My First Year in London
2 lovebirds, 4 years of long distance, 1 major decision and now 1 year later. This is a story of pushing aside self-doubt, silencing judgement and following your heart.
Last week, I celebrated my 1 year "move-versary" and it got me thinking about how far I've come (literally and figuratively) in just a year's time. But before I can share with you some of the lessons I've learned I have to take you back to 2018 when I made the biggest decision of my life. If this were a movie, the screen would fade to black and the flashback would begin ... now.
I was living in Chicago, a stressed out event marketer and to top it off Kalo and I had been in a long distance relationship going on 4 wonderful yet long years. Inside, I was screaming for a change. I was yearning for an adventure! All signs pointed to Kalo and in the direction of London but could I really go through with it? Questions and insecurities rushed over me like a flood. Did I have the courage and confidence to start over in a new country? Could I handle missing my family and not witnessing the milestones in their lives? What about my apartment, the place I worked so hard to make into a beautiful home? Would my visa even be accepted? What about finances and expenses? The list seemed to go on and on.
There were lengthy conversations, every scenario was analysed and more than a few tears were shed, but I couldn't get five words out of my head: I WANT TO BE FEARLESS. I wanted to tell my kids one day that "Mommy wasn't afraid to spread her wings and fly!" I wanted to live a full, regret-free life and everything else Kalo and I would simply figure out ... together. Ladies, I know that I got a good one because never once did I doubt Kalo or the strength of our relationship. My fears were not rooted in an absence of love, compassion or support rather in the overwhelming uncertainty of change.
It's been 1 year and here I sit in our little London flat with a happy heart and sense of pride. I'm proud of myself for sifting through all that noise and nonsense. I'm proud of the life that Kalo and I have started. This past year has been the most thrilling roller coaster ride. A few high points were getting married, hosting family, making new friends, experiencing different cultures and starting our own traditions. Sure there were some rough days but the good truly do outweigh the bad. And today, I feel as though I can handle whatever life has yet to throw at me and at us.
Hopefully by sharing my journey I can inspire growth in others. Keep in mind that stepping outside your comfort zone can open up wonderful opportunities. And to finish up this post I have some silly words of encouragement for any of my fellow Americans looking to relocate to London. To you, I say it's okay
... to miss your family so much it hurts, especially around the holidays.
... to call your mom in the middle of the night because you forgot about the time difference.
... to have a meltdown in the grocery store because it takes you hours to google/convert.
... to over bake everything because you didn't change from fahrenheit to celsius.
... to talk about all your purchases in dollars instead of pounds.
... to sit down in the drivers seat thinking it was the passenger seat.
... to constantly remind yourself to look the opposite way when crossing the street.
... to order an uber to only go a couple blocks because you're just over walking everywhere.
... to throw a fit because you can't find a Thanksgiving turkey.
... to become a gin drinker because vodka is not as popular and you want to fit in.
Always remember the world is a big place, so why not go and enjoy every inch of it!