Baden and I are just weeks from leaving and I keep flipping from excitement/fear about the trip we are going to take and the feeling I’m on death row as far as normal life and London are concerned.
Walking or riding around the city looking at things wistfully, taking a ridiculous number of photos of friends with glasses of red wine in their hands and generally exaggerating the amazing qualities of fairly mundane daily activities (own bed, electric toothbrush, grocery delivery – actually those things are genuinely fantastic).
Up until a little while ago I had been pretty focused on leaving the city behind. This is London! The history, buildings, river, culture and food have been what stretched our stay from a planned two to an eventual seven years. I guess being in the centre of everything has been hard to resist.
Turns out I had been shielding myself from what I am really gutted to be losing. I had fooled myself into thinking I was quite calm and ok with saying goodbye to my London family. It took a combination of things to let me be honest about the depth of my feelings, one of which of course is that it is so damn close now.
When I finally allowed myself to feel the sadness, it was upsetting to lose that control and also to learn how much there was to feel. I have made the most incredible friends here and they have given me everything I needed to survive and thrive so far away from all I knew in New Zealand. There are nine really special women who I will particularly miss (one of whom has already left, but at least she’s closer to NZ) and it hurts to lose them like this. I want them to come with me and then head home one at a time so I can adjust. Ladies?
Then it all just comes across as really melodramatic. I’m not losing anyone, we will be in touch via the web. They keep reminding me of that. I know, I know. It’s just not the same.
So, the truth is that our time in London was longer than planned because of all the amazing people we met and came to love. All spread out around various boroughs, we worked with them or met them through friends, or did courses together or lived right next door. We couldn’t leave them! There were always more pubs to check out, birthdays to celebrate, summer trips to plan, more stuff to talk about, more sausages to barbecue, more kisses hello and hugs goodbye, more Saturday circuit classes. Until now.
Now there are lots of lasts and I intend to enjoy them!.