A goodbye that's physically painful to write
I don’t know how to say goodbye to this place.
I know, in the grand scheme of things, I don’t really get to be upset about leaving London in two weeks. I’ve been here for twice as long as many students get the chance to be. I’m heading to Iceland, then coming back for a week before heading home. My experience has been incredible. There have, clearly, been periods where London treated me less than well, but for the most part I feel much more part of this city than I ever felt of New York.
Maybe that’s why this is such a difficult post to write. I’ve lived on opposite sides of the United States, from conservative small town to large(st) city. I’ve driven across the country, been fascinated by the diversity of culture that exists in one little place. But there has been absolutely nowhere that makes me feel as at home as London has in the past year.
In the past year, London has handed me friends from all of the far reaches of the world, from Singapore to Portugal, Argentina to Australia. I’ve gained perspective on things I could not possibly understand before setting foot here, like the way Americans are viewed throughout the world and how truly international every other country is forced to be.
Specifically since the end of last semester, I’ve learned to reflect more and be more spontaneous in my travel and in my day to day life. I still have an enormous list of things I’ve yet to do, but I’ve also marked things off that were never on any list and I wouldn’t trade one for the other. I’ve learned that I love travel, but that I’d pretty much always rather settle in a place for a time. That buying a plane ticket is as simple as having the money for it, and that most of your responsibilities will you follow you wherever you decide to take them. I’ve come to accept (many of my friends from home will be shocked to hear) that I am very, very incredibly young, and that, with my whole life in front of me, I have no excuse not to jump and do the things that call to me right now.
But despite all of this premature nostalgia, I know I am taking these things home for me. This isn't really an ending, but just the beginning of a new life. Someone once told me that everyone dies multiple times in life and is reincarnated as the sum of all their past versions, plus some. So this is just a new me, going back to an old place, knowing that nothing ever stays the same.
Pretty much, I’ve had a blast. And London, this is less of a goodbye, and more of a see ya later. Until next time.