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When I moved to Prague I imagined it all so differently.

But that’s not how life goes. Nothing is ever as you imagined it.

My vision was to move to this grand city with my best friends and just start again. To have my best twenties, take the opportunities, meet new people, go on adventures and just live that movie like life.

I had to start from the bottom. This blog of mine was always about brutal therapeutical honesty. All of my shame, all of my regrets are not gonna disappear if I never talk about it. Me oversharing my personal life so far has only had a liberating effect on my life.

To admit and to let go. To move on and let the others know shit happens.

After my How mental health affected my eating habits and The honest story of my University dropout I opened the new chapter. I left some people behind, I took some people with me and I thought I had it all figured out.

Prague was a promise.

Everything was supposed to get better and even though it kinda did, it was a hell of a rollercoaster.

It’s been 11 months in Prague and for me, those 11 months felt like and 11 years. The relativity of time was never so substantial for me as it has in Prague. It all went by so fast yet so slow and so many shits happened and yet not enough.

The first couple of months went on like I was in a delirium. I can’t grasp on any particular memory from that time as it’s been so corrupted ever since. Living with my best friend, watching our favorite shows, cooking together, exploring Prague, meeting new people and I genuinely thought this is it. This is what I’ve been missing. Just living and not overthinking about the future or the past.

It was all so glamorous. I got to call those streets my home. Hundreds of people come to Prague each day to see the majesty that I get to call my home. There are old friends of mine who never been to Prague and it’s considered a goal for them. It’s on the people’s bucket list. And I’m lucky enough to wake up in the grand Prague every day. It was overwhelming.

But nothing is ever as you imagine it. My perfect bubble burst in my Moving out Moving on.

I got to start again. Prague part 2.

There is something addictive about new beginnings. I’m only 23 and I had way too many new beginnings for such a young age. But there is this incredible rush of excitement mixed with panic that runs through your veins and you can actually feel that sort of chill, the effect of a clean sheet. New start. Leave all of the shits behind.

I got it when I moved from my hometown and left for 4 years of study in Kosice. I got that when I moved from Slovakia to the Czech Republic and I got that feeling again when I moved to Prague.

My second move in Prague got corrupted and wicked.

I didn’t get to start again, I was forced to.

Suddenly I was stripped out of the feeling of control over my life by the person I trusted the most and oh boy that fucked me up. I had trust issues and problems with control since forever and my Road to self-love is a mess but it’s worth it is the perfect example of it. All of my self-doubts came crushing back down on me.

I didn’t get start fresh, I had to continue from the ruins.

Everything has changed and yet I’m supposed to go on as nothing did. I go to the same job, walk past the same buildings, meet the same people. The only new thing is the feeling of total abandonment and new debts I’ll be paying for a very long time.

I can’t blame my friends for moving on without me. Hell, I did the same thing to some other friends and I never ever gave it a second thought. A family I left behind, friends I forgot about and the love I turned down because I just had to seek for more. Never satisfied. Always wanting better. Bigger. More.

There is this feeling of longing for something I can’t really name or get rid of.

Don’t you ever just want? Not anything specific, but you just want. Something. Someone. I don’t know.

I believed Prague was gonna be it for me and it really had potential to be so if the God or destiny didn’t have other plants. Now I’m here. Continuing on as nothing happened. Losing more friends than making new. Putting dreams on hold in order to live a decent life. Going to work and going home. Learning to cook for one. Having Netflix on to cover up the silence of an empty apartment. Realizing nothing I have is actually mine and doing anything to actually feel like myself again.

Truth is, I never felt so lonely or so proud of myself than I do now. The loneliness makes you do crazy, out of character shits. Like messaging old crushes or setting up a tinder account.

There is this guy I met on tinder who’s life philosophy was:

What can you teach me?

Honestly, I never met such an open and charming person ever and he got me rethinking my life a lot.

I realized that Prague has taught me a lot about myself.

I never intended Prague to be my final destination, but I never planned for it to have such an important role in the development of my character. Sure I can imagine a decent life here but that’s not enough. My view of Prague will forever be crooked.

Prague would always be haunted for me.

Haunted by old friendships, the ghost of betrayal, lost chances and missed opportunities. Prague is so rich in history and I brought my history with me when I couldn’t let go of my past and it came back kicking. I’m hoping that when the day comes for me to leave the city, I’ll leave the bad stuff here and I’ll take only lessons learned with me to my next stop. If that’s gonna be in a year or in a five I have no idea.

