At Volare in North Beach. Sad day for Italy in the Euro2012 finals, but should be proud for making it that far. Bravo.
I’ve noticed a theme lately–a lot of people are talking about breaking points. I thought about this as I was watching the Italy v. Spain soccer final game in North Beach yesterday. About four Peronis in, I was in line for the bathroom, a nice man named Matteo chatting me up. He asked why I would ever leave a wonderful (Italian) neighborhood like North Beach. I told him that after 5+ years, I had enough and had to get out. It reminds me a lot of how I feel about the Bay Area in general these days. It’s not to say I didn’t love living in North Beach–I did. It’s not to say I would never move back–I might. It’s just to say that sometimes, you hit a wall. Let’s call it exhaustion, or frustration or whatever, but you hit it. I’ll resist all urges to compare this to the wall you hit while running a marathon because I am not happy with myself right now that I chose to watch a movie about a talking stoner teddy bear on Saturday instead of pushing myself to do a long training run. So, back to breaking points…
Thinking back to the Italy game, that’s what happened. I saw a breakdown. The defense no longer held up like it did in previous games. Their style of play was exhausting them more than usual. Spain held up in their passing game and effectively managed their resources on the field. It felt like after halftime, Italy just gave up. Injuries, playing on short rest, exhaustion, frustration and perceived defeat all played into their, well, eventual defeat. 4-0. It is the largest margin of victory in a finals, ever. It isn’t really representative of the game that was played, or of Italy’s abilities. But Italy gave up, mentally and physically, and paid the price.
Talking to one of my friends today, she mentioned that he was hitting a breaking point in her relationships with a few people. Simply had enough of the same cycle of frustrating behavior. I feel like that sometimes. That my relationships with people are held together with chewing gum and duct tape (much like my desk at my old non-profit office) and that one false move could just bring down the house. When I reach my breaking point, I’m just done. Sometimes that’s just how it is. But if I’ve learned anything from that soccer match, it’s that sometimes when you hit that point and just give up, act defeated, you will get steamrolled. Sometimes you can’t help it, but if you can, fight back for the things that are important to you. Maybe you won’t win, but maybe you won’t lose so badly.