Thoughts about London before actually going to London.

Random thoughts I’ve had about London. Every once in a while it all hits me, sometimes for better, sometimes for worse. So here are some thoughts that hit me so deeply that I had to write them down.

I’m sitting in class and Sister Hall talked about how they call the bathroom the toilet. And it all came flooding back. I can picture the water closet sign in Lady Margaret Hall around the corner from the dining hall. And she said that shops close early and I immediately remembered wandering the streets of Oxford with Izabella and how it was chilly and dusky and everything was closed and it was only 7 and that was so bizarre to me. I’m going back. I’m going to live there. Live in London. In the city. I’ve only ever visited. I’m seriously not going to be able to handle it. I can’t wait.

It doesn’t feel real. Does England even exist?

Pulled up the old Oxford blog and my journal about saying I was going and then actually going and remembering how blind I was going into it all but how much I love England with every fiber of my being. How my whole soul was filled with such pure, intoxicating, inexplicable joy when I would look out at the grassy fields and the old buildings and I’d breathe in the air and remember “I’m in England.” And finding the letter I wrote to England about how I had to come back one day and realizing that this is working out just as I had always wished it would. I’d been scared I wouldn’t go back for 40 years and it would be tragic, but it only took me two. You did it Mal!

Remembering how I freaked out about whether I should go on this study abroad or not and a friend said one of the first five things she knew about me was that my dream was to go to England. First five things. So obviously I subconsciously talk about it more than I realize. And hey, remember how you don’t even know how long your dream has been to study abroad in London? And remember how YOU’RE GOING?!

Full disclosure: I’m nervous. Suuuuper nervous. It’s my dream, and I’m scared of it. I’m realizing now why people say it takes a lot to follow your dreams, and I’m understanding more why people don’t go for what they want all the time. It’s kinda terrifying. But I’m determined to do it. And the paid off tuition in my account says I’m doing it, and it’s more in control than I am, so I’m doing it.;-)

Entering the mildly terrified phase of prepping for England. Realizing how long 4 months is. I need housing for when I get back and what if I pack too much? What if I don’t pack enough? Will I make friends? Will I do well in school? Will the professors like me? Reminding myself to take a deep breath and just breeeeaaaaaathe.

Last thought on London before actually going to London. I know it’s going to be good. Deep down in my soul I know that this is going to be one of the best decisions of my life and I’m going to make so many new friends and probably this will all be a great idea. But until I get there, I’m not going to know. I just have to believe. Until I get there and wait a week or so, I’m going to feel like I’m leaving everything. My friends, my job, my campus, my life. I’m leaving everything for 4 whole months. Four whole months that seem so long now. But here’s the thing. All of us are leaving something. All 44 kids going on this study abroad are leaving behind their lives. Their friends, their jobs, their campus, their roommates, families, favorite grocery store, study spot- everything. And that’s a vulnerable thing to do. We’re dropping it all to go to a somewhat foreign country with people we don’t know for four months. And that’s going to bring us together. We’re going to have to lean on each other, and we’re going to have to lean on each other fast. And four whole months is going too feel like four blinks of an eye. So right now, I’m sad. But ask me again after a week, and I’m pretty sure I’ll have a different answer for you.

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