, diurnal life! In fact, this trait of mine sometimes is most frustrating, as I do feel that I have a lot to give and offer to conversations but, at the same time, I feel somehow compelled to hold back, especially at certain, delicate times!
To add insult to injury, nature gifted me with a low-pitched voice … a very low-pitched voice … so, I tend to become invisible in the middle of a group of people, as my voice would dissipate and be subdued and overwhelmed by all the simultaneous output of the other people present. That’s why I’m more of a tête-à-tête person!
Now, some of my sarcastically speaking illustrious history up till this present day.
Way back, my dream job was to become a teacher, apart from wishing to become an artist, a writer, a chef and so on! Yes … I’m that kind of artistic, romantic and poetic stereotype! I predominantly wished to teach the Italian language, and specialise in it, the language itself always appealing to me in all its splendour. Not to brag … really, who knows me knows well that I’m not the type … but, at the age of twenty I managed to place as a runner up in the Giorgio La Pira International Literature Competition by submitting a short novel. The prize I had to collect by going to the quaint and fascinating Italian city of Pistoia and there I realised that I was the only foreigner, along with another person, amongst all the native Italian winners! Believe me … that was one of the biggest events in my life, which I will definitely never forget! Nor will I forget the sheer excitement portrayed in my late mother’s proud eyes … the person, along with my late Dad, who has always been my source of inspiration and whom I always looked and continue to look up to!
My intention of becoming a teacher was somehow short-lived, as I’ve been dragged into the family trend of embarking onto a banking career like my siblings. So, I engaged myself into the study of accountancy and economics to end up working at the Central Bank after spending a short period of service at the Ministry of Treasury whilst trying different options and waiting for the right opportunity. This phase of mine is what I call a real testimony of the saying “When one door closes another one opens”! When I first met all the newbie bankers in my group I was completely oblivious of the fact that amongst them stood my future, now present husband! Guess life, and my parents, had pushed me towards the right track, after all! I was consumed by another relationship at that time but, fortunately enough, some three years in my banking career or so, I managed to sever all ties and free myself to become a flower waiting to be plucked up by the right one!
Trying to cut things as short as possible for your own sake (psst … those who know me well also know that I find it hard to stop writing when I start!!!), from then on life kept being a bed of roses for a whole year and a fragment of another. I was in love, my then fiancé and I were planning for our future and wedding and nothing could have turned wrong. Until things started to go uncontrollably downhill! My dear Mum, and best friend, fell terminally ill, thankfully and unexpectedly making it to my wedding, which I don’t even know how I had managed to plan out throughout the ordeal, and she passed away when I was three months pregnant with my first child by the end of the first year of my marriage. On a very positive note, seven months after the birth of my first son, I realised that I was pregnant again with my second child … a daughter. I couldn’t be happier, apart from the fact that I had to quit my job, and halt my ongoing studies, because the only person that could have helped me with my kids in order for me to have been able to pursue what I had started had been my Mum and apart from the other fact that my Dad’s own health started deteriorating at the same time.
To top things up, all that came with the process somehow started to take the toll on my physical and mental health and on my self-esteem. My herniated cervical disc, due to an old, violent car accident in which a whiplash injury slipped undiagnosed, started to hinder me more and I had also been diagnosed with a condition called Fibromyalgia after giving birth to my second child. Please don’t ask me about what this condition entails cause then I surely wouldn’t be able to stop writing this piece! I will probably post tips about it, though, so you might wish to give them a peep every now and then! The only thing that I can say right now is that it being an invisible, chronic condition it has its pros and cons, looking at things in the most positive of ways. The good thing is that I can hide it behind my outer appearance, which I strive to take care of (at least, not when I’d be caught inadvertently wearing my indoor garments, and my untamed hair at home, or when I’d rush out of my house in a hurry to taxi-drive my kids!). The darker and most frustrating side, not even mentioning the physical daily struggle involved, is that sometimes I’d be completely misunderstood when I’d have one of my flares and try to cope with my everyday life whilst trying to appear normal. I know that I’m stubborn, and that I don’t like to ask for help, but why bother if no one can fully understand, apart from the very few, whom I fortunately have in my life, as long as certain people do not have to dwell with the same problem themselves? I’m also not the whimpering type of person, so when I do try to grumble, something which I admittedly let myself to do sometimes, I would have to deal with the aftermath of guilt feelings that would snowball by the hour.
So, between juggling with the needs of my two kids and family, those of my Dad and with my own health, I had to completely resign myself to the only idea of having a decent job! But, when my youngest child reached the age of two, health impediments or not, I decided to take one of the hobbies of mine, that of cake decorating to a further level. From baking and creating novelty cakes with love and at my own leisure to give to my relatives and closest friends I took the leap and tried to open my activity to the general public with the same dose of love. The process started at a slow pace at first but it didn’t take long to gain momentum. Apart from being paid that little to help in the contribution to my family’s needs I had also started to be paid with the sheer enjoyment of seeing that sparkle in the eyes of my happy clients when I would have given them what they would have expected or instructed me to do and even more. When my son was only six, he came up with an ingenious description of my then self … “Mummy”, he told me, “so, from a banker, the “n” fell down and you’ve become a baker!” Hilarious isn’t it!? Back to seriousness, though 🙂 … please feel free to browse through the numerous pictures of almost all the designs of the cakes I have done in the past, as showcased in the slideshow on my site.
