I apologize in advance for the big block of text that is meant to hail my return.
It has been one full year since I really touched this space. So much has happened in that little cup of time. So much of my life has changed. It’s pretty unnerving to look back to where I was a year ago and see where I am now — mentally, physically, geographically, in life, etc. Let’s go on a journey, shall we?
I graduated from college.
Probably the most significant thing that’s happened to me, as dictated by society. I studied art history and anthropology at UC Davis, and while they may not be the most practical fields of study to land a job after graduation, they certainly made the ‘school’ part of the last four years much more enjoyable. I actually didn’t get to make it to my graduation, though, because…
I went abroad.
Personally, this was my biggest and favorite milestone. I think ever. For my last quarter at Davis, I did a 10-week study/intern abroad program in London. It wasn’t really like your typical study abroad program where you enroll in an actual university and take classes there. It was more like an extended field trip; a group of about 20 students from my college traveled together to London with one of our own professors and took all of our classes together. The theme of our course was “London on Film” so we spent the majority of our class time watching movies and seeing the development of the city from the silent film era to the present. Everyone did internships in their own field of interest so it was really cool to hear about everyone’s “job” during our weekly meetings. I interned at a tiny art gallery near Wimbledon and it was pretty awesome.
It was either the second or third week of my program that I decided to just stay. I was having the biggest YOLO moment of my life. The main thoughts going through my head were: I’m done with school. I have the resources. I have the time. I don’t know when or if I’ll ever make it back here again. I LOVE IT HERE. I don’t want to go back home. If I’m going to travel, this right now is the time and place to do it. So… Why not? (Why not?) Take a crazy chance!
I ended up living there for three more months, which was as long as I was legally allowed to and as long as I could financially support myself (I couldn’t work on a tourist visa). I may have blown all my money but it was the best experience of my life and I would not trade those five months in London for anything else in the world.
I moved back to California.
Of course, I had to come back home at some point and saying goodbye to my London life (and my boy) was the hardest farewell. I cried from the security gate all the way until I buckled into my seat on the plane. And then I cried some more until I passed out from all the free plane booze.
I went back to San Diego and wallowed at my mom’s house for a good month before getting a job. I started working part-time in retail — not quite where I pictured myself after college, but it’s something that will hopefully bring me to back London. And I also enjoy the freedom and flexibility it affords me. I know I should be trying to tie down a full time job right now, but I’m still learning a lot about myself and what I want to do more seriously, and I like having the option to take time off and visit friends, travel and invest more time into exercising. Call it a first world indulgence. Other than moving into my own place recently, that pretty much brings me well up to date. I’ll touch more on my “gap year” in the next post maybe.