I don’t belong anywhere.
I’ve been struggling with my life in London lately. After three years of adventures, I’m tired of sitting on a bus for forty minutes to travel two miles to work every morning, of dodging tourists and their umbrellas at lunchtime, and most of all, I’m really, really tired of the weather.
I’ve been seriously re-evaluating my life. What have I accomplished in three years in London? What do I like about my life here? What could I do without? How do I feel about the idea of buying a house in a suburb of London with a hypothetical boyfriend five years into the future? (It’s never going to happen, but bear with me here.)
Somehow, I’m simultaneously madly in love with my life here and totally exhausted by the whole thing.
I made a pros and cons list of reasons to stay in London and it only confused me more. Because here’s the deal: I don’t know where home is anymore.
The list of things I love about London is a mile long. There aren’t that many things I dislike, but they’ve been weighing me down lately. The rain, the grey skies, the never-ending crowds everywhere, the fact that my professional opportunities here are virtually non-existent, just like the odds of meeting an interesting boy who’s not either a total weirdo (who sends a girl a photo collage after two dates??) or a total douchebag (no one forgets to tell the girl they’re trying to date that they got back together with their ex!).
So where else do I go?
I love going home to France to see my family, but I have no desire to live there.
If someone handed me a US work visa on a silver platter tomorrow, I would probably jump on a plane without looking back. But I also can’t help but think about how far away I’d be from so many of my friends and from my family. There’s also the huge list of European countries I haven’t visited yet, and the luxurious health insurance and vacation days I’d be leaving behind. These are things I didn’t use to mind when I lived in LA, but four years in Europe have changed me. Does that mean I wouldn’t be happy there? I think I’d be willing to take the risk, but sponsorships in the TV industry are about as frequent as unicorns in the wild, so none of my doubts matter much.
I don’t speak any other languages, so every other country is pretty much out of the question, no matter how tempting it’d be to start over somewhere new and sunny. (Sunny being the key word here.)
The truth is no matter where I go, I’m going to miss people and places and things. There’s no such thing as the “right” country for me. I’ve fallen in love with too many cities and cultures and lifestyles and my heart has become a jigsaw puzzle that’s always short a few pieces.
Travelling around Europe definitely helps with the homesickness, but I’m only delaying the inevitable. I looked around my bedroom the other day and wondered how many suitcases I would need to pack up all my stuff. And honestly, if England turned into a tropical island overnight, I would probably be happy to settle down here. But it turns out sunshine is at the top of my list of requirements for “places where I want to live” and this has become a major issue.
It’s funny how the things you want change over time. I’ve been surprising myself lately. I stopped drinking coffee. I meditate. I don’t like buying clothes in chains stores anymore. I can nap on planes. I give up watching a show if I don’t like it. I can tolerate kids if I’m related to them. Dating doesn’t scare me anymore. I’ve come to terms with all these things. So I know myself well enough to acknowledge that it’s time for a change.
I guess that for a lot of people, that would mean getting a new job or ending a relationship or moving to a different neighborhood. My kind of change is a little bit more dramatic. It’s exciting, too. Five years ago, I couldn’t have imagined this life for myself. So who knows where I’ll be in five years?
I’m not going to lie: I can’t wait to find out.