I’ve finally arrived in London and was greeted by grey skies and rain pouring out of the heavens. While everyone complained about the rather chilly and rainy weather, I rejoiced. I longed for this day for several months and I met London with the same determination I had when I studied abroad in the Virgin Islands at 16 and when I moved to Georgia from Pennsylvania in my Ford Tempo at 22. I was living out yet another dream in a series of dreams in my waking life.
I arrived in London with two suitcases and a carry-on bag. Deciding what to bring and what to leave was an eye-opening process. I realized how caught up we are in material things and how much we live in excess. I was never really into fashion and I never could justify spending hundreds of dollars on shoes or pocketbooks. However, I realized that what little I had, I could do without and I wouldn’t miss any of it for a moment. In fact, I preferred life this way. These material things become attachments and handcuffs which inhibit us at times. My willingness to detach myself from my home, car, furniture, and things I just didn’t need have allowed me to move through life on my own terms.
Prior to leaving the U.S. I was asked the same questions repeatedly, “Are you nervous? Excited? Where will you live? What will you be doing? What will you do with your house? When are you coming back? Will you come back?” I was honestly emotionless and while I am a highly organized and meticulous planner, I didn’t let planning take over my life nor did I allow myself to become stressed about the details of planning (which I have been accused of so many times before). Over the past few years I decided to live life similar to that of a choose-your-own adventure book. As Americans, we are engrained to believe that we should go to college, get a good job, have a family, buy a house, and retire. While that doesn’t seem like such a bad plan, some of those things have come slower to me than others. While I did go to college and had good jobs over the past 10 years, there is something missing in the aforementioned equation: happiness and fulfillment. I can no longer subscribe to the traditional life process. The only one thing for certain is that at some point I will die, but to the best of my ability, I want to live unconventionally in this conventional world.
In the meantime, I’m starring in my own version of Eat Pray Love. I call my version Learn, Live, and Love or Live, Learn, Love. Perhaps it will be called something different in the end, but for now these are the three things I hope to gain in this chapter.