It is with sadness and a small twinge of excitement that I must leave the British Isles this weekend. I was reflecting back this morning on my way to the market how much I’ve come to love this place. I haven’t enjoyed every single day, but I’ve sure enjoyed the hell out of being here! I really have. I have learned so much about myself, where I want to be, how to do new things, and how I’ve done things I never thought I’d ever do. I guess this part of life teaches you that you can’t hold onto everything forever, sometimes you gotta move on and cherish every single second for what it was.
Before I moved here, I never knew how to use public transportation like using a bus or getting on a train, I never knew how to make marmalade, I’d never haggled at a market, I’d never been to a butcher’s shop, or felt more connected with nature in a way that I never have before. I now pay more attention to birds, butterflies, and the way the air smells in the morning.
Similarly, in the culinary world since living here I have come so far that I cannot tell you, I could only show you. Yeah, I still have my recipes that aren’t all that great, but you know what? They are few compared to the number of yummy successes I’ve had.
I feel like I’m a new woman since living here, an experience that I couldn’t get anywhere else but here at this exact time and place in my life, a time when I needed a little self assessment. I know more about myself now in the past year of living here than I have in all of my 20-something years of being on this planet.
Looking back on the past 6 months or so, I’ve realized just how much I’ve grown as a person and how much I’ve learned about myself. I’m almost taken back by it. I’ve learned just how passionate of a person I can be about my creative hobbies–crocheting, using yarn/wool, making things, and how I’ve improved ten fold in the kitchen! I’ve also learned that I aspire to have a home that I love being in, a place that I want decorated with things vintage and new.
I am deeply saddened by having to leave the country I have come to love in so many ways, one that I hope stays with me forever no matter where I am. I am glad to know that I cannot go back to being the person I once was before I moved to this country; I have changed and living in Europe has changed me. Yes, I still avoid making phone calls here at all costs, because I’m not a phone person here, but I have learned to overcome so much more than that–public transport challenges being one of them. Coming from a country where I have to drive absolutely everywhere to a country where I can walk everywhere or get to use public transport. I have developed my self confidence in so many ways and yet come to realize sometimes I really can become a shrinking violet. But you know what? That’s just who I am, a woman of contradictions.
Moreover, I have experienced things here that only I alone can cherish or remember. I try to take pictures of everything I can to somehow take hold of all those things around me and remember them forever. Where I come from and where I live now in England are worlds apart and as each day draws nearer to when I must leave, my heart fills with dread.
Yes, I am happy to return to a land with warmer temperatures, burritos, my car, my family, and ingredients I’m used to cooking with, but that doesn’t make leaving here any easier. It’s a mixed bag of emotions for me. I know that I’ll face that day when it comes where my BF and I won’t have to separate anymore, with disbelief. You see, that’s one of the many challenges we must face and have been facing for 4 years as a trans-atlantic couple, but I know that one day soon, that’ll all be behind us.
I remember 6 months ago I was looking ahead to the future, hoping and wishing that I’d get something, anything out of my experience in being here in England. And you know what? I have, I most certainly have. I feel enriched and more sure of myself now about who I am and what I want out of life and you can’t put a price tag on that!