I would give anything to be sitting in bed in my flat in South Kensington. Instead, I am trapped in an Alternate Universe. I am here in my bed under the same quilt, but the room is too big and the dog curled up next to me is too fluffy. The window at the end of my bed looks out on a suburban street rather than rainy mews. I drink my coffee from the same mug, I cry the same tears, the same books are piled next to my bed, but this isn’t the right universe. This isn’t the place where I belong.
Here there are people to love and be loved by. A few here. A few there. Him. Her. Them. Bright points of light in a dark sky that have been glowing for years and years. Here in this alternate universe there are lovely people & beautiful places & great adventures & joyful songs, but my soul is cold. Here feels like floating in a cold space without quite enough air to fill my lungs.
In the Promised Land I am Casey MacKenzie in full color. After a lifetime without quite enough oxygen I stepped off the plane on the fifth of May and breathed deep. I was embraced into the warm hug of community. My soul warmed and was nurtured in ancient churches, pubs, council flats and late night vigils in the church parking lot. There are so many to love & be loved by & the bright points of light start to shine as lifelong bonds begin to form in the warm glow of of a rich community.
In this Promised Land there is heartbreak and tears. Homesickness, fatigue, pain and loss, but a walk by the river in the glow of Albert or Ben does wonders for a hurting heart. There will always be tears, but in London the tears punctuate profound joy, dreams achieved, and Sunday evenings in the balcony.
When I cross a bridge, any bridge, over the Thames my heart fills with a kind of joy I did not know existed. I feel so full of light & love & joy & endless possibility that I fear I will burst into a star or a sunbeam.
But that is gone now. Now, I look around this room which is too big and this dog which is too small and realize my coffee has gone cold and it feels like sad poetry.
“You make beautiful things out of the dust.” Gungor
I’ve been in London for just over four months. I am completely, utterly, fantastically, miraculously happy and in love with this city. Every morning feels a bit like Christmas and I regularly find myself looking out the bus window/coming out of the underground/walking out my front door and just marveling at this life I lead.
I expected to love it here (why would I move 5,000 miles otherwise!?), what I didn’t expect is for it to be so good. I didn’t expect to find the most amazing church and meet the MOST wonderful people so fast. What I didn’t expect was to see the hard things of the last several years (YWAM, my road trip, Haiti) to suddenly fall into place and make sense. What I didn’t expect is for God to “repay [me] for the years the locusts have eaten” (Joel 2:25). I didn’t expect restoration and such complete joy.
(I am, however, expecting winter to kick my ass.)
Today I started my graduate program at London College of Fashion. Today I was encouraged to blog and explore and collaborate, and ask questions, and to embrace life in London by the best dressed faculty in the world (probably). This week is induction week, so I won’t get to the brass tacks of my program for a couple weeks yet, but I am so excited to be here and to be embarking on this journey here and now. I plan to embrace it with every fiber of my being.
I can’t believe this is my real life.
London, London. Where do I even begin? London is exactly where I belong. It’s a dream come true, a job well done. London is an exciting new place: new friends, new experiences, and old fires restored. London is my future. London is home.
Honestly, it’s hard to even explain the wealth of experience and blessing happening in my life right now. It doesn’t seem fair. I live in a beautiful home with a wonderful housemate. I have several really wonderful friends- some old, some new. I found my church home and have already started connecting. And, most importantly, when I wander the streets of London I am falling irrevocably in love. The bustle, the busses, the quiet mews and the ancient trees, the bricks and the vines and the cobblestones… It’s all so rich and so right.
I am sure that eventually I will be homesick and will get sick of eating beans on toast (ok, probably not)… but for now, though I love my friends and family at home deeply, there is no where on God’s green earth I would rather be. I am quite literally living my dreams, and it is better than I could have imagined.
Hooray! I had my grad check today with the head of my department… and good news! I only have one quarter left! It’s going to be a really heavy load, but I know I can do it. It is going to feel so good to finally be done!
Making my graduation date official was phase one of the big move. Phase two: figure out how to move to the UK legally- not an easy task. After a couple hours of research I’ve concluded that I either need £50,000 to be an entrepreneur, a job offer from a company willing to sponsor my visa, or to go to grad school over there (and prove I have the finances to pay for it without working). Daunting to say the least.
I know there are programs out there that will sponsor a visa for paid internships so I am looking into that… anyone have any other resources?
(0.3 of you got the Plankeye reference. You’re welcome.)
I am moving to London. Finally.
I am not sure what exactly I will do there or how on earth I am going to sort out a visa, but I have a wish, a prayer and an ample helping of sheer determination to get me going.
Currently I am taking one million units at school so I can finish and move on with my life. I am hoping to graduate in March, but as of today it’s not looking likely. (Damn you CSU and your silly upper division general education requirements!) As soon as I have a graduation date I will start pounding pavement for a job, a visa, and/or an acceptance letter to graduate school.
Here goes nothing!