In the BelÃ©m district, Lisbon, Portugal. March 2013.
Last week, I noticed a dear friend linked here and realized how much time elapsed and how I should do something about that. I decided to save my next post for the one-year mark.
One year ago today, I was deep in preparation for a potential move to London. We were waiting on visas and approvals and getting lives in order to step away from Seattle for 6 months. I feared all that work would be for naught and braced myself for disappointment, but I shouldn’t have. Everything panned out as hoped.
Actually, better than hoped — I fell completely head over heels in love with London. Before we left, I thought it would be just another big city and I’d get my fill, have an adventure, and we’d be done with it. I intended to cover it online, but early on, realized I wanted to devote less time to sitting behind a screen and more time taking advantage of the good luck to be there. I saw it as the Study Abroad experience I pined for as a young adult, but never got to have in college. I set out to make myself an expert and explore everything. My strategy worked out. I’ve never been as content with where I was living and what I was doing on a daily basis. With just C & I in our tiny yet mind-boggingly expensive flat, I felt at home. I never took for granted that my local bus took me past Whitehall, Westminster, Big Ben and the Houses of Parliament, straight to Trafalgar Square. I remember walking the 3 blocks home from Pimlico station one blustery London January day, fighting the wind but realizing how alive my mind finally felt and how happy I was, just existing. In a January, in London! There was no S.A.D. this Winter. It was a charmed time and I’m grateful I was able to be appreciative while the getting was good.
In Camden Locks Market. It made me want to drop my bags and clap. I should’ve bought this, as I never saw it again.
With our visas finished and work projects handled, we returned to Seattle on Easter Sunday. I’m totally upfront about this: I fretted & braced myself to come down from that high. Resettlement went easier than I expected thanks to good friends. Mother Nature seriously cooperated with Seattle this year, making up for all those prior cold & lame Summers. Well done, PacNW. You’re alright.
Sometimes, an image will float by and I feel like I miss England like someone cut a piece out of my heart. But if I learned nothing else there, it’s that there will always be London. And like life in general, there will probably never be enough time there for me. So, I’m just getting on with it.
This August finds me in another stage of preparation — we are expecting a baby girl in early December. Just like last year, I’m full of lists and plans and looking around at how I can take advantage of remaining free time and how I can prepare for change. This hasn’t been without a few speed bumps. (The day after a hospital visit, I took the fortune picture just above this paragraph. I was not sure what to make of it.) But we can talk about that later.
I miss writing online, outside of social media. While I suspect the ship has sailed for blogging styles of the past, at least, the parts I’ve loved in the past — I haven’t closed the book completely yet. In the last 18 months, I’ve experienced so many adventures. I have had a ball. I flip through photos on my hard drive, tracking down tips to pass along to friends traveling to places I’ve been, and I get excited all over again. I still can’t believe I’ve been able to see so much. I still want to share it somewhere, where I’m not limited to 140 characters or sketchy FB user agreements. I hope to pull it off somehow. I hope some friends will stick around while I muddle through the creative process.
In the meantime, I hope you’ve been well.