tuesday was when it all finally hit me—i don’t live in london any longer.
on the plane flight i finally cracked open eric’s big black book, the signature/farewell book that i laid out at my leaving party all those weeks ago. flipping through the book, i was laughing out loud at page after page of drunken, loving, friendly scrawl from friends, exes, and acquaintances. the businessman sat next to me kept peeking, but i hid it from him, keeping all of the lovin’ all to myself.
heading down to the luggage carousel at l.a.x., it all looked so familiar. all those mid-term flights during university, of course, i’ve done this many times before. and, of course, i used to live in l.a. i somehow managed to forget that in all my planning and stressing and griping. what the hell am i so worried about?
within minutes i was in my rental car, speeding down the 5-lane 405 freeway, rocking out to kroq, which of course was playing the exact same playlist as when i left l.a. in 1999. of course. i laughed out loud as i put on my sunglasses, zipped into the fast lane and turned it up just a little bit more.
i have several large adjustments to digest… i need to adjust to american life, american politics, the american media. i need to adjust to the california attitude, the california climate, the california tan. i need to feel at home in los angeles, on the freeways, no left turns anywhere, scrounging for parking. i need to stop pretending to be exotic or foreign or british. i need to just be me.
rather than try to digest the shocking differences and amusing subtleties around every corner, i’m pretty much just ignoring them all for now. so what if everything is foreign to me still? i might as well start accepting it, start fitting in, force myself to feel at home.
i’ve managed to get rid of most of my british-isms, although i don’t think i’ll ever be able to say moh-bill instead of moe-bile. or bring myself to wear white socks. but that doesn’t matter… what matters is that i’m happy, i’m getting the things done that i need to get done, and i’m reconnecting with family and friends that i’m going to be seeing a hell of a lot more of.
that’s not to say i don’t miss my london crew… i’ve managed to keep myself distracted with the errands of moving to a new city, but it’s dawning on me, very quickly, that i’ve left a huge part of me behind in london. and, although i’ve only been gone 3 weeks, i’m already feeling those friendships drift apart. it takes effort to maintain friendships across 8 time zones, i know this. it would help if my
mobile cell phone had better reception.