London On My Mind

We must be willing to let go of the life we have planned, so as to have the life that is waiting for us.  E. M. Forster


I had never traveled to London, but for several years it has been a dream of mine to live there. Thanks to my son Anthony’s thoughtfulness, this past March I was finally able to go. My son arranged an amazing trip sending me, and my daughter, to spend our spring break in Europe.  London was beautiful and even better than I imagined it would be.  As I walked around the city, I immediately felt relaxed and at home and I could easily picture myself living there. After only two days we easily moved from place to place jumping on and off the train exploring the city. Walking across the bridge over the Thames, I began a conversation with a Londoner and as we walked, he gave us some history on the city all the way to the Borough Market.  Each day we tried new foods and spent time at different pubs. We were even able to experience our very first horse race and I picked the winning horse-Call the Cops! We had so much fun!

Paris was another story. I was so excited to go and was not intimidated by the fact they spoke French and I didn’t. My attitude was great and I approached my visit there the same way I did London. It didn’t take me long to be disappointed. The city was confusing and unfriendly and I really didn’t understand what the big deal was. Unfortunately, to add to an already negative experience, my daughter lost her passport.  So even though I was freaking out on the inside, I had to remain calm and make the best possible decisions to get us out of France.

However, communication became very problematic. At one point, there was no one who spoke English, only French and some Spanish, so the only option I had was to speak my horrible broken Spanish! Believe it or not, it worked! Fortunately, I was able to speak enough Spanish to answer the necessary questions to get the paperwork processed.  (So I can speak Spanish, when I have to.) As soon as we had an emergency passport in hand from the American Embassy, my daughter and I left Paris and traveled back to London.

It was such a relief to finally be back in London and with a couple of days left in our trip, we went to see more of the city and spent some time at the museums. After hours in the National Gallery, my daughter and I sat down. I was tired and overwhelmed and I began to cry.

A few years ago, I had given myself a time frame of when I would be making my move to London and after visiting the city, the reality of that decision began to affect me. For years I have been mom and of course I absolutely love my kids. All of them are getting older, moving on with their lives, becoming independent and seeking out their life plans. Their need for me has changed and that makes me happy, because in spite of everything we have been through, I have raised some amazing young adults. My daughter understands my desire to be in London, but my boys have made it clear they do not want me to go. Anthony has even offered to fly me over every year if I didn’t move. But at this point in my life I feel that it is something I need to do, something just for me. Truthfully, this decision had been weighing heavy on my heart because not only will I miss my kids, my family and my friends terribly, I am also very afraid of the loneliness that may be ahead of me. I know… this doesn’t make sense. Why go then, right? Like I stated before, I have always wanted to move to London and being there made me fall in love with the city. But if I go, it means that I will still be on my own. It means that there is not that one special person in my life that is asking me not to go, or even willing to go with me.  Like several of the strong, independent friends around me, I am a romantic at heart and I would gladly give up moving if the right person asked me to stay. I feel that making a decision based on love and commitment to someone else is not weakness, because there is strength in putting another first. Of course my life goals are important, but I would rather accomplish my dreams and go through hardships with that one person in my life that loves me above all else. The one who is supportive and wont stand in the way of my ambitions, but who stands by me to encourage me, no matter what happens. Why wouldn’t I choose to be with someone who inspires me and who desires to share a lifetime with me? This doesn’t mean I am no longer strong and confident, it means God has a plan that I just can’t see right now and I am open to that plan.

A lot can happen over the next few years, and I seriously doubt my desire to move to London will go away. But before I commit to moving, I want to make sure I am going for the right reasons and that I’m not running from anything, because those things will eventually catch up to me. They always do. And honestly, I do not want to miss an opportunity right in front of me that I will later regret. So for now, I know I can say with confidence that when the time comes, it will be the right decision, no matter what it is.



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