Strictly Loitering

So I’m sitting in a Starbucks in Shepherd’s Bush, avoiding the Irishman who chatted me up and then hugged and kissed my cheek for a socially inappropriate length of time at the pub, but mainly avoiding the torrential downpour. I have a brolly, but I think I’m fine watching others get soaked.

My stay in London so far… Well, my first night, I was a supporting artiste and got to spend a few hours on the set of an indie film. That was pretty damn awesome. I got to meet Benedict Cumberbatch; wish I wouldn’t have been pushed out of the way by all of these fangirls – I would have liked to have said more than “thank you” to him. Then again, I’m here for another two and half months, so I may have another chance. Either way, I played it cool, but inside I was a bit starstruck – he’s a very genuine and talented person.

Since then, I’ve been spending my days either lounging or walking the streets for hours. I don’t really have an agenda and I like it that way. I watch everyone rushing through the underground and feel like I should be picking up my own pace; then I remember I don’t have anywhere to be. Quite a strange feeling, but I can’t be bothered 🙂

Most of the time, I feel quite like a local. I wander, but I’m never aimless. I’ve got a pocket hotspot so I can have wifi where I go (a must-have). I navigate the tube really well and really like riding it. I just sit and play solitaire and listen to music while everyone hurries to work. I’m severely blessed.

Not an ounce of homesickness, as expected. Then again it’s only been a week and a half. Mom is coming up end of June and then my friend from Canada will be here a few days after mom leaves. I can’t wait to show mom around. She’s never been outside the US, really.

I keep getting distracted by people-watching. It’s at its finest here, truly. Not only is it one of the most culturally diverse places on the planet, so I’ve read, it’s full of some of the most beautiful people, too, I’d have to argue. I know I need to start riding the tube around quitting time so that I can see the men in their business suits.

I Got Into Oxford!

s. I got into Oxfords. I bought about four pair.

I also bought a pair of Hunter rain boots. I think my feet are ready for London.

I have ten days of work left in my twenty-five days before I go. 

People keep asking me what I’m going to do while I’m in London. The question is always posed as, “what are you going to do there?” Like, it’s unprecedented that I would go to a foreign country or that once I get there, I’ll have nothing to do. I always want to ask, what does one do while in a different place/foreign country? In fact, I have rebutted with that a couple times and the answer is the same that I give anyway: “sight-see.” Well, no shit.

The other question I’m frankly getting a bit tired of answering is “what are you going to do when you get back?” Bitch, please, I don’t even know where I’m taking my mom out for Mother’s Day; do you think I know what I’ll be doing four months from now? Of course the plan is to come back and work at Omaha Title. But then, life is what happens to you while you’re busy making other plans. So who’s to say I don’t meet someone who could use me at their London company? or I run into someone from the BBC who just has to have me? or I meet the love of my life? I mean, it sounds silly, all of it, but it could happen. So what does it matter what my plan is for when I come back? I could end up not coming back.

Plus, you’re making me think about my return to the US and I haven’t even left yet, give me a break.

Twenty-five days. Well, hell, not even twenty-five til I leave Omaha. Twenty-one days til I fly to Boston. Twenty-one days… oh my God.

Oh my God! That’s three weeks!

Oh my God. That’s three weeks.

It’s setting in, bit by bit, as you can clearly see. 

I’ve been in such a great mood this month. March and April were either shitty, stressful, or otherwise. May has just been a really decent month so far. I don’t know if it’s the fact that I’ve worked out six out of the past ten days, or that I’ve been slowly giving up responsibilities to the guy taking my place, or the obvious – that my trip is rapidly approaching. There have actually been days where I’m in such a stupid happy mood that I just smile.

Gag me, right?

The trip isn’t real yet. I think I’ll organize some stuff this weekend. I don’t know, I just want to get started.

It might not be real until my family flies back to Omaha and leaves me in Boston for a day until my flight to London. It might not even be real until I land at Heathrow and get through customs. 

What will I do that first day? There’s a good question I haven’t yet been asked. I get in at some stupid hour like 720am. It’ll take a while to get through customs and then get through London via taxi. Maybe to the flat by 10? I’ll have all day. What will I do?

Whatever the fuck I want.

 

If Not Now, When?

