I have been called flaky in my time and it is pretty true, but I think this takes the cake: I forgot my own 2 year anniversary in London. Sheesh! Maybe that's because it took place whileI was running across the Stonehenge Downs, cursing every incline. But the fact that it did slip my mind is a pretty big sign that I'm so comfortable here in London, and in the UK, and that I'm quite happy in my skin here. It's funny - ever since I graduated from college, I've spent exactly two years in a city - just enough time to decide it wasn't for me - and then upped sticks and moved on. From New York to Philly back to New York and then on to London, surely it should be time for me to consider another change? But far from it - I'm more at home here, and looking to get more cosy, than I have ever felt in any other city. Le sigh.
The last year since I celebrated year 1 has been pretty intense. I've learned a lot about myself, my place in the world, and how I look at my future. Notice I say learned: learned doesn't mean changed, and it's been such an amazing process of identifying things about myself that I didn't realize or understand until now, when removed from my natural habitat, that I'm only starting to figure out how to use these learnings to change for the better. It is funny, though, to think that the types of things I'm discovering are only becoming apparent because I'm living in another culture. I wonder how many years (and hours of therapy!) it would have taken for me to understand myself had I stayed in New York (or the US).
But despite all of this personal growth and understanding, there is still so much for me to do for myself to make sure that I'm taking advantage of my opportunity to live here. It is so easy for me to slip back into old patterns and habits, so I'm really trying hard not to beat myself up about them and confront them head-on instead. It's a really big step for me to acknowledge my weaknesses, and address them accordingly, but it's so necessary so that I can reach the next level in my life - so to speak. For a while I've been unhappy about so many things, and it's only up to me to change them - which means it's only up to me to gather the strength to do it.
Despite all of the me-me-me talk, The Irishman has been a big part of all this growth I've achieved over the last two years (including that of my waistline as he makes me homemade ice cream and roasts...). But I am so grateful to him every day for helping me assimilate to this crazy culture and country; I really don't know where I'd be today if I hadn't met him. It will also be our two year anniversary soon, and I have a special surprise in store for him. I can't say anything more because a) he reads this blog, and b) I'm really really rubbish at keeping surprises a secret (especially when I'm really excited about, and this one is super-awesome) so the more I say, the more of a chance he'll guess it. He probably has anyway, but let's all just help him keep the pretense up, shall we?