08 June, 2009

The Truth of It

Last term my boyfriend and I tried to open our relationship to other people. It was my suggestion, and he agreed because we both hoped it might make the distance and loneliness a little softer. Long story short, it was a short-lived disaster that nearly ended the relationship. It became a source of heartache and incredible anger. It amplified the loneliness instead of softening it.

When we agreed to close the relationship, it was because we remembered that the drive behind this venture was love; was wanting to make sure the other person was happy and taken care of, even if it was someone else who was giving them that happiness for the time being. We opted to try an open relationship because we thought it would make loneliness of the long distance relationship easier to bear. And when it seemed that it was in fact making the loneliness even less tolerable, the answer became clear. Choosing to end the experiment was simple because we remembered why we began it in the first place.

So why am I in London?

I am in London because I wanted to be my own person. I am in London because I wanted to grow and change and evolve into the woman I want to be, instead of shuffling down the more comfortable path I was on. I came to London because I wanted to grow a spine. I wanted to stand on my own two feet. I wanted to make something of myself and come back to the US with an honest understanding of who I am and what I am made of. I wanted to have grounding in myself, trust in myself, and maybe a tiny bit of confidence, however small. I came to London because I needed something bigger, something more than San Francisco in order to do all of this. I needed to see what life was like without the safety net.

None of that has anything to do with the university that is going to kick me out.

I finally remembered that CSM was not my reason for coming to London. It was the means of getting me here.

I forgot that somewhere along the way. Like the open relationship experiment, I had to remember why I began this venture in the first place. I had to realize that this trip was never about becoming the next McQueen or Galliano. It was about becoming more of myself. The hope was that the challenges presented by CSM would facilitate that, but perhaps CSM is a small and insignificant test of my will when you really think about it.

There is so much more to fashion, to London, to England, to Europe, to the world, to my own story than CSM and the year I spent struggling to please people who could never be pleased. There is so much more to life than this. And I spent this weekend remembering that.

Looking back on this last year I can begin to see that Central St Martins was never the reason I came to London. It was the catalyst that allowed me to begin my own life. It was the carrot I dangled in front of my own nose so that I would continue walking ahead.

Of course with the carrot unfairly snatched away from me, I am hysterically running in circles in blind panic. "What do I do now? What do I do now? What do I do now? The carrot is gone, I have nothing to live for."

I am slowly beginning to see that I need to stop spinning and look at the race I am running. The carrot got me here, but "here" is what was truly important.

The truth of it all is that I came to London to learn. Not to learn to sew and not to learn how to make pretty sketchbooks. The truth of it is that I came to London to learn about life and who I am. And frankly CSM was keeping me from that. I moved half way around the planet to be here and face myself. To face my weaknesses and grow stronger. To face my insecurities and learn to stand solidly in the space I occupy in this world. To face my strengths and learn how to use them.

The decision to stay in Europe and seek out life despite CSM is an easy one to make when I remember the reasons I began this adventure in the first place. The truth of it is that I came here to face myself, change myself, and hopefully become myself.


Lori Smith said...

Great post. Glad you're clear on your reasons. Good luck with whatever you find to do while you stay in London!

Shadows said...

that's the spirit. Well-written post. You have a writer lurking in you somewhere as well, eh? It's been a pleasure receiving your updates on Twitter. Have a lovely day.

- Carrie

The Redhead said...

Thanks you two.

Carrie- I would LOVE to actually write something besides some self-involved blog some day. Thanks for the thought. :)

Cybrid said...

Thank you for sharing your adventure with us all this time; hope you finnaly get what you're after be it in London, Europe or anywhere else ;).