A writer friend sent this picture to me recently. It's now my wallpaper on my computer. It keeps me calm to look at it. Sane, even. It might as well say, "Go to your happy place."
I have been to London three times: in 2003, 2006 and 2007 (for my 4oth birthday). I cannot believe it's been four years since I've been to my favorite city-- I cannot believe it will likely be at least another year before I find my way back there again.
I've already told you about my love affair with London-- and the possibility that I might get to live there for a couple of years. It's looking less likely as time goes by, but I still fantasize about it. (And there are many lovely men with accents in my fantasies...)
Whenever I'm feeling particularly overwhelmed (like now) or depressed (ditto) or stressed (uh huh...), I think about running away. Planning a trip-- even if it's months or a year in advance-- gives me something to look forward to when everything else seems bleak. Most often, the UK is my destination-- and London is my starting point. I've been on three trips to the UK, around 24 days total, and there is still so much I haven't seen-- and so many things I want to see again. And someday, when they're old enough, I look forward to introducing my little boys to the city I love most.
A west coast writer friend and I are talking about going to the UK next year and I am trying to find a way to make it happen. Scratch that-- I'm not trying to make it happen, I'm going to make it happen. (Look out, UK writer friends!) England and Scotland. City and sea. Writing and dreaming. And waiting...
England-- and London in particular-- feels a bit like home to me in a way I can't explain. I am a different person there-- more authentic, more alive, more me, in some way. When I'm feeling lost in my own life and don't recognize myself, thinking about going to England brings me back to center and reminds me who I am. The writer, the free spirit, the girl. Maybe that's why my imagination runs there even when I can't.
Me, enjoying the sunshine in Cambridge on my 4oth birthday. My 45th birthday is next spring. I hear London calling...