A Letter From London
I'm in London. It's hard to believe I'm actually here, even as the one week anniversary to my arrival approaches. I arrived last week, barely prepared, on a whim of sorts. Several months ago, on another whim of sorts whilst traveling in Florida, I'd dreamed up a fantasy to come to London for two months, immerse myself in the study of fashion, and travel around Europe on my off-time. In my mind the dream looked vibrant and colourful, wild and awe-inspiring. I became obsessed with the idea of me in London, seeing opportunities and reminders everywhere, even while in the shoe section at Nordstrom back home. What cute London boots! I'd think to myself, smiling slightly at my unrealistic optimism.
But, as life would have it, my optimism wasn't unrealistic. And my dream wasn't too far fetched. I'm here. I'm in London.
Thinking back on this now, I'm reminded of how appreciative I should be in this very moment, in this very spot, for being here, my wild dream playing out before my eyes. I really didn't anticipate getting here so fast, but looking back on the most recent sequence of events in my life, I can see that this is right. But not so long ago, I struggled with the decision. After a sequence of life-altering events, I stood still in my life, paralyzed and indecisive. I knew I needed to make a move, and yet my feet stood firmly on the ground.
How will I know if it's the right thing? I asked my mom, sitting next to her in the car, nearing her house.
It will be easy, she said. If it's right, everything will fall into place. Nothing will be a struggle.
I had just ended a long relationship and the back of my mother's vehicle was filled with boxes of my belongings we'd collected together earlier that day. It had been a hard and drawn out process, as most breakups are, and with the finalization of packing my boxes and moving them out I felt a sudden urge to make a move. Where would I go? What would I do?
This wasn't just an ending of a relationship, this was an ending of an entire chapter of my life. Not only had my relationship just ended, I'd also just said goodbye to many other integral parts of my life: my career, some of my friendships, my home, my previous vision of my future and my goals… and even my dog.
You can imagine my panic, confusion, and utter fear as I prepared to take the first step into my new life, the unknown. The uncertainty of my future haunted me for the following weeks after the breakup, a time of isolation where I only found solace in my sister's home, a warm and tucked away place where I was able to draw into myself and hide for the winter.
But what I learned during this time of departure is invaluable, and is now an irrevocable part of me. I learned that with every goodbye is a new hello.
Saying goodbye to the old compartments of my life and the plans I had for it allowed me to say hello to a world of options and opportunities. Saying goodbye to certain friendships allowed me to strengthen others, and being in a time of need allowed me to reconnect with my family, especially my older sister who's stood by my side since I was in diapers. And letting go of my relationship allowed me to discover something in someone special I'd only ever dreamed existed.
But most importantly, letting go of my fears is what has gotten me here. Both physically in London, and emotionally and mentally in an unnamed place that can only be described as just right.
My advice to others is this: let go of the things that do not serve you, and go towards what you know in your heart is right, regardless of how fearful of uncertainty you are. You'll be surprised at how many loving, supportive, and advice-spewing people will show up to be there for you.
And when in doubt in a tricky situation, when having trouble deciding, do what my mom says.
As it turns out, mom's are always right. I took my mom's advice, and I ended up right where I needed to be.
I'm in London!