Sunday, September 14, 2008

Nostalgia Bites

On this very day last year I was running around, psychotically dazzled in Venice. Ironically, I made it to a bar called "Venice Cafe" Friday night, but unfortunately Venice the city trumps the gritty, St. Louisian cafe. I remember thinking that it was the most beautiful place I have ever seen, and it still is. I don't care that some might call it cliche to think Venice is beautiful; if they do then they've either never seen it for themselves or they've traveled too much in a desperate attempt to look 'worldly.'
One of the days I was there, I woke up early in the morning to the sound of a lone gondolier rowing down the little channel that was right below the window of my hostel room- disgustingly picturesque, I know. I was too excited to go back to sleep so I decided to go for a run. I had no destination in mind, just trotted blindly down the narrow, windy streets. I ran over the Rialto Bridge where some peddlers were setting up their carts but all the stores were still closed. I ran through the market to where the morning's catch was being hauled and cleaned. Shouts, in Italian of course, echoed through the air purposefully.
Seemingly by accident the narrow street I was on suddenly opened up to St. Mark's Square. I had been there the day before but it's hard to admire a sight when it's crawling with people and vendors. This early in the morning however, before the grey haze of night had even fully cleared, there were no tourists and there were no carts selling souvenirs. I honestly had to stop and catch my breath in order to take in the sight before me. The Doge's palace, St. Mark's Basilica, these buildings I had studied and stared at in travel books, were suddenly right before me and seemed to be waiting there for me.

When I think about times like this while I was living in Italy, it's hard not to wish to be back there. It also just makes me really sad because while I was there, even though I did thoroughly appreciated the moments, there was always a part of me that wanted to be home in America. I call it "long distance relationship syndrome," and I get so mad at myself that I let it affect my time there. Obviously part of my frustration comes from the fact that the "relationship" crumbled horribly after I actually did return, but also it's frustrating that I couldn't just rise above at the time. I look back on all that I did, and it was wonderful and invigorating and more fun that I can even comprehend, but still it could have been more.
I've always tried to live my life so that I never have to worry about actual outcomes- I try so hard so that I can honestly say, if it all falls to shit (and it frequently does) , "well at least I did the best I could." But I look back on my time abroad and I didn't do the best I could. I didn't fully give myself to my time there, I held back what is maybe the most sacred part of myself. Conveniently I can say I did this because I missed my boyfriend, but I don't think that's the real answer, or at least not all of it. So why then did I hold back, and am I still doing so? I fear that I am, and with no boyfriend to blame I hide behind the shadow of our demise.
I am fickled as shit.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Some days...

Some days,
I really want to just crawl under a rock.

If and when I have a daughter I'm not going to fill her head with crap like "honey, you can't make everyone happy." Because if she's anything like me she'll see that as a challenge, try to appease everyone, end up appeasing no one in particular, unintentionally hurting others, and then drifting through time and space with an acute sense of loneliness and an existential outlook on life.
I will tell her to get a cat though, and a dog if she can, and then I'll have a son because brother's are pretty awesome too.