It’s May 1st. Twenty-three days of work left; and a month from today, I’ll be on a plane to Boston with my folks and brother. 

It’s a bit staggering, I’ll admit.

I’ve done my dentist appointment (turns out I need new retainers, so I’ll need to get those before I go), and my doctor’s appointment. I am sure I’m up on my vaccinations. I have had a facial and set a hair appointment for the last week of May… 

I’ll sign a new lease this month, I’ll need to make a duplicate key for my folks, I’ll have to forward mail to mom. 

I’ll have a shit ton of cleaning to do in my apartment. 

Anyway, I was driving home from work today when “If Not Now, When?” by Incubus came on my iPod. I had listened to the lyrics before, but today they rang a little differently to me.

I have waited
Dined on ashes
Swung from chandeliers and climbed Everest
And none of it’s got me close to this

I’ve waited all my life
If not now, when will I?

We’ve been good
Even a blast, but
Don’t you feel like something’s missing here?
Don’t you dare

I’ve waited all my life
If not now, when will I?
Stand up and face the bright light
Don’t hide your eyes
It’s time

No umbrellas
No sunglasses
Hailing Hallelujah everyday

I’ve waited all my life
If not now, when will I?
Stand up and face the bright light
Don’t hide your eyes
It’s time

Incubus (2012). If Not Now, When?

 

I’m single, so I’m not saying it means anything toward anyone. More toward Omaha. I love Omaha. If anyone has seen “Shit People From Omaha Say” on YouTube, that’s totally me: “I’ll definitely want to raise my family in Omaha.” It’s true. However, I’ve waited all my life to do something like this – I thought I might move to New York and go one of two ways, Friends or Sex and the City. Then I fell in love with London. 

You can’t help who you fall in love with. Or in this case, where. I’m just so convinced that this is where everything is going to happen for me. 

A month. Good God. 

 

I’m feeling… really great. Content. Work is leveling out, getting less stressful, I’ve got the end in sight; I’m working out and trying to eat a bit better (get in shape for all that walking I’ll be doing in London, and all of that fashion I’ll be around); I’ve spoken to the flat owner again and it just sounds more and more perfect for me; I can see myself going to shows and concerts, meeting people, relaxing in the pubs, seeing everything I want to see; I am doing better in my master’s program; everything is falling into place. 

I’m ready.

Sentiment

So a week ago, I ordered some lockets from a friend of mine at work – she is selling Living Lockets through Origami Owl (ie: best gifts ever). I started looking at one for myself and ended up buying about eight others for friends and family. They’re incredibly cool.

Living Locket

Music, film, travel, writing, coffee/tea, faith, and some accent stones.

This morning, I got to pick them up – I’m so excited to dole them out. I just thought that since I’ll be leaving for three months and I’ll be missing birthdays…

Then I get to work and the VP/my boss comes into my office all cheerfully and says, “Happy Employee Appreciation Day!” and hands me this envelope. I say thanks and he walks away. In the envelope is a little note about how even the small things we do get noticed and help us work as a cohesive unit, etc. It also includes a crisp $50 bill. I got up and followed him to the next office and said thank you through what were threatening to be tears, he gave me a hug.

My days are numbered here. They could have easily given me less or nothing and I never would have thought twice about it. They didn’t need to do that, at all.

As much as I look forward to having three months off work, and boy, do I ever, things keep happening here that make me realize how much I’ll miss this place while I’m gone. I’m getting these great business deals and meeting such wonderful people, having such a great time bullshitting with everyone and feeling amazing when I know I did a really good job on something; then getting little things like this that just aren’t little at all.

A month. That’s all I’ve got left.

Twenty-nine days until my last day of work: twenty-two days of work in that time.

Unbelievable.

Survival of the Singlest

I’ve never been a huge celebrator of Valentine’s Day – it’s just another day. I wouldn’t be pissed if my boyfriend didn’t get me anything.

That is, if I had a boyfriend.

What I do have is an awesome friend, Shaun.

I got flowers at work yesterday for the first time ever. Saying that it made my day would be an understatement – this week has been more stressful than most. And it doesn’t help that I’m single on this damn holiday.

But then I read the card:

Image

I definitely jumped up and down and squealed.

If I haven’t mentioned already, I’m a huge Sherlock fan.

