Saturday, September 15, 2012

Nothing can stop me now

I'll explain why this is relevant at the very end of this post.
It's the last day before I leave to do the single thing that I have dreamed about for years and years. Tomorrow in the late afternoon, I will board a flight all on my own, and around 10 hours later that flight will be landing in the city that holds my heart and soul, my past and future. I'll be in London.

I wouldn't be surprised if this sounds extremely exaggerated. When it comes to London, that's how all my thoughts are. They're extravagant and hopeful and filled with longing. They're more daydreams than anything, however substantiated in actual experience they may be.

The first time I went to London, I went in without any preconceived notions. All that existed was my love for Harry Potter and a desire to travel. I wanted to see the world again (the last time I'd been out of the country was seven years before when I'd been to Paris) and to discover a culture unlike my own - though slightly similar as well.

That one trip set the precedent for the rest of my life. For the next several years, it wasn't that I was making trips back to London every dozen months or so, it was that I was traveling back and forth between my two homes. My literal home in southern California and my figurative home in England.

All that kept me sustained when I wasn't visiting the country was the belief that I would always return. When my dad and I got back to America, we would rarely waste a moment without planning a new trip out. We'd caught the London bug.

Since that fateful trip in 2007, I've made it my goal to go back to England not just for a couple weeks at a time, but for an extended period. Hopefully forever.

Tomorrow, I leave not for forever. Not even close. Three months may seem like a long time theoretically, but in reality it's the same length of my summer vacation which has seemed to pass by instantaneously.

But the adventure I'll be taking is significant all the same. It marks the first time I'll be left on my own without the crutch of my telephone with my dad on the other end. For the first time, I'll have to take responsibility for my own actions because there won't be someone a phone call away to fix things for me. Maybe an email or a wi-fi connection away, but certainly not accessible on a random street corner when I need directions to Covent Garden.

I'm scared out of my wits.

And to think, this is the one place in the world that I feel the most at home, the most safe. But even now on the brink of change, I feel like the weight of the world is on my shoulders. I can't even imagine how I'll feel when I get there.

This is my last night at home in my bed for the next few months. It's my last night in the room I've known for the past six years (since my sister moved out and I inherited it). When I get back, the layout will have changed. All my stuff will be in boxes and I'll be moving back in as if this is an entirely new place rather than the spot I've lived in for more than a quarter of my life.

I can't help but look around and feel like I'm on the brink of a monumental change. And while I trouble myself with petty things outside of this blog that I won't bother to mention, when I really think about it - the things worth troubling myself over are still to come. There really is so much to come.

And I'm excited. Even with the nervous anticipation, the butterflies in my stomach and the painful ache in my heart at walking away from home for three months, I can barely contain the endorphins that are practically shooting out of my brain.

This may be the most frightening transition of my life thus far, but in my heart I know it's the most wonderful too. So I christen my new motto, the phrase that will keep me going for the next three months (or at least the next day or two): Nothing can stop me now.

Note: I am deriving the phrase "Nothing can stop me now" from the song of the same name in the musical The Roar of the Greasepaint-The Smell of the Crowd, which I consider a quintessentially British-sounding tune sung by Anthony Newley who was also responsible for the music of Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory. Listen below.

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