Today was another day that I sat in front of my computer hitting the refresh button waiting for some doomsday e-mail to come in telling me I didn't get the job, and while the browser was refreshing I kept picking up my phone to see if there was enough reception so that I wouldn't miss the call that should be coming telling me I got the job! It was exhausting... I found myself getting grouchier by the minute! I just kept thinking, "I want this one so badly... this has got to happen for me, this is the ball that is going to start everything rolling into motion... I have to seize this opportunity!!!!! I was making myself nuts, so I was thrilled when my lovely friend text me for a drink (at 2:30 in the afternoon, but none the less it sounded exactly like what I needed to take the edge off).
So... we decided to meet at Baker Street Pub. As we were sitting there I started fiddling with the drink menu and flipped it over and there it was: a map of the underground in London. Instantly my eyes fixated on the tube stops that are the most familiar to me. For a moment I pictured myself jumping out of my chair in Colorado and jumping into the map (think Mary Poppins and Bert's chalk drawings in the park). Some of those stops on that map I can almost recreate in my mind. For the briefest of moments I was walking through the markets in Covent Garden and throwing change into the street performers guitar case; I was riding up the escalator at Paddington station, turning left and blending into the pedestrian traffic and becoming just another pulse (another beat) in the city that I love most; I was sitting in Marylebone station waiting for the train that would take me back up to Oxfordshire. As fast as all these images went through my mind, I started to think about the fact that there are people in my life (acquaintances mostly) that don't even know about this part of me. And that seems so crazy to me! It's so important to me and has impacted my life so much that it seems crazy that someone can know me and not know how I feel about that time and that place. (Now, I do know that not everyone walks around knowing all the great details of each other's lives and that no one ever should, but it's still weird). I'm proud of myself that I didn't let this moment today sweep me away into a pity party of looking back and longing, I was glad I was able to acknowledge that London is a huge part of me and that I will carry it with me always but I look forward even more to when it is something that most people don't know about me (so it will be like my secret). Like Rose said in Titanic,
"A woman's heart is a deep ocean of secrets. But now you know there was a city called London and that it saved me... in every way that a person can be saved. That time exists now... only in my memory."
Well... that's not exactly what she said, but you get my point.
After drinks, I went over to another dear friend's house for dinner. It was a nice meal and we had a wonderful night of catching up over wine. She asked me why I am so set on moving to Boulder. I told her that I can picture my life precisely as I want it to go and Boulder is instrumental in this picture. I want to work in higher education, I wouldn't mind going back to school for a master's either, and eventually I can see myself doing academic advising. I can see myself (someday) owning a little old craftsman style bungalow that has a screen door, scratched hard wood floors, a study filled with books, and a backyard that hosts a long picnic style table positioned perfectly under a huge tree that has mason jars with candles hanging from the lower branches. I see myself sitting at one end of that table while my "person" sits at the other end discussing History with one of his prize students. I see us all breaking bread together and raising our glasses of wine to wish each other "cheers". I picture settling into bed at night, both of us buried in the latest books that we picked up at the store. I can see him taking off his glasses, setting them on the nightstand amongst a stack of essays and drafts that he's perfecting for some History periodical and then saying something like, "Well darling, I'm going to turn in, we've got a big day tomorrow." I see myself taking the opportunity every few years to travel to another city (alone) in Europe and to get lost on its streets and to seek out it's true culture (not just the touristy overtone) and as cliche as it is: through getting lost 're-find' myself again and again.
At this point you can imagine what my friend said, lovingly, she said: "Really, you can see all that by getting a job in Boulder?" Hahahaha! Of course I know that it won't all work out exactly like that, but if I don't take baby steps that take me in that direction how will I ever even fall short?
On my drive home; rather than looking back to London or looking forward to Boulder, I put the sun roof back, rolled down the windows, stopped to get a coffee, turned up my newest favorite album and took the long way home (literally)! It was the perfect ending to my day, and an opportunity to be so content in the present. Balance is beautiful.