One little day. One big year.

And one big post…

I cannot believe I have lived in the UK for 365 days.

In one day, it will have been one year since I was able to call myself a permanent resident of the United States of America. Weird. What’s even more weird is all of the things I have learned since arriving to this country, some of which I’ll share in a moment. It is hard to comprehend exactly what it is that feels so… foreign, odd, untouchable. I think it’s that whole thing of not knowing exactly where we will be in five years, ten years, light years… The crazy thing is, I have never really concerned myself with the future, I mean I always wondered if I would ever get married (turns out, yes), but as far as where I would end up, well I never concerned myself with that. I just figured I’d end up in some place other than Minnesota, which I did, but why does it suddenly feel so… scary?

Maybe it feels this way because I never allowed myself to think about it prior to making The Big Move; I knew that if I did, chances were I’d not follow through with it. Obviously I’d go to the moon and back for Si, for what we have, but you best believe I’m not going to think about how far that is from the place that is most familiar to me before I go. Call me an irresponsible adult, but sometimes it’s best if I don’t think about the scary stuff and just dive right in. If you know me at all, you know I have a tendency to over analyze most things in my life so when it comes to making gigantic decisions, I will of course give them good thought, but if my brain even comes close to thinking about the scary stuff, I shove that back into its dark, dusty corner for another day and time.

Yes, that also makes me a master procrastinator.

Anyway, enough of all that inner self-searching stuff and on to the things I’ve learned over the last year. Here goes…

  • Turns out the grass IS always greener on the other side. No really, the grass is super green here, it rains all of the time.
  • Contrary to popular belief, it doesn’t actually rain ALL of the time, just a lot of the time. But the sun also comes out year round and provides some of the most incredible landscapes my eyes have ever seen.
  • Speaking of weather, nearly every day we are guaranteed to experience almost every weather pattern known to man. You want sun? We got sun. You want rain? Oh boy do we have rain. How about wind? Yes ma’am we’ve got loads of wind. Hail? Yes sir, we have that too! All in one day? Absolutely.
  • Most of the English have far better geography skills than any of my geography teachers in school did, combined. They travel to everywhere from the UK, and I’ve learned there’s even more world to explore than I previously thought possible.
  • Speaking of exploration, most of the English have no idea what they have right beneath their feet. This land is amazing, this country is gorgeous, and the history, good heavens do not even get me started on the history. This is not always the most exciting place to live, but my goodness it is rich in history and the layers of this land are incredible.
  • Being away from my mom is hard, so damn hard. I have lived away from Minnesota in the past, but for whatever reason, this time it just feels so much more difficult. I think I know why, but to go into that is an update all its own. Another time…
  • Being away from my friends, namely my bestie, is also hard. Again, I’ve lived away before, but this time just feels so different. Before, even if we had nothing to do, we would at least do nothing together.
  • I have never been more aware of how much I enjoy social interaction as I am now having moved away from all of my friends and family.
  • Making new friends is hard work. It is fun as well, don’t get me wrong, it’s just a bit stressful when you want to do so much and be so sociable but you don’t want to freak people out.
  • I have grown a bit more confident since moving here. People here in the UK seem to really express their own style, granted there is a lot of the same style, but I have learned it is their style nonetheless. And I have one, too. I think. Really though, I feel like making this move has forced me to be more comfortable with who I am, who I am not, and all of the beautiful imperfections lurking inside of my overly crowded mind.
  • The sunsets here are spectacular. Blues, pinks, oranges, purples, yellows… it is all just so gorgeous. And the clouds, every cloud you can imagine packed into one grand sky, stunning.
  • “You alright?” is how people ask “How are you?” without showing any interest whatsoever. I’m still at that awkward stage caught somewhere between genuinely caring how the other person is and feeling a sense of total obligation to ask them only because they asked me first.
  • Living with someone is hard. It is hard because for a long time I lived on my own, did what I wanted, kept things how I wanted them, decorated however I pleased and now… well now I have to check with my husband first. It’s just weird. Doable, but weird.
  • Also, I’m married. HOLY CRAP how and when did that happen? I mean, I know how and when in the literal sense but seriously, HOW and WHEN did that happen? I have learned that marriage is not actually that hard if you are willing to compromise and bite your lip from time to time…to time.
  • The love Si gives me is the greatest love any man, besides my dad, has ever shown me. Honestly I feel as though I am the luckiest woman to be married to a man who is so damn awesome. S’true, he will tell you that himself.
  • I do not think I ever truly realized the capacity to which I could love someone the way I love Si; I find it difficult to even imagine what life was like before him, what I was like before him. S’true, I’m awesome, too. He will tell you that as well, if he’s as smart as I think he is.

To say that this has been an emotional year would be a giant understatement. To say that I feel at home here in the UK would also be a bit of an understatement if we are being honest. It is of course, a place I call home and the place that is home, but it is also a place that still feels so foreign in some respects, so much so that I often wonder when I will truly feel as though I fit in. Who knows, maybe I’m not meant to really fit in, maybe that’s the point of being a fish out of familiar waters. Maybe you just have to keep treading water until it becomes familiar, until it begins to feel less like work and more like living life. Or maybe I’m just doing it all wrong.

Oh, and about these sunsets…

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