I’m sitting in the Phoenix airport, just past security, waiting for the new Mumford & Sons album to download. I just got past security and it went smoother than I could have hoped for. My backpack, which I thought weighed 70 lbs, actually only weighs a little over 30. My shoulders are already tired and my first flight hasn’t even taken off yet. Today is going to be beautiful.
Drove to the airport listening to Michael Bublé’s It’s Time album. That was a good choice. He always puts me in a good mood. Saying goodbye to my family is hard and the reality of everything hasn’t set in yet. I know it will, and that’s why I packed my teddy bear Tom Tom. Speaking of packing, I have crammed my necessities into one 50lb suitcase, a big red backpack, and my Coach handbag. Everything is stuuuuffed. But at the same time, that’s only three bags, so I’m rather mobile. We’ll see how I feel tomorrow.
So why am I moving to England? I took a semester off from university when I was a sophomore because my health went downhill. While I was at home getting well, I decided to transfer from Northern Arizona University to Arizona State. I was bored and ASU had a much better English program. I clicked around the website and stumbled across the Arizona Center for Medieval and Renaissance Studies. I’ve been enthralled by the Middle Ages since I was ten and read The Lord of the Rings. I signed up for the Cambridge study abroad program through ACMRS and that’s where I met the lovely Jac. While in Cambridge, I fell hopelessly in love with England. When I left I felt as though I’d forgotten my heart in Cambridge. You always forget things when you travel. (I have yet to discover what I’ve forgotten this time but I know the realization is coming).
When Jac told me how she was going to grad school in England, I of course made the last minute decision to copy her. I went to the website for Across the Pond and got the ball rolling. There was a lot of painful waiting but I got used to it. I did my application, got my references, wrote my personal statement, and got accepted to every top of the line university I applied to. It was amazing, that feeling of worth and accomplishment. I had something amazing to look forward to during my final semester at ASU. And when the temperatures are over 100 degrees Fahrenheit most of the time, you need something to look forward to.
I’ve never been to Durham, I hadn’t heard of the school before I applied, the only person in England I know is Jac, and I have no idea how to write a history paper. This is truly going to be an adventure, but I wouldn’t really want it any other way.
It’s the night before I leave to London. Everything is packed, clothes for tomorrow are set, and tickets are printed and waiting. Truth be told, I also just pigged out on the cheesiest Mexican food and largest margarita I could get my hands on. Saying goodbye to my best friend Amy tonight was harder then I thought, but no tears. Instead it’s excitement and anxiety that’s supplying this last bit of energy to do another check around my room. I’m 22 and have never moved away from home, so I guess when you do something do it big. Right? My mom is coming to help me set up, so at least that’s an extra week of having my mommy with me.
Too many thoughts and emotions inside of me that I consider going outside my character and become a sudden stoner. That would help dull out these nerves. But it’s too late and unrealistic to pick up that habit so I guess just good old fashion deep breathing will have to do.
I’m not scared about moving to another country. I love other cultures. I love different, strange, and of course I would be lying if I said I didn’t love the accent. What scares me most is leaving my momma. It’s been just the two us since my dad died when I was 12. We’re not just close. We’re more of the kicking-everyone’s-ass-at-charades-we-should-go-pro kind of a close. But thank you 21 century and skype with all its glory. Now I just need Apple to get off their ass and have the hologram phone call feature for the Iphone 6.
I’m so tired from feeling too much. I could put my head down on the pillow, but that would mean a fast restless nights sleep and waking up to a flight. There are many times I can look back and say ‘right there. Right at that moment is when it changed.’ But very few times in out lives do we take footsteps knowing that every step is change that you will remember forever. I’m always going to remember the day I moved to England. I’m going to remember that I boarded that plane knowing my life was going to change forever. Knowing that in the following days, months, years I’m going to grow up, laugh my ass off, fall on my ass, pick myself back up, cry, and as always, laugh. It’s going to be a change and a challenge that in theory I brought onto myself. But I never had a choice. In the summer of 2010 when I stepped off that bus to be right in front of the Thames seeing London and its life, I realized I never had a choice. London is part of my life, and it’s going to help develop the person I’m going to be.
So with that I will go to bed in my large American bed, in my large American room, and know that London is waiting for me, just like I have been waiting for it. Just like I have been waiting for this moment to go off and be on my own in my life. This a moment I will remember forever, this is my Preface.