An Anniversary...of sorts

A year ago today, we got on a plane in Salt Lake City with four bags and a million butterflies in our stomachs. It was a surreal experience, actually carrying through everything we'd planned. We couldn't imagine feeling at home in England; we couldn't comprehend anything, really, beyond what was right in our faces: the ticket counter, the security check, the traditional breakfast at the airport Burger King, the gate, the waiting. The whole 18+ hour flights-and-transfers event felt like one big wait. Nerves, fear, and "what the hell are we doing?!" combined internally with the tail end of a nasty virus we'd caught a few days before. (Remember that epidemic of a horrible water-born virus last September in Utah? We both caught it at our farewell water party!) I had to breathe deep on the plane, and couldn't eat or look down, for fear of the brewing nausea. I have drammamene to thank for not crossing the barf-in-a-bag threshold.
I thought about a lot of things, breathing deep on the plane: what I was leaving behind, where I was heading, and how on earth I had come to be sick on a plane to London with everything I owned in two old-school suitcases.

pictures from our first day here
We rode a rollercoaster of emotions for the first few months -- and wondered how we'd ever get settled in. But here I am in my cozy, happy living room one year later. It's a rainy day-- grey and cold outside, which is nothing new. And now the surreal feelings come from the realization that I've been here so long already. I've learned a lot in a year, and I've been changed, but not in the ways I was expecting. Marc and I have been here for each other. We got each other here, first of all, which neither of us could or would have done on our own. And once we did that, we took turns carrying each other through some dark days, and also jumped for joy together in moments of pure bliss. Our year has been slow-paced, but flown by so fast. It has been rich with living -- days of misery, and days far too magical to believe real; moments of sickening fear, and moments so full of awe that tears slide down our faces. Looking back on this surreal year I find myself asking how I possibly came to be at this place in my life, and how I can ever deserve it.


peter said...

You deserve it. You both do. You worked hard and planned and took advantage of the opportunity. You had courage and you acted on it. We are all equally deserving of the good things we get, when we get them honestly and with integrity and hard work. I love you guys, you are inspiration.

Olivia Meikle said...

Um, there is no possible way it has only been one year since you moved there. I'm quite sure it's been at least three or four years. Are you SURE? Wow. You guys have accomplished a lot in just 12 months. Congratulations.

Kelli said...

thanks for giving me hope on the brink of my new adventure!