Writer's Note: I wrote this post just around 30 days before I moved to London. February 17th, 2018 to be exact. It has been some time since then, but I've decided to share it anyway.
I've been sitting in a Panera for a few hours working on this blog, thinking about what my first Diary entry should be. I need music to focus, so my headphones were in and Spotify was on shuffle when "Does Anybody Have a Map?" from the musical Dear Evan Hansen suddenly started to play.
The song is sung by two mothers struggling to parent teenage boys, which I obviously know nothing about, but the chorus of the song is particularly appropriate.
Does anybody have a map?
Anybody maybe happen to know how the hell to do this?
I don't know if you can tell
But this is me just pretending to know
So where's the map?
I need a clue
'Cause the scary truth is
I'm flying blind
And I'm making this up as I go
I had to laugh because I've listened to this song hundreds of times and the lyrics have never been more applicable than right now.
I'm in that awkward transition period where I'm so close to moving that I feel like I'm stuck in between two places; my feet are in Allentown but my thoughts are in London.
We've all been there.
It's like your last year at University after you've signed a job offer. You're just there to finish school and spend as much time with your friends as you can but as it gets closer and closer to graduation, your focus inevitably starts to shift from where you are to where you're going.
I've thought about all sorts of things.
I've wondered how where I'm going will impact the relationships I've built over the last 25 years.
Who will I hear from most often? What if we don't stay in touch? Will the quality and strength of these relationships be impacted? Will it bother me that I can't just hop on a bus or get in a car and go visit my friends whenever I want to?
I've wondered what it's going to be like.
How long will it take to learn to look right, left, right instead of left, right, left before crossing the street? How will I make friends? Will it be invigorating to create a brand new life for myself or will I miss the one I knew and loved back home? What are the people like? The culture? The lifestyle?
These are (some of) the many conversations with myself, let alone the ones I've had with everyone else. When you decide to pick up your belongings and move to a new country on your own, there are certain questions you will hear over and over.
Why do you want to move anyway? Where will you live? Do you know anyone there? How are you feeling? And so on and so on...
The first three questions easy enough to answer. The last I always seem to struggle with. I feel excited, anxious, nervous, scared, and hopeful all the time. But mostly, I don't know how to feel because I have absolutely zero idea what is going to happen once I step off that plane.
I don't know the city will be like.
I don't know who I will meet.
I don't know what my life will look like.
I don't know how different I'll be at the end of this.
I don't know if I'll be different at all.
I'd be lying if I said that I wasn't scared. Of course I'm scared. No matter how much I try to downplay it, this is a big move. I'm a single 25 year old moving to another country, alone, with one family friend and a few acquaintances to speak of. Who wouldn't be freaking out a little bit?
The adult in me knows there's a lesson somewhere here; probably about how uncertainty isn't a bad thing and you have to embrace it in order to move forward. (God, I sound like a fortune cookie don't I?)
But the kid in me? She just wants some breadcrumbs to follow.
So if you see a map, let me know.