Today marks my one-year-anniversary of my return to Budapest. How to sum up what this year has come to mean to me in a mere few words? Hope, laughter, tears of sorrow, tears of joy. All that, and so much more rolled into one year. Like 1993/94, this was one of the most significant years in my life. Friendships were formed and nearly broken. Experiences gathered. And the list goes on.
Two exhibitions, where prior to that I’d been convinced that I had no artistic talent whatsoever. I’m not claiming to be the next Dalí or Picasso. But to get to the point where people like something you enjoy immensely, and not just one person either, that means a lot. I’ve had a lot of encouragement from friends already in Helsinki, and without them I wouldn’t be here, so this is an extension of their support.
But the biggest compliment came from my brother, who used a picture I’d made, on social media. My brother won’t just praise for the sake of making someone feel better. If you get a compliment from him, it’s 1,000% authentic and real. So to log on and find that picture right there, it really meant a lot.
In Hungary I also reconnected with old friends, people I hadn’t seen in ages. In some cases the bonds deepened, in other cases bonds opened I hadn’t even known were (or could be) there. And new friendship were formed, likeminded people, kindred spirits, people who helped me in my hour of utmost need, who literally picked me up and dusted me off, patiently helped me bank on my feet, guiding me so I could become me again. When you’re that far down you’ve got nothing left but trust. That’s fair enough. But although sometimes when you get better a certain distaste for the helper creeps in (as though you resented them seeing guy in that position), in my case it was the opposite, the foundation of deep and meaningful friendship.
It’s been an amazing year, one I couldn’t have imagined in my wildest dreams. And I wouldn’t exchange it for anything in the world. What started out on a tiny island near Turku (a very good friend invited me to her familiy’s summer house four days before I left, and that’s really how the whole trip began, on Friday, 13. Not that I’m superstitious with that date.
So here’s to another year of laughter, and happiness, adventures (of the positive kind) and joy!