Happy New Year and shit.
It’s the first of January and I’m moving to England this Friday. I have started packing, I just have a few emails left to send and a few things left to buy. It looks like I’m going to make it.
Every time people talk to me about going to England, the first question is always, “Are you excited?” They seem to be put off by the fact that I don’t immediately respond by talking about how I’m going to skip onto the plane or something. It’s not that I’m not excited, it’s just that I don’t sense impending change like normal people do. I know on a factual level that I’m getting on a plane to fly to England on Friday and that I’ll be there for five months, but I still don’t feel like I am. The planning has been fun, but I don’t actually connect that with the event itself. The worst thing is that, since I never know what to say after they ask about how excited I am, they automatically assume I’m terrified. People are telling me that I’m terrivied so much so much that I’m actually starting to get a little scared. I’m nto scared about the whole process, but about two things: one, getting to my dorm, and two, that I’ve overhyped the whole country and ruined the experience for myself.
My luggage is going to be heavy, I don’t actually know whow hot or cold I’ll be in all my clothes, and I’m not sure how complex the Tube stations will look. I’ve only ever dealt with BART stations, but those are just one platform and four lines so it’s not a useful comparison.
The second point is my biggest worry though. I’ve been fantasizing about England since I was eight and I’ve dreamt of living in London since I was 14. I look at pictures, I buy maps, I watch shows, and I know I still have no idea how it’s actually going to be. There is so much more to the city than the houses of Parliament, the London eye, and the lions at Trafalgar square, but that is all it’s been for so many years that I’m not sure how I’m going to handle the realization that it’s a city just like any other: a little grimy, a lot of people, and tons of buildings that aren’t nearly as photogenic as the ones I see online. I’m worried that I’ve either over-romanticized London and set myself up for disappointment or that anticipated disappointment so much that I’ve done the same thing.
London used to be history, tea, and BBC. That was, admittedly, bad. Now, London is heavy suitcases on a crowded train, an office that is in Zone 2 so I have to get a more expensive Oyster card, a creative writing class that threatens my GPA. A big city that’s just going to chew me up and spit me out. That’s bad too.
I’m scared. I’m really scared. Luckily, I’m even more scared of giving up, so I guess I’ll just persevere.