The guys left and I am home alone. Andreh has (more than) kindly let me stay in his flat since my first day in Rio. I have been here for almost 2 weeks now. I was supposed to leave after 4 nights but he said it was OK to stay longer and since my other host was nowhere to be seen, I gladly accepted. Then today he is going to São Paulo for the weekend and I thought I would leave with him but no, he said it was OK to stay even longer if I wanted to. And I want to. So, here I am, looking forward to my days alone. Andreh is an excellent host, more than I could have ever asked for but there is nothing like being on your own, not having to consider others, being able to come in and go out as you please, being able to sleep late or early, and use the bathroom whenever you want but most of all not depending or owing anything to anybody. I often feel awkward in the company of others. I never know what to say to them or how I should behave. I am not good at small talk and it always burdens me when I have to make up conversations. I feel better on my own. Leave me on a deserted island in the middle of the ocean and I am ecstatic. Put me in a crowded place, a tourist destination and I feel so lonely. I wonder if this shows strength of character or it is just a way of avoiding the real world. Probably a little bit of both.
This is the time to update my blog with a rather personal entry. I few days ago I read a friend’s blog where he shared his thoughts and feelings on various subjects. I liked it and I thought it interesting. A friend of mine has also urged me to write more about the way I felt instead of the places I was visiting. I usually keep ‘me’ to myself and rarely share what is going on inside my head. I wondered whether it is a good idea to put my most intimate thoughts on the Internet for everyone to see but I feel safe with the people reading this blog and know I could trust them with the real me. So, here it goes, I am going to be brave and reveal myself to the world. It is scary.
There isn’t much on my mind at the moment. I am enjoying an almost problem-free life. The little problems I have revolve around broken or malfunctioning electronic equipment, unavailable buses or immigration procedures. I do sometimes have to deal with ignorance, plain stupidity and general madness but don’t we all! Although nowadays I rarely worry about anything, there are a couple of resident thoughts on my mind, namely my return to London and love (always!).
I am looking forward to seeing my friends, having money (I do love money), having my own place, buying furniture for it, decorating it, buying a bright red cooking set (I find it inspirational), and throwing dinner parties with my best friend. I am looking forward to having a home, a place to call my own. I think about all the things I am going to do upon my return. All those things I have always wanted to do but never stuck around long enough to do them. I am going to learn to dance salsa properly, and then samba, I am going to take a photography course, and then a cooking class, and I am going to learn to fly a plain. A long time ago I found a website that offered flying lessons and they weren’t even that expensive. I am looking forward to new challenges and hobbies. I just realised I often get inspired by what others are doing – I see it on TV, in movies, read about it, hear about it. I like it all. But I am just following in their steps. What do I like to do? What is my hobby? It is confusing as I tend to like everything and nothing. I hope that once I have gone through it all, I would know. I would know myself. It is a way to self-discovery.
Speaking of self-discovery, now is the time to reveal the decision behind this trip. Quite simply I just didn’t know what else to do. My personal life was at best rather bleak, I had a job offer for a job I wasn’t passionate about, and since I didn’t know what my true calling was I decided to follow my heart for a change, throw it all away and leave, hoping to find myself, my true calling, and my true love on the way. Four months into the trip I have found neither. I am still unsure about who I am, nor have I found the one thing I love doing and am good at. As for my true love – he is nowhere to be seen. I am quite frankly hoping for a sign from above, something to point me to the right way, to show me the way. Until it happens I will keep traveling. Keep looking.
I have felt very lonely these last few days. And there is nothing like Rio to make you feel even worse. Couples walking on the beach, families having dinner, friends enjoying themselves at a bar. This place is not designed for ‘alone’ people. Food at restaurants is served for at least two, double rooms are cheaper than single ones. It takes a lot of guts to walk into a restaurant by yourself and ask for a table. You get amazed, unbelieving looks, saying ‘You are alone?!’ and everybody is staring at you. Because you are alone. The lady at the restaurant the other day whispered to the waiter ‘Take her order, she is alone (poor thing)!’, as if I had a deadly disease. There is no point in trying to explain this to Brazilians. They just don’t get it. Sometimes I feel like screaming ‘I like being alone! There is nothing wrong with me!’.
The other day I went to a famous church in Central Rio. What is it famous for? Single women pray for a husband there. I thought ‘Maybe I should pray…’ but I felt uneasy with the thought. A husband is a scary thing. You know what they say – careful what you wish for. Then I thought ‘I don’t want a husband, I want more than that. I want The One.’. A husband is not necessarily The One, you can get bored with a husband. The One is forever. I imagine how I would feel once I have found him – utter bliss and endless happiness. It is time he appeared. I sometimes wonder what I would do if I didn’t find The One. Would I settle for the next best thing? Could I live with myself knowing that I have? What would life be on my own? How do I live happily on my own? I needn’t worry about it. I know I will find him.
On a completely different note, a question that sparked my interest and provoked some thoughts, again in a friend’s blog. He said he was proud of his parents. It made me think. Am I proud of my parents? I couldn’t give a short, straightforward answer. I had to think. Firstly, I can not speak of my parents as one. I have to separate them as I have different thoughts on each of them. My dad – yes, I am proud of him. He has developed some funny (at times annoying) personality traits and habits, and he is no longer the father I adored as a little girl, but he is the strongest, the brightest person and the most loving, supportive, and reliable father. I am proud of him for that. My mom – my relationship with her has been interesting. She is not the best of mothers. But I know she is trying. And I am proud of her for that. She has her place in my life.
And finally, my stay in Rio is approaching the end. And it is sad. I thought I’d had enough of the sun, the beach and the fun, that I was ready to move on. But then I realised that Brazil is my last sunny country for the next 4 months. My next destination is chilly Argentina, then there is snow in Chile, then cold Peru. It won’t be until Ecuador I am going to go to the beach again. I was standing on top of Cristo Redentor, looking at Rio, thinking how much I liked it, how much I am going to miss it. I could see myself living here.