These are Terrifying Times

Some days, I wonder what I’m really here for. The charity? The city? I do love my work. So much so that I work longer hours and dedicate nearly all of my energy towards the organization. I even consider going in on days that I’ve asked off. However, most of the time, I think I’m here just to be…well, here. I knew for years that I had always loved London. But I never knew how much more I could love such an intense and mystifying few miles of this whole world. I have less than 4 weeks left here, and I feel that it’s not enough time.

When I first arrived, I was nervous. Scared, almost, of getting lost, of realizing that all my dreaming of this place was all just a fantasy of my imagination. I was worried that the locals would only see me as a foreigner; a nasty, unkempt, wild American. I was concerned that I would be homesick the entire time. But now, I realize that I was all wrong. What I should have been scared of was not wanting to come home.

As I go into the city, I feel a little more emotional every day. I look at the dirty streets, the unfamiliar faces, the smelly alleyways, and realize that in less than a month, it’ll all be gone.

I don’t want it to be gone.

I’ve fallen so completely in love, I’m worried what life will be like back in the States. How could I lead such an average life after experiencing all of this? How could I handle such a separation from something that I hold so dear to me? When I come home, I won’t really be there. I’ll still be in London, wandering the streets, imagining the tube stations, remembering the bus routes, reminiscing the smell of cigarette-polluted air, and reliving every moment that ever made a profound impression on me.

London has created somebody I had always been shy of becoming. Some one who is strong, happy, independent, and has a slight dark side. I’ve come to embrace who I am, and I know that this new person won’t be as welcomed back home as I would want it to be. In the eyes of many, I’d be considered cynical, unkempt, wild…a typical American, I suppose. But adapted to the culture of the Brits.  I feel so free here. Free to live my life to its fullest potential.

I’m worried I can’t come back. I feel so pressured into making the most of the time I have left, as if I am never seeing this city again. And granted, that may be so. But couldn’t I just lie to myself and pretend like it’s not true?

I don’t want to go home. And that scares me as well.

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