Saturday, October 18, 2014

So I Fell in Love, And Then It Ended

You might be thinking this blog is about a bad break-up.  And in some ways it is.  It was a whirlwind romance.  I'd been emotionally invested for a long time.  It happened.  It was intense and rewarding and life affirming.  Then I had to fly home.

I'm of course talking about my recent trip to London.  Did you think it was something else?  Sorry to disappoint.  My tawdry love story isn't with a cabana boy or a saucy salsa dancer.  I fell in love with London.

Truthfully, my love for London started a long time ago.  For some reason, unbeknownst to myself or my mother, I fixated on London and England at a young age.  Before I understood the birds and the bees (does anyone ever fully understand it? sex is complicated), I used to tell my mother the stork dropped me off in the wrong country.  I know, I was an adorable child.  What happened?

Anyway, I was obsessed with English literature and the accent and anything Union Jack and all things English.  It was an obsession, a passion, an unrelenting and overwhelming love that became a dream to one day go there.  And finally, I got my chance.

Having money saved up, paid vacation through work, and an unfortunate instance yet blessing that no one could afford nor take the time to vacation with me, I set my sights on this long time dream.  I spared no expense in treating myself to the place I'd admired for ages.  I planned and prepped for months.  Carefully chose an itinerary to reflect my desires.  It was perfect.

Then it happened, and then it ended.

My friend Karen, having studied there herself and also being an avid Anglophile, told me I would come back changed.  At the time I didn't believe her, but then sitting at the airport waiting to fly home, I realized she was right.  I saw that I had so deeply fallen in love with this place that leaving felt as through I was leaving part of myself.  And it broke my heart.

I missed my friends.  My mom.  My dog.  And even my bed.  But being in this city, I had found the part of myself I suppose I always knew was there.  I felt entirely safe and comfortable in a city I had never visited.  I didn't clutch my purse tighter or speed up my walk in the dark.  I didn't have to because I felt perfectly at ease.  Because I felt like I was home.

So obviously I sobbed my eyes out leaving.  Felt a malaise all through the flight.  Was cranky and irritated by American customs (though, who isn't?).  I was pleased to see my mom and friend when they picked me up.  But everything still felt like a daze.  I think it will for a while.  Until I plan my next visit.  Until I go home again.

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