Don’t get me wrong, I love the city but its sad love. Love that’s making me think about every choice I made that led me here. I’m taking that “what if” wonder wherever I go.

What if I moved here with a different friend? What if I never said no and what if I never said yes? But most importantly, what if I stopped overthinking everything?

There is this quote from OITNB seventh season that motivated me to write this all down and it goes like this:

“In my experience, the good memories from the past are never as good as we remember them, and then the bad ones are worse than we remember them, but our brains, they play these games so we don’t kill ourselves. And we just keep doing shit.”

In conclusion, I am bitter.

Bitter for the way life happened and tempered with my life views. I am Bitter for the way I let people treat me. Bitter because I can’t think about the city I love the same way I used to. I am Bitter because I just can’t let go what’s still there. Bitter cuz I have to stay. I’m Bitter cuz I have shit to prove. Bitter cuz that’s life. I’m bitter cuz it’s unfair and bitter cuz it is.

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55 Comments

  1. July 29, 2019 / 8:44 am

    WHAT WOULD ENCOURAGE YOU? I KNOW THE BITTERNESS MYSELF, FROM HOW I’VE BEEN TREATED.

    • August 11, 2019 / 3:14 pm

      I fully agree with your views. Bitterness is a moderate word. It is much more. I was expelled from Iraq in 1972 for refusing to joint the then ruling Ba’ath Party. I hoped the exile would be better. However, I spent about 46 years in Pakistan still hoping for a change. Change did happen but the new regime is even worst. Now I wished I had never moved outside my country.
      Jassim Taqui, Islamabad

      • August 11, 2019 / 6:17 pm

        Being expelled from Iraq is hard to reverse. Having things get worse is harder…! I am a Christian and Christ and Hid early apostles–including Paul–taught that hardships are opportunities to grow in faith and turn to God even closer…become more like Christ. Persecution of Christians intensifies where you are, but the faithful are victorious in their faith and spirit. I don’t kn ow any other encouragement to give….

        • August 12, 2019 / 7:55 pm

          I lost my comment due to computer mistake. Now, I will repeat what I said. I always admired Jesus the Christ because he preaches love and forgiveness. I read the Bible when I was in highschool. I continued with it in college and University. I agree hardship enhances the growth of faith. But this is not true for everyone. Most people lose their way. However, I was an avid reader. I read The miserable(Arabic translation) of Vector Hugo. I admired the personality of Jan Valjan. I learnt from him kindness and helping others. I read Lolita of Vladimir Nabokov ( Arabic translation) and adored the abstract or forbidden love.I loved “It’s a wonderful life” movie and loved the dedication of George Bailey to lower middle class. These random exposure, and not faith, helped me.

          • August 13, 2019 / 1:49 am

            then are you not left to your own devices, at the mercy–so to speak–of wind and wave, time and chance, no moral or any other absolutes–except in yourself or in your own little group? A universe that created itself isn’t logical—nor is it logical that the 2nd law of thermodynamics should reverse itself for the convenience of philosophers and so-called scientists who deny the evidence of an Intelligent Designer right in front of their noses–in their noses! Even atheists have “faith” that the sun isn’;t going to suddenly explode us all burn up. etc.Your choice–acknowledge the evidence—of which you are a part of—or deny the whole thing. If God wants to open your eyes, He will…And how do you know that all these influences WER RANDOM? :DF

          • August 13, 2019 / 6:40 am

            I am definitely a believer. Faith is life. It is a way out of misery. It opens windows of opportunity. That is why I named my blog Al-Bab, which is a mystic word means “gate.”It was Imam Ali who says he knew one thousand gates of knowing God. And from each gate one thousand additional gates are opened. This means almost infinity gates are opened; lifting the seekers to the most powerful world of spiritual elevation. Thank you for sharing.

  2. July 29, 2019 / 12:30 pm

    That “wanting”? Only Jesus can fill that desire fully. Other things can fill it for a bit, heck, some things can fill it or make the “wanting” go away for a long time, but it will always return. You have a choice before you.

    • August 25, 2019 / 11:09 pm

      How right you are. “There is a God-shaped vacuum in the heart of each man which cannot be satisfied by any created thing but only by God the Creator, made known through Jesus Christ.” ― Pascal (It’s debatable who originally said this, but it doesn’t matter – it’s still true.

    • September 25, 2019 / 8:38 am

      Buddhist teaching says that pain is inevitable but suffering is a choice that you make or reject.

      If you think that Jesus can fill that desire, good for you.

