I arrived at Heathrow airport on the morning of Tuesday, May 11th. I had been patiently waiting for this moment for months, and I was finally here! The darkness of winter had consumed me and this flight into the unknown was the only light guiding me forward.
The decision to go was based on a passing conversation in the autumn of 2009. "Fancy coming to London for the summer?" a friend had asked me in the first few weeks of term. "Sure!" I replied, and although our collaborative plans had been discussed no further, I couldn't get the idea out of my head. I didn't know anyone there, but something had taken root inside me: this was surely the next stop on my journey. I found a room to sublet and an internship and from there everything was pretty much set with no plans other than to just figure the rest of it out when I arrived.
The whole morning was a blurr. I mean, I remember sitting in my seat on the plane, eyes glued to view out my window. I held my breath as we descended, eagerly (and rather nervously) awaiting everything that came next. We landed and the next thing I remember was standing on the Piccadilly Line rushing towards central London.
I was clutching the pole next to me, becoming more hyperly aware of everything around me as the minutes ticked on: the way people were dressed, the way people interacted, how they were sitting, the passing scene outside the train car. It was a grey morning, but the sun peaked through just as we came out of the tunnel into the light.
I scanned the entire train car. A smile began to creep across my face. I closed my eyes, took a huge deep breath, and as I let it out whispered to myself: “I’m home.”
I can't really explain it. I really don't know how I knew but something about the air around me, the people, the comfort, the freedom: I had found my happy place. Something that was entirely mine.