Wednesday, 10 July 2013

Bitter Sweet.

It's 10:02pm and still not dark. I'm sitting at the table with the windows wide open, looking down the street at the long line of Victorian row houses.

It's been a strange week. I've been quite emotional. I think the reality of my leaving London is starting to sink in. I find myself caught in limbo. One minute I'm realizing how much I miss my friends and family back home, and the next minute my eyes are welling up thinking about all of the things (and people) I am going to miss here.

I have a lot on my plate with school, and I'm really worried I'm going to get caught up in the whirlwind, and not have the opportunity to properly say goodbye. Tonight I made a list of some things I want to see and do before I go home, and truth be told, I'm not even sure I'll fit them all in.

How did this year fly by so quickly? How will I know if I need to come back? Will I be able to come back? Will it be the same if I do? What about London and this year makes me so happy?

As I write, 'makes me so happy' I realize there is some explanation needed. I'm not always happy. I was explaining this to a friend last week. Sometimes I'm very sad and very lonely, but there's something about this year, and being here on my own that makes me feel so alive. I think I often mistake 'happiness' for this feeling. If I'm being honest, I've had more tearful moments this year than many years combined, but I think these emotions are due to the heightened sense of self that I am experiencing. Who knows. I will never really know.

On a lighter note, some things I've been thinking about lately:

First up, some things I won't miss....

I won't miss the crowded sidewalks

I won't miss the excess packaging on all of my groceries

I won't miss the stress of crossing the street and always looking the wrong way

I won't miss the pollution

I won't miss the extra loud sirens

I won't miss hard water

I won't miss terrible over priced sushi

I won't miss tiny fridges

I won't miss washing machines that take 3 hours

I won't miss crunchy clothing resulting from no dryer

I won't miss the anxiety induced from never knowing whether a toilet will flush or not (seriously scary)

I won't miss my silly pay-as-you-go Samsung phone

I won't miss feeling lost on a daily basis

I won't miss being run off the sidewalk by children on Razor Scooters

I won't miss being called American wherever I go

I won't miss 'Top Shop' syndrome (ask my cousin)

I won't miss the construction below me, beside me, and across the street from me

I won't miss the night bus (okay, maybe I'll miss it a little bit)

I won't miss seeing vomit on the streets every single day (I'm not joking)

I won't miss seeing someone's toosh daily (again, not joking...bum cracks EVERYDAY, EVERYWHERE male and female)

I won't miss having to think about the comfort level of my footwear before leaving my flat, or having to take a purse large enough to carry flat shoes

But I will miss....

I will miss my new found English, Canadian, and Australian friends that have made me feel so welcome in London

I will miss my international friends from my Masters program

I will miss my old friends and ex-boyfriend(s) some of whom are responsible for me being here in the first place (yes there is an 's' there as there are 2!)

I will miss toddlers with British accents (this is dangerous and probably something I should be kept away from)

Small children in cute school uniforms (same as above)

I will miss the green man

I will miss the amazing architecture and being surrounded by the history of this great city

I will miss the zillions of galleries

I will miss Whistles

I will miss week night drinks* (I will discuss this at a later date)

I will miss Rhubarb Yogurt (sounds weird, but you'll have to trust me)

I will miss Pret a manger

I will miss cheap wine, half pints, and decent ciders

I will miss sitting on my blanket in the common

I will miss the foxes that greet me on my street late at night

I will miss the markets

I will miss the South Bank

I will miss my unavoidable weekly hamburger

I will miss eating 'chips' and not feeling guilty

I will miss living in a neighbourhood filled with a zillion people my age

I will miss the accents

I will miss all things Royal (I'm talking to you Harry)

I will miss afternoon tea (but I will carry it on at home)

I will miss chocolate covered biscuits

I will miss cheap travel, and GB's proximity to Europe

I will miss occasions to dress up

I will miss the man at the pool (who's name I don't know) that I share a lane with most mornings

I will miss the efficient public transportation

I will miss British guys (their tossled hair, trousers, jumpers, button-up shirts, loafers, coloured socks, and Barbour Jackets)

I will miss eating Hummus daily with seriously legit Pita pockets 

I will miss Gordan's Wine Bar and their cheese portions (Vancouver's SALT could learn a thing or two about bang for your buck)

I will miss the special 'Mind the Gap' voice at Embankment Station

I will actually miss my local Tesco Express (I have no explanation)

I will miss decent bocconcini in every grocery store

I will miss walking down quaint streets, and discovering new places weekly

I will miss being a foreigner (trust me, it has its perks)

As I type this (and cry), I realize I could probably go on forever. I will write another post at some point explaining some of these likes/dislikes, and adding to my list as I am certain I have forgotten more than I have remembered.

Until then, we have two months left of adventures Beyond the Blue Umbrella...


  1. Thinking of you and sending a big hug!! I figured it would be pretty tough for you to imagine leaving such a great place and an amazing experience. I know it's cliche to say, but you'll always take it with you. Know that we miss you back here and can't wait to see you! It will be a weird transition I'm sure, but we'll be here for you :) xo

  2. I got teary reading this, sad for you cause I know how hard it will be for you to leave. I know it's all those little things that make one love a place so much. And I can only imagine how much more fun it is there than here, and how much cuter the boys are!!! However I've missed you like actually everyday and can't wait for you to come home and continue the adventures here (Cherry Blossoms round 2)! Love you! xoxo (in hindsight maybe I should have just written you an email, but you bare it all on here so I guess I can too!)