I realised today that yesterday marked the sixth month since my move to London. As a result, I’d like to reflect on my experiences thus far in the form of an open letter to my parents. They are the two people most directly affected by my decision and it goes without saying that they deserve some recognition. Those of you reading this deserve recognition as well- thanks for following my journey and thanks for being interested. It’s a crazy life and it’s always great to have someone to share it with. Pedey, thanks for being the middleman- you’re my lifeline to the States at all hours of the day and night and I love you for it.
You know better than anyone that I’ve never been one to take the easy way out. I enjoy a challenge and stick to my guns when I see that it’s fit for me to be stubborn. I take into consideration how my decisions will affect others, but in the end, when something catches my eye and captures my attention, I go after it, no matter the consequences. So, when I got back from Europe in September 2010, ranting about my love for London, I can only imagine you knew the beginning of a losing battle of parental guidance was looming.
I immediately began researching ways to get to London and I think it’s safe to say that you both owe any signs of hypertension to me. London is expensive. It’s far from home. It’s void of any friends and family. Who could want to lose their daughter to a foreign country?
The grad school arguments weren’t easy- they were endless and frustrating. “Why not Delaware?”, you said. “London is expensive, Sarah. You will have thousands of dollars of student loans to pay off. You can find something here and go to London when you’ve made enough money to live comfortably.” And still, I relented. I applied and I got accepted and you knew the end of the battle had arrived. I was moving to London- my stubborn nature had prevailed again.
It takes a certain person to pack up her life and move to a new place. A place where I knew one person. A place that is located across entire oceans. I still don’t know what kind of person that is. A risk taker? An adventurer? A mature individual? I think it’s all of those things. But it also takes a certain kind of person allow his or her daughter to pack up and head out. And I thank God every day that you’ve been those people throughout this journey.
It has been no surprise to anyone that this is one of the best experiences of my life. I wake up each morning and am continually surprised by what London offers me each day. Every experience is one-of-a-kind. They are experiences that some people only dream about and they are constantly handed to me.
There is nothing else in order but a thank you. Thank you for understanding that I had exhausted all opportunities in “the place to be somebody”. Thank you for understanding that I had dreams too big for a small town. Thank you for allowing those dreams to take me 3, 577 miles from home. Thank you for allowing me to travel the world and for trusting that I will always make the right decisions.
The journey I started 6 months ago is only the beginning. I’m still waiting for the sign that’s going to tell me where to go next, but it’s reassuring to know that you’ll be there waiting to help me figure it all out. I know your life would be simpler if I lived in a bubble and didn’t ever have to leave. But the reality of the situation is that somewhere down the line of genetics, I picked up the gene for adventure. It’s our greatest difference, but I see it as one of my better qualities and I hope you do too.
Thank you for sharing these adventures with me. Thank you for being proud. Thanks for the love. It’s all reciprocal. 3,577 miles isn’t enough to prevent that.
To everyone else: follow the things that make you happy. I used to wake up knowing that I needed something more. I had exhausted my efforts at home and a change was imminent. If you aren’t one-hundred percent happy with your life, change it. If there is one thing London has taught me it’s this: the opportunity for experience is so much greater when you expand the dimensions of your dreams.