      Grasping and aversion are the two sides of the one coin and the solution to avoiding suffering is to be aware when you want the world to be other than it is – and give up the wanting. Likewise pushing away that which you do not want does not work as well as embracing the pain and accepting that something may be learnt.

      The world is as the world is. If it doesn’t suit you, it is easier to change yourself than it is to rail against a world that refuses to bend itself to your will. 😊

  3. July 29, 2019 / 12:37 pm

    You really REALLY need to find a way to move on. Easy to say, much MUCH harder to do.

    • natalieihnatova
      Author
      August 2, 2019 / 11:56 am

      yes that’s true

    • August 25, 2019 / 11:39 pm

      Mitch, your story is a perfect analogy of that longing. I have also enjoyed the story of how you went from atheism to faith. Keep sharing it!

  4. Cat
    July 30, 2019 / 2:13 pm

    I feel like this could have been written by myself. It’s nice to know there are other people out there who know there has to be more to life, but just can’t figure it out and end up doing all kinda of crazy stuff, trying to find balance and happiness. Like a blind person wanting to escape a room only with it’s hands.
    It’s normal to be unsatisfied. Some simple minds can be happy with simple things, others need more but it’s not we who are dysfunctional.
    “in an insane world, a sane man must appear insane.” – Star Trek’s Mr. Spock

    And Bookstooge ^^ I know you meant well but a person can be spiritual, without having to believe in a medieval cult who preaches peace but killed millions in the name of a loving, ever forgiving God, not even today you can yet accept that love knows no gender. Plants have taught me more than your holy book could ever do. Peace

    • natalieihnatova
      Author
      August 2, 2019 / 11:55 am

      Thank you so much for your kind words

  5. Cat
    July 30, 2019 / 2:18 pm

    And if it hurts sometimes means you are alive, some people can’t feel anything and believe me that is much worse.

    • natalieihnatova
      Author
      August 2, 2019 / 11:55 am

      yes, thank you

  6. July 30, 2019 / 7:39 pm

    You are a brave woman. I have not been getting your alerts so have followed again

    • natalieihnatova
      Author
      August 2, 2019 / 11:53 am

      Thank you so much 🙂

  7. July 31, 2019 / 5:23 am

    Beautiful post. I understand that feeling of wanting or longing–a certain discontent. “Wanting something or someone.” Yes.

    • natalieihnatova
      Author
      August 2, 2019 / 11:52 am

      Thank you

  8. Linh Pham
    August 3, 2019 / 3:52 pm

    Thank you so much for sharing this!

  9. August 3, 2019 / 8:06 pm

    Hat Natalie, love your writing and thanks for dipping into mine. I watched this movie The Peaceful Warrior, I don’t know if you’ve seen it, but Ioved a lot about it. One thing that really stuck with me was that the only certainty is change. Now that is cool. It’s possible to re-invent and be re-invented at any moment.

    • natalieihnatova
      Author
      August 3, 2019 / 8:43 pm

      Thank you for your comment. I haven’t seen it yet but it sounds interesting. I’ll give it a go soon 🙂

  10. August 4, 2019 / 1:11 am

    “Attitude is a choice. Happiness is a choice. Optimism is a choice. Kindness is a choice. Giving is a choice. Respect is a choice. Whatever choice you make makes you. Choose wisely.”

    – Roy T. Bennett

  11. August 5, 2019 / 7:17 pm

    You visited a post of mine and I read this article with a different perspective and hope you understand that you are not alone. Even though you are indisputably alone. YESTERDAY’S children. Call to gather.

  12. August 6, 2019 / 5:46 pm

    I’m sorry about what you went through. I know it’s difficult to adjust to new changes, but you gotta let go of the past and move on. Life can be a struggle, sometimes. When one door closes, another one opens.

  13. August 7, 2019 / 12:27 pm

    Takes courage to share such personal details.

    • natalieihnatova
      Author
      August 12, 2019 / 8:34 am

      Thank you

  14. August 7, 2019 / 1:44 pm

    After your reading blogs.. I went to your Instagram and DM you 2 week ago I guess..! I would love to listen to your story.. if you feel like sharing it.. i am here 😊

    • natalieihnatova
      Author
      August 12, 2019 / 8:33 am

      Thank you

  15. August 8, 2019 / 4:27 pm

    Love this. You are actually writing memoir though memoir need things you do not have. Keep going.

