Tuesday, 27 March 2018

ROMA: THE ETERNAL CITY

"La citta Eterna!....Rome! The Eternal City! 
Did no one read the info packets?" 
- Ms. Ungermeyer 
(The Lizzie McGuire Movie)


You know, the best things are never planned. Ever. Stumbling around in search of a great gelato place and then... BAM. Trevi Fountain! Staring right back at me in absolute colossal grandeur. The Eternal City is nothing short of amazing, dripping in extraordinary culture and history. Four full days of Roma filled with Pasta... Gelato... and Ancient Cathedrals. It's safe to say this was our favourite holiday destination in our entire Europe trip.


The first day was spent 'romeing' (very punny no?) around Rome where we stumbled across one of my favourite cathedrals. If you ever do visit Rome I highly recommend this place as it is free entry. But alas it was the most beautiful only because we stumbled across it by chance, thinking "oh it's open" and "oh it's free entry". St Ignatius' Cathedral is beyond amazing, with the ceiling painted into an illusion that reaches out of the physical walls and into heaven. Awe, yes you'll stand there staring up for hours. There's even a mirror in the middle of the Cathedral so you don't have to painstakingly stare up the whole time trying to absorb the talent behind this creation. I'm going to try not to spoil it for you, so no photo spoilers. If you want to spoil it for yourself then google it, otherwise I highly recommend you go stumbling into that Cathedral, look up and breathe it all in.

Another highlight of the Eternal City is definitely the Vatican City: it's own independent country, the word's smallest country in fact (with only ~500 citizens). You think the culture and history of Rome is amazing? Wait until you experience the Vatican City. And definitely do it with a guided tour, because how would we have known that the giant purple rock shaped in a bowl was the rarest most expensive piece of material in history that powerful men killed each other over? The Vatican owns about 80% of the world's marbles and Nero's purple bath is one of the best pieces in there that would've been easily overlooked.

 After visiting Rome, no craftmanship in any other city or country could compare. We were spoiled (thank you Michelangelo). The numerous arches, the intricate details in all that marble and the strokes in those paint brushes... it was all maintained in pristine condition despite being hundreds of years old.

Our last full day was spent at the Colosseum and Palatine Hills/Roman Forum, experiencing the horrific history that has happened in this ruin. The old ghost of Ancient Rome. Absolutely fascinating the inhumanity that once existed, killing people and watching people get killed for pure barbaric entertainment. And also the scale of the production as well: flooding the Colosseum to create an ocean scene and raising gigantic trees to form a forest. I don't know how they did it... but they did it.


And enough about how amazing Rome was, I'm sure I can just let the photos do the talking. Meanwhile I want to speak about history and it's implications on the present. I mean taking Rome for example, history still affects the present day like they literally cannot efficiently build a metro system because every time they dig underground there's an artefact that delays the entire process. Extending a metro line literally takes decades. You can never truly outrun history.

Fear brings out the worst in people. In fear we lose our minds in the process, and sometimes the people with it. "The past is in the past" he says, never asking about anything, or about anyone. But I am a firm believer that history shapes the future in some way, big or small. That's why I always ask (subtlely) about their past relationships on the first date. A big no-no according to my friends but honestly I don't want to waste time on a man who screwed his ex over. He might not reveal it so easily but for the chances that I would find out, I'd gladly take it. If you got nothing to hide, then why should my question bother you anyway.  

So something happened... and my dramatic reaction to something completely insignificant to him was the effect of my terrible past experiences, flashbacks of "this is the beginning" of where it all falls apart. I mean to him it's completely unfair, but the brain has a way of short-cutting and summarising. I thought I've moved past this, the whole 'pessimistic lover' thing... 'nothing great ever lasts'. But I guess I simply pushed it aside and was riding the waves for all this time. 


Experiences 'build you' they say, experiences 'build character'. Yes, but they never said it was 'bad character' did they. One of the greatest lessons to learn is to let life's difficulties make you better not bitter. There are so many difficulties in life that if we were to let each one chip away at our optimism, what ever would we be left with? I surely do not want to find out. 

I don't want to think that all good things come to an end, even though everywhere I turn that's all I see. I've both seen it and I've experienced it. That moment the entire relationship shifts and all of a sudden it's "like driving a new Maserati down a dead-end street" (thanks Taylor for the analogy). Driving very fast too, might I add. The moment you realise that shift, it's all too late. It seems like there's nothing you can do or say to bring it back to where it was before. And that is so freaking scary. One minute you're seeing and talking to this person every day, and the next minute they are a complete and utter stranger to you.  


But be better and not bitter. I'm not bitter though, I'm just fearful. I like to think I've completely forgiven all that has happened in the past, and all those who it happened with. But forgiving doesn't mean forgetting, and that's where the fears reside. All of a sudden something triggers it and you remember these events, and the fear overwhelms you, and you lose yourself.

Instead of learning to forget, it's best we learn to control. Learn to control your fears. Ask yourself why, why are you so scared of losing him. People come and go, let them. For I truly believe in only letting those stay... who voluntarily stay. I will not force people nor will I settle for them. Fifty years from now when your children have left home and have families of their own, you want to be stuck with a disrespectful old fart who you settled for? Nuh-uh. I want to have settled down with a loving old fart. Thank you very much.


2 comments:

  1. Always a top destination!

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