Two years ago I did the typical Junior-in-college-thing and took off for my fall semester abroad. Having traveled to London before , I knew I loved the city and (to be perfectly honest) was too lazy to work on my language skills by moving to a Spanish-speaking country.
I fell in love both with and in the city, Fall semester turning into spring semester and spring semester turning into a working visa where I spent my summer serving Coronas at a Tex-Mex restaurant in Trafalgar square. My posh Chelsea “apartment” (read: dorm) turned into a dingy “council flat” (British projects/tenements) in the East End near an endless strip of curry restaurants.
Needless to say, when my visa expired and I was forced to return home, I cried when saying goodbye to my Kiwi Man in the airport, for most of the flight, when landing in Charlotte, NC and then again when I moved into my Davidson apartment.
I’m telling you this because…
Because that trip changed my life. It was the happiest I’ve been. However, instead of moving back after graduation and following my heart, I felt New York was the only way forward so I ended my relationship with both the city and the Kiwi. Idiot idiot idiot.
Except now I’m back; finally deciding enough was enough. You all know my hatred of NYC and, thankfully, my wonderful, perfect, amazing job allows me to work from anywhere and my Kiwi is forgiving.
This is all pretty personal stuff but it wasn’t until my soul mate, Desi (not a Kiwi), wrote about it on her blog, that I realized I wanted to share this story with you all. Desi, or “Muffin”, as she is known around the house, was my roommate freshman year at Davidson College and we’ve been attached at the hip ever since.
After graduation we moved into a super kick-ass apartment on the Upper West Side and quickly realized the Rather Large Apple was not the right fit. Thank God we had each other.
The two of us have a catch-phrase, which goes, “You’re awesome.” That saying has gotten me through some self-doubt, random career changes, rejection, acceptance and a variety of other positive and negative life stuff.
While I may no longer live with my dear Desi, I always know she has my back. And it’s that – that knowledge of whatever I do or decide or attempt to accomplish, someone will always think I’m awesome – which keeps me going 99% of the time.
“Toughing it out” isn’t very tough at all.
Here’s a snippet of her post (though you should read the whole thing) that I want to share, so you, too can find your “London Calling”:
Why don’t more people follow Marian’s suit? The risk. The idea of it alone turns some people around right in their tracks. Even the word “change” instills fear in the hearts of many. A significant number of us will do everything we can to avoid facing the unknown. We dodge risk-taking as if it were a curse. We tell ourselves it is somehow better to keep doing what we’re doing because we know exactly what to expect from that. And then we call this “toughing it out.” That’s funny. “Toughing it out” isn’t very tough at all. It is no act of bravery. It’s safe. It’s the label we give to doing things we feel we “should” be doing but don’t want to.
What’s brave? Banishing “should” from our vocabulary and doing what we really want to do instead.
Ordinarily? I am brave, and proud of it, too. I repel the word “should.” Me and Marian: Two peas in a pod.
Lately? I haven’t been very brave. I am plagued by “shoulds.” I am ignoring my own “London-calling” because words like “responsibility” and “practical” ring in my ears at the mere thought, and names of people I want to please resound louder in my head than my own.
Find your London. Go there.