    • natalieihnatova
      Author
      August 12, 2019 / 8:31 am

      thank you so much

    • natalieihnatova
      Author
      August 12, 2019 / 8:28 am

      yes it totally is 🙂

    • natalieihnatova
      Author
      August 12, 2019 / 8:27 am

      Thank you for your comment

  16. August 11, 2019 / 4:22 pm

    I know the feeling. My mom is from Teplice and I moved there in 2013 for a year. And then moved to America. Time in Czech is relative

    • natalieihnatova
      Author
      August 12, 2019 / 8:22 am

      Exactly 🙂 thank you

  17. August 15, 2019 / 7:09 pm

    I love the raw honesty. Geography is an interesting thing–we think it will change us, but in the end, we change it.

    • natalieihnatova
      Author
      August 16, 2019 / 2:06 pm

      Thank you

  18. August 17, 2019 / 9:10 pm

    We’re both doing “The In-Between”, I’m much older than you, and I’ve been here before. No matter how much it hurts, you will find your way out. You’re one spunky lady!

  19. August 17, 2019 / 10:40 pm

    I’m glad you were bold enough to make a move to Prague. It says a lot about your character. There’s still a lot for you to see, explore and learn. When you think about it, Life is a big school of learning. We learn and grow from our mistakes, we strive to be better, and we keep doing it as we get older. I’m 40 years old, and I’m still learning and exploring. Life really never stays the same because there’s always change. We always keep learning to know ourselves better. It’s important that we never give up on ourselves and in learning. Our thoughts and our moods affect how we perceive the world. And in moving forward with life, if we see that there’s something good about ourselves and in the world, our perception of ourselves and about the world changes to a better light. We must trust and believe that there is good.

  20. August 19, 2019 / 2:38 pm

    This piece eloquently expresses a fundamental human truth: we do tend to take ourselves with us wherever we go, preventing us from leaving “all the shits behind.” But perhaps what keeps us going is that hope of – as you expertly put it – continuing “from the ruins.”

  21. August 19, 2019 / 5:20 pm

    Thank-you for liking my short post. I have now uploaded my full post regarding my experiences in Prague. Unlike you, I was only there for a holiday; where was the picture of the street taken? It looks like many streets in the city. I would like to be able to offer you some consolation, but the reality is that you, yourself learn to become stronger, enabling you to withstand the stuff that life throws at us. Grab the good things that are in any situation, and endure the bad; things eventually change and improve. I said that I would not write a long comment so 1 thing: Abraham Lincoln said (I believe)”Most folks are about as happy as they make up their minds to be”. Keep going and life gets better…eventually!

  22. August 24, 2019 / 4:20 pm

    This was a very cathartic read. Thank you for the insights as well as sharing that feeling of a place being “haunted” by memories. I could never put my finger on it.
    I’m re-tracing my life where I went with my now ex as it means I can think about “the last time I went to that place, it was a good time”, not one with a bad memory haunting it.
    Also, it’s true about the road to self-love being a rough one. Found you through a like on my new blog, which is much appreciated. All the best, and I’ll stay tuned 🙂

  23. Bill
    August 24, 2019 / 5:25 pm

    Very good writing. I have felt the excitement and thrill of many new places and the altered remembrances after moving on. But everywhere I went, there I was still. Keep up the great writing !!!

  24. August 25, 2019 / 11:44 pm

    Natalia, I appreciate your honesty. Many, many people feel that longing and don’t talk about it, either because they don’t want to be vulnerable, or because they don’t know how to describe it. I’m glad you stopped by my blog. I hope you visit me again, and I hope that “divine perspective” can help fill that void for you.

  25. August 30, 2019 / 4:23 pm

    I was lonely for more years that I can count, lonely when I was loved, lonely when I loved, lonely surrounded by people and success. Then I faced some things that had happened to me, and after the shock had worn off, I found I was no longer lonely. I had been lonely for myself – for a part of me I had banished and brought back from exile.

  26. August 30, 2019 / 6:26 pm

    I really enjoyed my visit to Praha and hope to return one day.

  27. August 30, 2019 / 8:56 pm

    I think young adulthood is one of the toughest times of life. Hang in there. A lot of things do get better. A church lady moment, though: That unidentifiable longing you described so well is probably for God. Our soul is built with Him in mind. Nothing else or no one else can fill that void. Blessings, Natalia.

  28. September 14, 2019 / 8:22 pm

    What an interesting read! And mahn, it is soooo honest, which makes it even more beautiful… Wow!

    I think another reason it really appeals to me is because I am at a similar stage where i just wanna travel and never look back….

  29. September 18, 2019 / 6:25 pm

    I greatly appreciate and endorse your honesty. Wish I’d embraced that gift earlier on. God bless and STAY STRONG.

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