LIFE IS BEAUTIFUL
I have been also a shopkeeper, for a few years. I had taken over a video rental, when the Italian Lira was still our currency. In the beginning, business was good. Indeed, very good. Nice car, nice bike, etc. I was one of the first in Rome to install the videotape vending machine, the first ever in my neighborhood. But when you have a shop you never switch off. You work 24 hours a day. You are always on the spot, always there thinking about how to increase your earnings, trying to invent some commercial initiative that works. During the day you squat in that shell that is your shop, while life goes on outside. Outside the shop sun light, inside neon light! And you just think about making money that you won't have time to spend. Tax consultants help a lot.
But "one fine day" work began on the extension of the underground line. The street where my video store was, was completly close and, where there was sunlight and life flowing, now there was a huge construction site, a sinkhole in the asphalt, and my fucking shop is right on the edge of the sinkhole.
Held on for a couple of years. Then closed forever because I couldn't pay the rent. The owner of the place, greedy, stupid and not sympatethic to my situation, evicted me. I couldn't even claim compensation from the municipality because I wasn't able to prove the real income of my business before the "work in progress", because of my tax consultant. Blame on me. Because I've been greedy. And stupid. Because I paid too much taxes. The most ridiculous fee to pay was the one for the shade (yes, for the shade!) made on the sidewalk by the sunshade installed above the shop entrance, right under the sign of the shop (for which you pay another fee!).
"Learn the art and put it aside," said someone's grandfather. So I picked my guitar up and I started playing in the streets of the city center with the guitar case open in front of my feet, to collect money. I had two little daughters, there was no time to feel sorry for myself. Besides, it was fun! Really fun. I earned quite well, I didn't have work schedule, I didn't have to pay any taxes and, when I was singing, I could scream like crazy. It was a way to blow off steam and to vomit my anger and pain on passers-by and make peace with the world.
Life is beautiful and full of unexpected events that can turn out to be opportunities!
As long as you are young.