Somehow, this small business rejuvenated my health and state of mind, even though it was hard sometimes with all the aches and pains provoked by that kind of a manual job and with the long hours of standing or sitting with an arched neck … all necessary to create intricate designs and to satisfy the perfectionist in me. My work started to refine itself as the years passed by and, in a way, I became quite established, doing what I like most … creating something from nothing! A few years passed by until my Dad passed away too, just over a year ago and, with him, a part of me died at the same time. Consequential difficulties took me where I had found myself in the past, both physically and mentally, not that long from then, and things became more difficult for me to sustain, especially as past insecurities started to re-emerge, again. I also found myself in a position of having to reflect about whether what I earned, after deducting all the expenses involved and the long working hours, including cleaning, was really worth it or not, considering that I couldn’t increase my already low prices because of the present economy and that I would spend most of the profit in medication to ease my physical pain.
Having said this, just a few months ago I had to sadly close a door again and stop cake decorating. I felt as if I were letting my loved ones down in a way, especially when my daughter’s eyes welled up with tears and told me, “But, Mum … that was the thing that you mostly liked to do and you were so good in doing it!” My reply … the same as always … “Dear … when one door closes another one is there to be opened!”
So here I am, with more dreams and possibilities in mind to be taken into consideration. And, in the meantime, this blog, which is only taking its first steps, is my present project to keep me active and sane … posting recipes, poetry, quotes, tips and more to share with you whilst I’d be in the process of constructing it.
As I mentioned earlier, my innate nature kind of restrains me from being myself when I’m not alone, or not in the company of the ones I love and with whom I feel most comfortable. I’m also a person who likes to strictly abide with rules, something also induced during my upbringing … to be always respectful, even if sometimes this virtue backfires as some people may think that I’m dumb whilst I’d be observing silently instead! When I’d be at somebody else’s house, or at any place I cannot call mine, I can never be my own, silly self because of this obsession to stick to my principles! So, when I’d be at home … my temple … that’s where I’m ME! And, when I cook, create or write something there’s no room for other people’s rules … I’d be free of all restrictions and to flash my artistic creativity! I would create or find recipes and turn them upside down using the only ingredients that I would have available on that specific day in my fridge or my pantry, tossing in whatever ingredient I would deem appropriate to complement another in my pan. I can say that my many trips abroad, from a very tender age, endowed me with a spectrum of a myriad of tastes and colours from different cultures, hence expanding my love towards everything that’s culinary and creative. My dear Mum was a great cook too, so I deem myself very fortunate to have inherited her ability. At my headquarters, I could also start my brain’s engine rolling to come up with various solutions, such as home DIY projects and family activities without the need of spending a lot of money, therefore saving for that special trip or occasion! Most importantly, I would be able to write in the most twisted of ways, or straight to the point, putting people or instances in my life at their own, worthy place … another aspect of Dante’s Divine Comedy I like!
So, how can I release the chatter-box in me, get out of my shell and be the person that only a few really know behind my periodically glum and loner moods? How can I express the innumerable thoughts that cross my mind or even share the endless list of things that I enjoy doing most, like cooking, cake decorating, drawing, crafting, reading, inspire with quotes, sharing tips, watching documentaries and seriously good television series (not excluding the supernatural, detective stories, comedy and, why not, even a good anime!), listening to some good music, spending time with my family, poetry, writing and much, much more!?
The solution would be the last point in the list above! By writing things down this sole gesture becomes my tool, allowing me to overcome the endless limitations I tend to pose on myself. So, do brace yourselves, as like I said before I don’t have much breaks installed in my pen! But, don’t worry … there would probably be long or short intervals between posts, so you’re not that doomed!
One thing I know for sure … I might be limited to help all the people I would like to help in person but I’m adamant to show how life could be made easier with my significant or insignificant contributions, whilst feeling blessed with all that I have compared to all the problems and atrocities incurred by thousands of people around the world on a daily basis. I’m also keen to take the journey across this Modern Divine Comedy of life in stride, inviting you to join me along the way if you might wish!
Thank you for your kind attention and please feel welcome to like, share and comment on my posts.
NB: All the content included in this blog is original, being it the written pieces of poetry, quotes etc, or the pictures taken, especially those accompanying the recipes. Only the pictures acting as a background to my quotes might be licitly borrowed from other entities but tweaked as found opportune. Any recipe is first tested by myself, as shown by the end result in the pictures accompanying it, and any personal twist to an already existing recipe will be mentioned in the blog posts. So will be highlighted any other reblogged content.