it’s a heck of a journey being a parent.
Lena 49 from Italy, lives in London with her husband and two children. She works full time in fashion.
How are you?
I want another go. I want to fall in love all over and start again - I might be having a midlife crisis! I want passion in my life and I want to be in love. I have two choices; do I stay for the kids or chuck it all in and get on with a different sort of life? I've started to remove myself from the situation and I think as soon as the children are old enough - I’m out! He’s taking the joy out of living. I would never have put up with this if it wasn't for the kids.
What do you think about the weather?
It does make a difference to the character of people. The nicer the weather the happier you are and everything is more bearable. The difficulties of rain is wet feet and clothing choices but in the sunshine it’s just tee shorts, flip flops and smiles.
How do you think other people see you?
I am surprised by how kind and loyal people are to me. I can be horrible at home but lovely when I’m out. I bend over backwards for everyone outside. I definitely have the Catholic guilt. My Mother and Aunt are servants to the world - there’s such a sense of duty being Catholic.
What brings you down?
Seeing other people not being well and not being able to help them. I can’t look at sad things. I feel the sadness of others - I am very empathetic.
How do you feel about children?
I wish I’d had more but not with my husband, he’s so negative and down, it doesn't make for a good example.
How do you feel about marriage?
I don’t think it's forever. I think people fall out of love. It's so traumatic when people get divorced, it’s probably best to keep the status quo.
What’s your most memorable experience?
Giving birth to my son. Seeing him coming out of me - this alien that had been in my tummy for nine months and then the moment when he came into the world and everything changed. Up until that point life is all about you. Then there’s a whole new being you have to think about - it’s a heck of a journey being a parent.
Where does all your energy go?
I have too much energy. I do things from the minute I get out of bed until I go back to bed, which is normally one o'clock in the morning. There’s aways stuff to be done.
How do you see yourself?
I’m a positive person, if there’s a problem I'll sort it out. When I don’t like something I change it. I am an altruistic person; kind, probably a bit of a pain in the arse. I’m very relaxed. I like things to look nice, I can't stand ugliness. It gives me pleasure to touch nice things. I like being sensual - life is about guilty pleasures.
How do you best express yourself?
By gesticulating - I’m Italian, there’s no other way! I like to say things as they are - I have an opinion!
Who what inspires you?
People who speak different languages. I love creativity; I am driven by books and magazines. When I first started out I thought the fashion world was superficial but now I am a strong advocate of the industry. Clothing and the way people dress inspires me. Depending on how you dress projects different images. I love how people can be up lifted by clothing. The fashion world is a massive industry and it gives lots of jobs to lots of people.
What's your view on faith?
Oh God, what are you opening up here? Religion is mad, there’s so much fanaticism. I was brought up a Catholic and there are a set of rules and directions that help you in life. I appreciate my kids going to a Catholic school. I like the good things of Catholicism like the altruism, kindness and compassion, then there's the whole contraception conversation - I don’t like the hypocrisy.
What do you think about life?
Brilliant, life is amazing. I enjoy the emotions - even when you're sad. I love the fact that you feel. I’ve always appreciated life.
What do you think about death?
My attitude has changed, I used to think it was terrible and wondered how people survive the grief, but now it just happens - it's inevitable, we all die. I’m a bit more philosophical nowadays. When someone dies you grieve it's terribly sad but somehow out of death there are new beginnings. I’ve started to attach positivity to it. It won't do you any good to sit around thinking bad things about it, it's going to happen.
What would you like to leave for the next generation?
Our world is a bit of a mess, we need to work out what we’re doing and try and divide the riches more equally.
What have you taken from today?
Selfishness isn't selfish. I need to be kinder to myself, more forgiving and give myself a break! It's quite healing talking - I feel calm. I am very honest with myself and I know what needs to change. I feel I have tied everything up and now I need to act upon a few things.