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Breaking up and keep loving each other

Forced, unfortunately, by the quarantine, I spent the Christmas holidays in house. To try to survive boredom, thanks to the suggestion of a friend, I watched the TV series Normal people in one breath. The series starring teenagers fascinate me a lot, maybe because I’m a teacher or maybe because adolescence is a time of my life that I carry in my heart, as a precious gift to keep.

The series amused me immediately, it is strange, original, the images bring me into a beautiful story of love and separation, made of silences, looks, intuited feelings, immature, that over time dramatize and evolve in unexpected ways. The two young main characters, Connel and Marianne, despite social differences, fall in love during high school, in a definitely non-conventional way, hiding from the world to defend themselves from family or friend prejudices. They are very different and yet they abandon themselves to the relationship without reason, almost unaware of their own feelings. When a crisis comes, mainly due to Connel’s weakness, there is a painful first separation but in reality, the two young people, after meeting again at university, will continue to get back together and break up in an attempt to fully experience the relationship and then, to try and get over it. This journey, made of abandonment and takes back, will allow both to seek their own identity, exploring youth, the world, friendships, pain, the elaboration of family bonds. In all this time, however, they will never get lost, continuing to always keep a thread of communication alive to arrive together with a new self-awareness.

This ability to remain “together”, to continue to love each other, will be the key that will allow them, when their paths must move away to allow both to follow their achievements, to separate definitively, with the freedom and courage to say: “You’ll go to New York, I’ll stay here… and everything will be fine”.

In these difficult times of pandemic, in which too often a toxic narrative has violently created the image of an immature youth, frivolous, unable to manage emotions, (even guilty of spreading the contagion!), the idea of proposing a passionate story on the complexity of the youth world and its infinite nuances, I think is beautiful. It is beautiful the narration of growth as a possibility, as overcoming and separation from the past to go towards the new, as a continuous search for oneself. It is beautiful the idea that it takes time to separate, you have to try and try again, make mistakes and then finally find a new meaning, without losing the affections. Because separating is not an end, it is not an incurable wound, but it is to open up to life, to surrender to what is yet to come. And if adolescence is all about separation, being able to tell that you can do it, that there can be a nice way to love and break up, it seems like a great thing to me!

Sara Lazzaro

Thanks to Chiara Fanasca for the translation of this article


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