A tattooed cliché

what doesnt kill uI started from the provinces and arrived at the city where I always longed for: BUDAPEST, in full capitals. Opportunities, friends, career, a new chapter of my life… All of them sounded great in the middle of the summer, and I waited for the day excitedly to set off to Budapest. Carefully, I got everything that I considered necessary, said goodbye to my friends and my home where I had spent 21 years until now. Usually changes are hard for me, but then I felt a burning desire for them. I spent the last month with my family and my friends. I slept little in order to be with them as much as I could. And the big day finally arrived. I was so excited in the car but kept smiling for almost 3 hours. Then I arrived at the place I had longed for so much. The place I expected to turn my life upside down. And it did…

The first few days were incredible. I could not take my eyes off the beautiful buildings, and I felt that I could not get enough of the special people I met, and the bustle. I discovered Budapest right on the first week. I wanted everything immediately. I was greedy. But the city loved this kind of greed. A couple of weeks passed by and I found myself sitting on Margaret Island one night crying. I am alone. I am holding a garland in my hands. For a long time, I have been a fan of slam poetry highly popular nowadays in Hungary (I will tell about this maybe next time). The first line of the poem I was reading on Margaret Island is “TV teddy bear is dead”. These words touched me deeply, although I was aware of the fact that it brushed teeth with me only in my imagination. It hurt. I was sad while reading these words. Not because of the TV teddy bear but because I felt alone. My dad had moved abroad years ago. By now both my mother and my younger brother had gone to join him. I was the only one to stay because I wanted my dreams come true. “By hook or by crook I will be a Hungarian journalist who will write in Hungarian”. It had a price. My parents – if I can say this – sent me twice as much love as I had been given earlier. They knew I needed support. I could have no complains about this. It was rather that I felt like an unprotected and lonely girl in this city. What was more, a promising love in my life had come to an end as well, and thus the city itself did not shine as bright as it had earlier.

I sat on Margaret Island maybe for hours. All of a sudden I looked at my arm, and realized that my tears began to dry. I felt a hand tenderly touching my face and wiping away all my tears. The cool breeze stopped and the sun came out from behind the clouds, and I swear to God, it smiled. It smiled at me! Minutes passed as I looked into the sun. And I smiled at last.

And how did my arm cheer me up?

There happens to be a line tatooed on it. Earilier, whenever I was down and cried, Dad used to say to me: “What does not kill you, makes you stronger”. It is just a cliché but it is true. If you are capable of leaving bad things behind, you will take coming steps with much strength and confidence. As years go by we all become stronger and stronger. In such a way a little girl can turn to a self-respecting, persistent, brave big girl. Although she grows up, she will always stay the little girl of her daddy. The difference is that in order to get over serious disappointments, she doesn’t need to be taken by her hand any more.

„Quod me non necat, fortiorem facit.” I had it tattooed on my skin in Latin. Dad chose both the font and the language. Thus, if I am sad and he is not with me, it feels as if  he was saying these words to me. I will never be lonely. Moreover, I am not lonely any longer because of the TV teddy bear. As the three of us used to brush our teeth together in my childhood. The TV teddy bear, dad, and me.

Who is TV teddy bear? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mtkDdq1qsB4

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