Episode 13: Budapest – Sitting on top of the city

I’ve never really 100% admitted these thoughts to anyone, don’t get me wrong. I joke about it all the time but I’ve never flat out told anyone that… I am mentally preparing myself to be alone for the rest of my life. I know, it sounds overly dramatic and ridiculous that I would wish this upon myself. *gasp* I am proving myself to be different than the societal norms pushed upon my gender and generation.

I’m not saying this because I’m looking for some level of sympathy. Or looking for someone to tell me that I am wrong and being dramatic. I know it sounds dramatic, but as I’ve shared previously I think negatively so I’m always pleasantly surprised. But in all seriousness, this isn’t one of those cases where I’m deep down hoping I’m wrong and I’ll be pleasantly surprised in a year, 5 years, 15 years. This is me saying it because I believe it’s the path I’m destined to go down and I’m actually semi okay with it. As each day passes I become more and more okay with it.

Even at home, I drive around the city alone and tell myself that this is something I need to get used to doing. Running errands alone, going out to eat alone, hanging out alone, essentially doing everything alone. I say this because as my friends get further along in their relationships, I don’t want to be the third wheel or that person who is always tagging along with the couples. I’ve been in that role since as far back as I can remember and part of it is because I’ve never felt quite in that place to bring someone I’m dating along for an adventure because I know it won’t last. Guess what? I have always been right.

I’m writing this as I sit alone at the top of a hill/mountain overlooking Budapest. Remember when I described my last solo journey and I said that I did it to get back to myself? I needed that trip to be back in a place where I could start recovering from the loss I’ve experienced over the last two years. Now this journey is all about furthering that exploration and self discovery. (Note that while I am writing this, there is a teenage couple heavily making out next to me. I’m not staring but I can literally hear the exchange of saliva which is insanely uncomfortable).

I made this hike up to the top of this hill/mountain in Buda to see the Liberty Statue. It almost didn’t happen because I am so tired. I’ve averaged 8 hrs of walking every day since Barcelona and it is taking a toll because I am old and broken. But I decided that my last day in Budapest is dedicated to fully exploring Pest so today had to be the day I hike up to see the Liberty Statue. I saw her from a distance yesterday and she’s been my goal ever since. I found my way here and I’ve been sitting. By myself. Overlooking all of Pest with the Liberty Statue casting a shadow over me. I’m staring at this city that was never on my radar until April as some place to visit. I’m watching cars drive back and forth across the bridges and disappearing into the buildings. I’m watching the boats cut through the Danube and hearing different languages spoken all around me. I haven’t held a true conversation with anyone since I left Seattle last Friday. It’s almost been a full week. My conversations have consisted of asking for directions, checking in and out of hotels, asking where is the bathroom and ordering food. I’ve kept in contact with my friends via social media and technology but the actual use of my vocal chords has been minimal.

Sitting here, realizing all of this, I experienced a sudden calmness with all of this. It sounds weird but this moment of solitude has been enlightening. Maybe this whole week of solitude has shown me that I will be okay. I can be alone. And in my alone-ness, I have gotten to experience things I never thought I would. I have seen things I never thought I would see in real life. I have experienced the consequences of decisions I’ve made that only affect me.

If you ever get a chance to make your way up to the Liberty Statue in Budapest. I recommend it. IMG_5568

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