Also, the fact that someone at the flower company had to write that out is hilarious.

I got Shaun flowers, too. He is also boyfriendless at this time. And as fate would have it, I included a Sherlock quote with his flowers.

THIS is how I got through Valentine’s Day – my first single Valentine’s Day in six years. Not that it’s a big deal, but hey, it’s always nice to get flowers and love.

Consumed

As the titles of this blog and post state – I am consumed. But that’s just poetic for obsessed.

“I awake consumed with thoughts of you¹” sounds much better than “I’m obsessed with you.”

Already off-track.

I’m consumed, or shall we say, passionate about, journaling. I’ve journaled in physical journals since 2001 when I got one for Christmas from a friend. She doesn’t even know what kind of a monster she created. Some day when I write my novel or become a famous blogger, I’ll make sure to send her a royalty check.

Since that first journal, I’ve filled up about 15 of them. I couldn’t have started at a better time, really. In 2001, I was in middle school. Need I say more? Not particularly. I went back and read through every single journal before I started the one on which I’m currently working. Let’s just say that most of the tears were of happiness, but most of the laughter was of embarassment.

What I want to say is that, I am a total rambler as well as procrastinator. Again, needless to say, as it is evident from this post. Does it have a real direction? It’s a bit of a mystery, isn’t it? It could be exciting for you then.

Again I attempt to make my point – but that’s the thing, sometimes I never arrive at one. That’s what’s so free about journaling/blogging: it’s a release of thought, a stream of consciousness that may be neverending. And yet, it’s healing.

I like to think of journaling as a form of talking to myself. I like even more to think of talking to myself as a form of client-centered therapy. I just keep writing, internally urging myself along with implied questions, until finally my hand writes the right thing. That’s what I’m feeling, that’s why I feel this way. It’s like a less dramatic, less exciting form of House’s epiphany or Sherlock’s deduction. Yet, still just as satisfying.

For example, last May, my boyfriend came to me to let me know he was not in love with me, nor did he think he ever wanted to get married or have children. I could see that he was being conscientious, he didn’t want to waste my time because he knew that I wanted to get married and have kids; however, that didn’t make it any less difficult to swallow: I probably would have married him.

A couple months later, I was thinking about it and decided to journal – I had far too many thoughts running through my mind and just needed to put them somewhere else. After writing for ten minutes or so about what I want from love, what I want in a man, what I’ve had, what would make me happy, a wash of intelligibility came over me. I want A, I had B – why am I sad about losing something that wasn’t exactly what I want, maybe even need? Close, but not close enough. In that moment, I went from distress to elation. The obviousness was astounding, but it was like I had never thought of it that way until just then. This is what I want, so I need to focus on getting it. Hello. and duh.

Those are the situations that keep me journaling. Those are the client-centered therapy sessions that I’ll fully endorse. It’s empowering to work through such a personal problem and come out in the sunshine on the other side.

Not everyone gets it, though.

Anyway, consumed. I’m consumed with writing, and I’m also consumed with London. Growing up, I was a fan of most things British/English. The music, the humor, the cars, the people. Finally, I had my chance to visit Mother England. It has been very difficult to describe to people how at-home I felt walking those streets. It was as though I belonged there. So much so, that when I returned home, I was London-sick for about two weeks. I felt out of place in my own apartment, my own hometown. I love Omaha, but London just felt so right.

So right, that I’m in the process of applying for a visitor’s visa to go back for six months (and hopefully longer, serendipity permitting).

Part of the purpose of this blog is to document my experiences with the process. Not so much instructional as reactionary, I think. I’ve filled out the app about 95%, I’m working on getting a letter from my university that states I will continue my education online (which is what I’m doing now), and my next step will be to get a letter from my employer stating my leave of absence (likely) without pay.

My goal is to jump the pond ‘fore the end of May, this year. It’s a bit daunting, but I’m so ready to be there. Every day since I’ve been back, I’ve awoken consumed with thoughts of London, of walking the streets, of exploring, of meeting people, and of embracing the culture. If I had a crush before, it’s a full-blown, soon-to-be-requited love affair now. I wasn’t born there, but I feel it’s where I belong.

This is one thing I will not procrastinate.

¹Napoléon, who wrote to his beloved Joséphine

%d bloggers like this: