Leaving for England
My last two weeks in New York before leaving for my new home in England were strange. I had just left SUNY New Paltz for the last time, since this semester is my last before I graduate. I was sad for reasons I couldn’t explain, happy to be home, and extremely anxious about starting life in a new place all the way across the Atlantic Ocean. I visited everyone I could–my grandparents, my aunts and uncles, cousins, and friends I knew I would miss. I spent more time with my mom than usual because this is by far the longest period of time I have spent away from her.
My last night at home, I had a party with my stepbrother and our friends. I stayed up until 7am with a friend, laughing, drawing on each other, watching stupid YouTube videos, and just enjoying what little time I had left in my beloved basement in New York. I spent the whole day before I left with my friend after we got a few hours of sleep. Driving him home was surreal-he asked me when I was leaving for England, and I replied: “4 hours.” It didn’t feel real. I went home to finish packing and called all of my relatives in case I wouldn’t be able to for a while. My mom made dinner and I couldn’t eat–I felt like if I even talked I would cry! Don’t get me wrong, I was beyond happy to be leaving for England, but I felt so emotional and sad that I wanted to crawl into bed and not ever leave. I barely slept so my plane trip went by in a heartbeat, but when I got to England I was so tired I didn’t think I could make it through customs.
My friend and I split a cab since the lodgings we’d be living in were around the block from each other. When I walked up to the door of my new home, there was a beautiful butterfly resting on the door handle. I’ll never forget that. I knocked and it flew away, and my wonderful landlady, Frances, opened the door and greeted me enthusiastically. I at once felt safe and comfortable in her presence, but I could barely speak and immediately fell asleep for many hours in my bed. The next few days were a struggle, the jet lag made me emotional in the midst of my excitement of being in England.