December 29th, 8pm, Greenwich Mean Time. I can’t believe a year when by so fast! You read that correctly. I’ve been living in London a whole year! I can’t quite decide if it feels like it was just yesterday, or 5 years ago. I can say though, that the last year has definitely taught me a lot.
There is Such a Thing as Too Much Alone Time…
I’d like to think that I’m a very social being. I definitely thrive in social situations. Before I left New York, I was working several jobs, and I was constantly surrounded by people. At the same time, I’m comfortable being on my own.
When I moved to the UK, I had too much of one and none of the other.
I wasn’t allowed to work, I was on a limited budget and it was the dead of winter. I had no way of meeting people or making friends. My social interactions were entirely made up of one singular person. Mr. Actually would leave for work and I’d be there. He’d come home from work and I’d still be there.
It was difficult for me to have so much time on my own. I spent a lot of time lying in bed watching Netflix… including the entire series of Friends in about 2 and a half weeks. That’s 238 episodes! Sometimes I’d gather the motivation to get up and cook a nice meal, or do a little exploring of my new home, but truth be told, I didn’t do it often.
I was very isolated and it really diminished any motivation I did have. Retrospectively, it’s much easier to look back and pinpoint what I was feeling: lonely and isolated. It’s gotten much better, but at the time, it was really tough.
Ending One Long Distance Relationship Means Starting Lots of Others…
This was something I didn’t really think about at first. I was so used to Mr. Actually living 4000 miles away that the idea that we’d finally be together was all I thought about.
It’s really been hitting me lately how many people I’ve lost touch with, and how much effort it takes to actually communicate with my friends back home. I did it for years with Mr. Actually, but that was just one person.
The scale is much bigger now… I am also terrible at communication. I forget to reply to emails and messages, I go weeks without reaching out.
I’ve left people I care about behind and it’s difficult to make sure I’m tending to each and every relationship.
There is No Set Recovery Period…
Picking up my whole live and moving to a completely different country is probably the scariest thing I’ve ever done. Even a year later, I still don’t feel entirely settled. I miss lots of things from home and sometimes it is really overwhelming.
I miss the jumbo slices of pizza from the place by my house and the Hungarian Pastry Shop. I even miss the hustle and bustle that is characteristic of New York. I’ll probably always miss it when I’m not there.
I think I 100% underestimated the effect the move would have on me. Mentally, emotionally, physically, I underestimated the stresses of moving to a new country, leaving friends and family behind, and everything that comes with that.
Worse, I was too hard on myself for feeling the way I was feeling. Even now, I sometimes have to remind myself that it’s okay to be homesick, to be sad. I also have to remind myself that it might still be some time before I feel like I’ve found my feet. Sometimes you have to take it one day at a time.
I’m incredibly happy in my new life. I love London, and I love Mr. Actually, if possible even more than I did before! I have him with me all the time and it makes me feel amazing. I have a job now as well, so I’m closer to being back to my social self, and I feel like I’m making friends. My blog has been an incredible outlet and I’ve done more with it in the last few months and the last year than I ever have before. I wouldn’t change my life for the world.