Just a warning; this is about as real as it gets.
I had my first mental breakdown two days ago. I was almost the baby who cried in class because I can't handle group projects. Giles, one of my tutor's, said to me in the strongest British accent I have heard yet "...It's meant to be fun... it's to get you to interact with your peers." And when I looked at the floral printed, short sleeved, button down that he was wearing, I for only a moment, had genuinely no idea what I was doing here and why I made this stupid decision. When another tutor called Carlyn, strangely enough, asked me if I was 'doing alright' later that day I said: yeah of course. Otherwise I might have cried on her shoulder right then and there.
It has been nearly two weeks since I landed at London Heathrow International Airport, and I have been pretty quiet on social media since then. It isn't because I'm not excited about being here, or that I dont have amazing things to share with everyone back home. I have been quiet because I never wanted to put a false sense of happiness out there, I dont want any piece of this experience to be artifical for me, or anyone reading this. So, while the quirky corners of the city have inspired an entirely new world inside of me. I was not ready to share that world with all of you yet because it seemed more like candy land, not the beginning of my journey here. Though I do believe it is supremely important to recognize the hard parts and the sadness, in order to know what the good feels like.
Being able to post photo's of the places I've seen since being here is a really great luxury to have, to be able to share this journey with everyone. However, the biggest part of me needed just a minute to feel sad, to mourn the lost normalcy of my life in New Jersey, and to fully accept the new and untarnished journey that is just beginning in London. I can't help but to cry thinking about how much I miss my Mom and Dad, my Sister, my Nanny, my family, or the stupid smelly cat. And I laugh thinking about how much my chest aches because I feel like I haven't done hair in ages. I cry alot more often here than I think I have througout all of high school, and that is saying alot. Here I am crying right now, but that's not to say they were all sad tears.
Comparatively, the weather here has been quite unusal for England in the middle of September. It seems almost selfish to feel depressed and hide in your room when the sun is shining so brightly and the sky is so clear, mostly because you know it won't last and you should soak up every minute of it, almost like this year probably will be too. It seems selfish to feel sad, to miss home so much, when you live in London, when you are doing probably the most exciting thing in the world, but sometimes your body aches and theres no speedy remedy for a broken heart.
Now you're here reading this and thinking: "...wow, someone go get her, take her home before it gets any worse." Or maybe you think I'm bonkers for being so melacholy. Living in a new place, not knowing anyone, not having any comfort of home that you can default to can create a newly negative atmosphere. This atmosphere becomes a very uncomfortable situation where you almost feel alienated by all of those around you. Because while you want to embrace this new world and culture, you cling so tigthly to everything that is normal and everything that makes you feel like home, in fear of losing who you are. It feels like you are letting go of pieces of you, and you think it means forgetting everything that you are. But that is just it, it's not losing peices of yourself, its growing and changing and ever evolving into the human that you want to be. I thought being an emotional person (even if it is closeted) would be detrimental to this experience, because it would overwhelm me and dictate my feelings toward London. However, in all honesty being emotional has done nothing but make this experience richer than anything I have ever known before.
My first two weeks here was the hardest thing I've ever done. But I want to take this minute to just remind myself that I left home at 18, and I moved to a new country, and I took on what seemed like the weight of the world. And while at first it was exciting and thrilling, you will have down days, it will be hard to get a decent slice of pizza, but it's all worth it. This is the great love affair of your life. It's up to you to welcome it, to embrace it and to fall so deeply in love with who you are, and everything you can be that your world turns just a bit faster, the sun shines even a ounce brighter than it did before, and your heart beats out of your chest every single day.