Tuesday, January 25, 2011

There and Back Again

Graduate school.  The thought first crossed my mind about six years ago, along with the vague idea that attending one across the pond would render prolonged education a much cooler endeavour.  I finally roused myself into the application process last spring.  For a time, however, it seemed like a dream that would never be achieved as recurring illnesses and numerous insecurities plagued my summer.  

If it weren’t for a few fantastic people who shall remain nameless, I have no doubt I would have officially entered my late twenties still working at Barnes and Noble.  Still living with my parents.  Still idly trying to get a real job.  Still wanting a change but feeling unsure as to how to make it happen.  Within a few frantic weeks, I made all the preparations for moving to another country: classes chosen, loans approved, accommodation deposit paid, visa processed, flight booked, luggage packed.  If it weren’t for the continued support of my spectacular parents, I would never have made it.  But as usual, they were for me, and I did.

I am notorious for my procrastination, an awful habit that has doggedly followed me into adulthood. Packing is no exception.  For my London study abroad program, it somehow seemed like a good idea to hastily shovel clothes into a suitcase a mere seven hours before my flight.  When returning home from Birmingham, I crammed two years of my life away the night before departure.   Every time I stress myself out to the point of sickness; and despite promising myself I will be better prepared next time, it always happens again.

Being the analytical person that I am, I’ve wondered if my subconscious does this on purpose.  When I’m fully occupied with the tasks that accompany such a transition, there’s little time to lament the forthcoming change.  For me, the days preceding leaving home are always the hardest; now matter how excited I am for a new adventure.  I realize that the wonderful family members (and friends) who have been there for me at a moment’s notice will be thousands of miles away.  I wonder how long it will be before we’re once again rushing to a movie in order to see the featured trailers or laughing over the antics of our beloved pooches.  And when will I get to eat proper Mexican food?

I was pondering these things and more as I flew from Salt Lake to Chicago and from there to Zurich.  It felt strange, foreign.  I began to wonder if I was doing the right thing.  But as my flight from Switzerland began its descent into Manchester, something changed.  I looked at the sea of green below me and suddenly felt at ease.  Everything was familiar, and I felt at home.  I had never been up North before.  But it was still England; and England and I get along just fine.  

As many of you know, I’m not the most consistent emailer; I often become engrossed in reading yet another nineteenth-century novel or socializing at the pub.  Nevertheless, I am commencing this blog in an attempt to keep loved ones better acquainted with the goings-on of my life in England.  Here’s hoping I’m better at this than email!

My farewell breakfast at IHOP

 With the coolest  baby sister ever.  She's also a fantastic book buddy.
 The Moms.
I just might miss this green-eyed devil the most.
 Train to Leeds. I was trying to capture the rain -- it didn't really work.
 As soon as I arrived at my new house, I devoured some microwavable Indian food.
I then made up my bed (sooo glad I decided to bring my bedding with me) and crashed.
I call this photo 'The First Supper.'

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