04 December, 2007


I think a little background information is in order:

It's been about a year since I first thought about how glamorous it sounded "studying abroad". But it all happened very quickly. In October, I visited England. A few weeks ago, my long-term boyfriend and I flew to L.A. where I presented my portfolio to two of the finest fashion schools in the world, and I was invited to attend Central St. Martins. In case you live outside of the design and art world, and have no idea what that means, it's a very, very big deal, and an honor I was not expecting.

I was not prepared to be invited to CSM, so I never visited the college, and never planned for the possibility. But here I am, and the decision has sort of been made for me. I have to go to London, now. This would be the opportunity I'd kick myself for passing up, if I let it go.

Now, the biggest deal: my boyfriend cannot come with me. It breaks my heart every day. It scares the living crap out of me, too. But I couldn't ask him to move, even if he wanted to. He has an amazing career, and a 7-year old daughter here. I am afraid of leaving everything and everyone I know behind, but I'm more terrified of facing a new country entirely alone without him. I am excited by it, too, though. It will be my first opportunity to stand alone, and figure myself out. I've always had someone to lean on for backup, and I am hoping this experience will help me finally grow up. And if the boy and I are meant to be together, we'll see how things work out when I come back. I sound brave when I say that, but really, I'm going to be a wreck as the actual moving approaches. I've had dreams about how hard it will be to get on the plane and leave him here. I'm one scared little girl, lemme tell ya.

All of my friends are excited for me. I keep meeting them for coffee so they can remind me why I should be thrilled. But I worry. And some part of me knows that this knot in my stomach wont relax until I've been in London for a while, and have settled in, learned my way around, made one friend. I hate the process of moving, and this will be the biggest move I've made. I will have to sell a lot of my stuff. I won't have any furniture that I can bring with me. My comfy bed will stay here. (I wonder if I can get new power cords for my sewing machine etc to fit the UK sockets...hmm.) And worst/best of all, I will have to spend some time figuring out where everything is again. Hm, I need hairdye, where the hell do I go? Food... where's the cheapest store? What's the comfiest coffee shop around? I've lived in San Francisco for about 4 years, but I have a very good sense of the place. How long it will take in a cab to get from one place to another; the easiest route to take when getting home from any place; the spots that are open late; the best pie in town. I will miss the comfort of all that. I will be fine once I'm in London. It's just hard facing all the steps between here and there.

Also, I won't lie: I am NOT looking forward to being a starving student. I am not well off, but I'm better off than some of my peers in school. I have a TV, a carpet on my floor, a good collection of books and movies I began collecting a few years ago. I have my own sewing machine and serger. And I have been found guilty of buying shoes instead of food. But I've never been in the position where I have to eat top ramen for weeks. When I get close to that, my boyfriend usually buys me some food (he's good like that). But once I move to the UK, I will be very poor. Not to sound like a terrible person or anything, but I do not do well when I'm poor. I get very self concious about it. I feel very sorry for myself, I'm afraid. And I have developed a taste for decadent experiences. I wonder how much of that is the fact that I have adult friends who live the lifestyle I want. Maybe being around other poor students won't make me so afraid of being poor. But, awful though I may be, I hope I can find people to remind me that it's okay to be a student and live like a student, on those days when I start to feel cranky and lonely.

So that about catches us up, I think. I am trying to be as honest as I can about my feelings about this move, right now. I have to finish about 6 months of school to get my Associates Degree in Fashion Design here in the states, and then my birthday will hit next fall. After which, I will head off to a rather lonely time, as I try and find my footing in the UK. I just now realized this will be my last holiday season here for a while. And, I missed my last Halloween. Aw man....

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