Well, 2017. You weren’t the best.
This was a hard one to write, because in many ways 2017 was one of the hardest years of my life. I haven’t posted about it, but in June Gareth’s mom was diagnosed with cancer. I moved to the UK a few days later, and unfortunately the cancer was incredibly aggressive and she passed away only a few weeks after diagnosis. There aren’t really words to describe what it’s like to watch someone get sick so quickly, or watch the person you love lose their mom, so I’m not going to try. But suffice to say, it was and still is quite hard.
However, I have to have hope that things will/are getting better, and I’m trying to focus on the things that bring me joy and hope!
To start, 2017 wasn’t all bad. It started quite nicely, with a visit from Lee and a trip to Belgium. The Patriots won the Super Bowl in the most incredible/heart stopping way, then Faye visited and the worst of winter passed. (I miss Spain one million times more than I thought I would! I’m honestly so desperately home sick for it, I decide to move back about once a week.) I GOT MY CITIZENSHIP! Then I went on an amazing tour of Europe over Semana Santa, visiting Italy for the first time, and Slovenia, Croatia, and Bosnia. I had a wonderful goodbye with my students, and overall the first five months of 2017 were some of the best of my life.
Luckily I got the first job I applied for in London, and avoided the months of desperate job hunting I had assumed were awaiting me. It was one I really wanted, and I love what I do. It’s definitely more fulfilling than teaching, though much, much more serious and stressful as well. It’s been a lifesaver to have something I’m passionate about to throw myself into, and this job makes my time in London feel professionally invaluable.
It wouldn’t be honest to say settling back into normal life has been easy. I have a job in a sector I love, and truly think I’m making a difference with the work I do, but settling down was quite far off my list of things to do, and returning to normal life hasn’t been the smoothest of transitions. I miss living abroad so much—London, at this point, feels almost like I’ve gone back to America in its familiarity, and I feel this constant sense of dread the time I’m young and free of responsibility enough to travel is slipping away—though less so recently because I remembered to trust myself and my stubborn inability to let my dreams die!
I’m really happy 2017 is over. I’m hoping a fresh year and a new start will be a bit of a boost. There’s a lot to look forward to in the coming year, and I’m very ready to feel like myself again.