I arrived at the airport 3 hours early, giving myself plenty of time to check my bag, to get through security, to stake my claim on a quiet row of seats. To sit and enjoy a coffee, and to await the announcement of my gate, which isn’t for another hour. I feel calm and quite serene. Somehow amongst the chaos of a busy place like an airport I feel even more relaxed, knowing that I am in control of how I feel, no matter what the environment is around me. This comforts me, now I sit and wait.
Next step is making my way to the gate. I stop to use the restroom, get food for the plane and off I go to find gate B6. Here it is, a small line to get through to the seating area where I can continue my Arctic Monkey’s radio uninterrupted. Now I’m sitting by the window, the beautiful sun is beaming through, and I think to myself, how ironic, my last glimpse of London will be a sunny day.
I have about one hour before boarding, so I continue to listen to music and reminisce about the last 24 hours, then the last 72 hours, then the last two weeks, two months…my how everything has changed so rapidly
I said goodbyes to so many important people, to all my clients, to my coworkers, to my best friends. I said goodbyes to so many important places, to our apartment, to the salon, to Cambridge itself. Here, now, I was about to say my final goodbye to England, not forever I knew, but for a time yet to be determined. I had already shed some tears with each stage, each little goodbye, but here came the big one. I felt sad and happy all at once. I knew that to take it this hard was a sign of what I had built with these people and those places.
I sit here now, writing to you from my native land, with the Arizona sun shining bright as ever. I’ve been here for three days already, but I had to think really hard about that. It’s been a strange time for me, I feel like my body mind and spirit are all in different physical places. Don’t get me wrong, I felt extreme joy being reunited with Justin on Monday, and for that night it was like time froze and it was just him and I with no worry of the future or thoughts of the past. We just finally had each other, and for a night that was the only answer, question and absolute truth in the world.
It’s hard to know until you go through something like this what it feels like, but it remains ever difficult to explain. Just this morning I’ve felt extreme happiness to wake up next to my best friend in bed, I’ve felt extreme sadness that I won’t be going into work today, I’ve felt confused about what time to wake up and get ready, about where the heck I packed away my tangle teaser, and what I’m suppose to do today. I’ve felt lost, like I don’t know who I am anymore. That’s the one that really jolted me. I remember feeling it so deeply when I moved my whole life across the country, and then again when I moved what I could fit into two large suit cases across the atlantic to a place I had never been to. It’s a scary feeling, but then I am reminded that yes I did feel this way before, and it was a low time for me, but from it came the best version of myself that has carried me through these last couple months on my own.
It may take an adjustment or two while I’m here with my family, and then onto New York, but I am still the same person I was only three short days ago who packed up her life again, this time in just one large suitcase, and travelled back across the atlantic to reunite with her partner and to begin mapping our new life. This time, though, it will be more on our terms. This time, I allowed myself to say it’s important to me to see our families during the holidays. See, after eight long years with the military dictating our schedules, I am finally free to not only ponder what I want, but to make it happen.
Sitting at the gate, the que forming in front of me, I reminisced some more about how much I had gone through in the last few months and couldn’t help get lost in thought over the past few years. How I came to England with this same pit in my stomach of so many unanswered questioned. What will it be like? Will I make friends? Will I be able to work in a job I love? Can I actually do this? Yes sweet girl, the answer is YES! And it is so much more beautiful than you can imagine. For you came to England with nothing, and you left it with everything.