Bereavement: the time we spend adjusting to loss. I am currently going through a bereavement. Not of a human thankfully but I am currently grieving camp life. Yep I’m in a period of adjusting to a loss of a fun filled summer, of 10 weeks I would usually be in the scorching Southern heat and doing what I absolutely love doing best – travelling, exploring and well, not being in England really.
I have been dreading this time since the end of my first year at camp. When it came to the end of our time that first summer I was sure I wasn’t returning. No way, there was surely way more things that a 20 year old had the chance to do. I could climb Kilimanjaro, help build houses in Nepal or work as a chalet girl for a season in the Alps. The options were endless! What I hadn’t counted on was that after those goodbye’s on that Saturday morning is that the kids, people and the beautiful sights of camp would convince me back for another year. I don’t regret it one bit, but after last year I knew that was it. Camp had given me so so much; 4 best friends, a chance to truly make a difference and an impressive tan – but it also takes a lot as well. 8 months in England being severely poor whilst you save for your impending summer, no secure job as you’re always coming and going and no real stability in life. It was time to move on from camp life. But without it… what was I going to do?! How would I cope with the severe FOMO I knew would come when my camp friends are all there again and I’m in England doing god knows what?
So that’s where I am right now. I’m being updated daily (which I love) on how great camp life is (which I love as well, honestly…) and what a great time they’re having. Which makes my heart happy – even if I’m not there myself. I know how much harder camp camp be when you’re truly not enjoying it, it really is no fun. They’re already in there 3rd week and it’s gone so fast for me. I’m sure it’s gone even faster for those at camp! I’m feeling differently than I thought I would. I’m not dreading opening their snapchats of their day, I’m not constantly thinking what I would be doing if I was back at camp, I’m not missing the sunshine (weirdly enough). I think if you know in your heart of hearts you’ve made the right decision, then whenever the FOMO or the jealously comes creeping back you can justifiably remind yourself the reasons why your not there. The valid reasons why you decided to make the decision that you did. For me, it was with it to be where I am now. Ahhhh, onto that actually…
An update on the new London life of a Northerner. Well, I’m surviving the tubes barely but flourishing on the other parts of adult life, like the cooking and cleaning. I never imagined food shopping to be so exciting! Maybe it’s just the honeymoon phase of moving out but I love being in charge of my own food, deciding what to buy and what I want to eat. I think maybe I need to inject some excitement unto my life.. but anyway it’s working for me. The washing I still hate and the ironing continues to be non-existent, but that’s fine as I have turned to only wearing non creasing clothes and from this day on will not buy anything if it looks like it might need an iron. Unless it’s on sale, then I’ll have to reconsider.
Long distance continues to be everything you imagine it to be – hard, shit and lonely at times. But whatever doesn’t kill you makes you stronger right? Or whatever it was Britney was harping on about in the 90’s. Thankfully me and Dan are lovely, amazing people who are making it work; being sensitive to each other and making time in the day to chat, text and FaceTime whenever we can. Even if it means me looking unsocial sat talking to a phone screen. Because really – what else can we do? We’re spending the majority of our lives on trains and tubes to try and defy the notion that long distance is impossible. It’s not impossible at all, just bloody hard and expensive.
I still get excited when I walk by something on my way to work or when I’m wandering around lost, and I see something so London it takes my breath away. Or I spot a famous landmark or shop I know that other people would gladly fly 4,000 miles to see and I’ve just awkwardly stumbled upon it. It still amazes me and I have to remind myself that this is home now. These landmarks and historic buildings are my home.
It’s true that life gets in the way with a lot of things. When it comes to exploring London other than my commute to work and my walk to the local Sainsbury’s, it couldn’t be truer. I’ve been to a few places; Greenwich, Tooting, Clapham (although as that is 10 minutes from my house it doesn’t exactly count). But I can’t wait to explore more because there is so much to see. People come here to sight see, for their annual holidays and to see everything that Britain has to offer. I can’t wait to join them. London really is turning out to be the best adventure.