This was me six months ago today, sitting in my first London cab, heading off to Brunel University in Uxbridge. Look at the raw terror hidden behind those twinkling eyes. I was scared. I was so scared. But I was so excited, because there I was, inside a cab that had "London Calling" scrawled along its sides, a Union Jack on wheels. And there we were, my mom and I, squealing at "quaint cottages" and grinning manically when the driver called us "luv." A mixture of terror and excitement. The only way you really can feel, setting off on an adventure.
Of course everything got much worse before it got better. I was homesick, oh so homesick, and being away from Greg made me cry every single night as I tried to fall asleep alone in that tiny, rock-hard institutional bed in Isambard Complex. I cried so much those first few weeks, and well into the first couple of months as well. They don't really tell you this, but moving overseas all alone is hard. I may speak the language, and I had a friend in Shaun, but they just do not tell you how difficult it's going to be. Which is probably good, because if I knew exactly how harrowing most things in my life would turn out to be before I set out to do them, I don't think I'd ever leave my bed. So well done, world, for not telling me how scary and insanely hard it is to move to England!
Things did get better, though. I made a friend in Lucy, who turned out to be like a Welsh, better-dressed, funnier version of me (who happens to write better as well, that harpy). She's my writing muse and my Mine-Husband and I couldn't be happier that I met her. I also grew closer to Shaun, who I would never in a billion years have guessed I'd be hanging out with on a weekend in London, drinking cider and discussing our futures. I can now call her one of my best friends. What amazing and unexpected turns life can take, really.
And so here I am now, just having finished an incredible work placement at a prominent publishing house, working diligently on my novel, and about to finish the second term of my MA program. I'm in London and I'm loving it. My living situation may offer up a fresh new hell every day, but I'm content. I like my room, and I like this city (despite how much it sucks sometimes, let's be honest), and I like the way my life is going. I really, really like it.
So here's to six months in London, and to six months more. May they be even more amazing, hilarious, ridiculous, and life-changing than the first.