Uphill From Here

I’ll admit, I’ve been scared. After all my trips to Italy by myself, I think this trip has been the hardest on me so far. I lie to myself to try and feel better, but it doesn’t always work. Loneliness is definitely a disease, and it can only be cured with others–something that isn’t so easy when you’re living completely on your own in a foreign city.

I was spoiled my first trip to Italy. At least then I had people that I could share all of my loneliness with–my host family, my roommate, fellow students, etc. But now? So far, there’s relatively no one. Before, at least, I had people that I came to in Italy. It was much harder this time around. Traveling was kind of difficult, too.

Let me explain this mess.

First off, my plane ride sucked, terribly.

I had an awful selection of movies, which was bad because I couldn’t sleep much, that was a matter of comfort and the fact that I was seated next to the strangest guy who only spoke French, stared, and was wearing the equivalent of Joseph’s technicolor weed rug with purple pants. Too each their own, I guess.

Then, when I landed in Paris, I had to transfer airports. AIRPORTS. You would think three hours would be enough. Trust me, it’s not. First you have to go through customs, which always takes about forty-five minutes because Parisians love only having four windows open for  a million people. After that I had to get my massive suitcase and find the bus to trek me across Paris. LOL.

(I don’t speak a word of French, so you can only imagine my discomfort and the amount of sweat that was pouring out of me. Thank god for deodorant.)

So, by the time the bus, that I had to pay 21 euro to use, got going, I had maybe an hour and a half before takeoff. Add to that the fact that the distance between airports is an hour, I was definitely freaking the fuck out. I was in my seat “calmly” trying to hide the fact that I was checking Google Maps every minute to see how far we were from next airport. When we finally got there the lady next to me turned out to be an evil bitch that loved taking her time getting off the bus.

I digress.

As you can expect, I get to the airport, and I’m late. At first they say I’m too late, but thank god for pity, because as soon as I started looking like I was going to cry and rambling like an idiot, they found a way to get me back on my plane which was going to take off in twenty minutes.

Fast-forward through my rush through the airport, slow security lines that made me take out all my liquids from their individual baggies, and sassy stewardesses, I finally landed in Milan where I realized that I had no data and no clue where I was. A trip that should have only taken an hour then took about two because I got off at the wrong bus stop, so I arrived in my final destination, tired, a bit sad, and a million times frustrated.

After all that I could only think about how much better it could get. I had already hit the bottom, right? But, to be honest, it’s still hard. I haven’t really picked myself up off the pavement yet.

This definitely isn’t Sorrento. I’m home every night. And, yes, I’ve been fortunate enough to meet nice people who are trying to include me in their lives, but it takes time to get over this kind of isolation and longing. They’re a good start, but I’ve realized that my problem might not be solved in only a week or two. I need to get to a point where everything feels like my own–my apartment, my friends, my town.

Despite how much of the language you might speak, it’s still easy to feel like a foreign object–to feel misplaced.

This is why I’m thankful for Francesco–even with the little bit of whatever this is that he can offer me. At least for a few moments during the day I can feel warm and wanted by someone who I could see, realistically, within the next few months or even weeks. My family is a different case. Either I feel like I’m constantly bothering them with my need to talk or I get too sad talking to them.

This is going to by my first year without them during major holidays. It’ll be my first Thanksgiving and Christmas without my family around me. How am I supposed to endure that?

I guess that’s why I’m trying to tell myself that it can only be uphill from here. Yeah, I might struggle on the ground for a little while, but eventually it’ll all start moving up, right?

Either way, here’s to a new Italian adventure.

With Wanderlust,

Mikaila

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