Soon I will leave England, and I am sad. I’ve lived here for two years, and in that time I’ve barely scratched the surface of seeing and doing everything there is to see and do, and what if I never get to come back?
I don’t want to go!
Well, I do. But I don’t!
But I do. So I am.
There’s so much I’ll miss. I’m going to miss hearing my five-year-old daughter, who speaks mainly in an American accent, read to me in a British one. She’s attended a year of preschool and a year of primary school here. It’s hilarious to hear her mixing the accents and words, but that’s going to disappear fast once she’s back in North America. She’ll stop saying zebra with a short e. She’ll forget she ever called herself a “silly sausage” or a “clevah guhl.
I’m going to miss hearing her call out to other tiny people with ridiculously old fart names like George, Harriet and Imogen.
I’m going to miss walking around my village, seeing cottages older than anything in North America nestled right up next to new construction. I’ll miss cathedrals next to shopping centres.
I’ll miss driving on the left and roundabouts. I’ll miss walking everywhere and feeling safe. I’ll miss gun control and sensible healthcare.
I’ll miss Cambridge right down the road and London only two hours away. I’ll miss day trips to thousand-year-old Anglo Saxon burial sites.
I’m going to miss hiding my grin when my 12 year old asks for a rubber to erase his maths mistake. I’ll miss going to his football matches. Although I might do the pretentious thing and keep calling it football. I’m sorry but it just makes more sense as a name
I’ll miss having to catch myself before I say pants. They’re trousers. Trousers is a great word. I never want to say pants again. Unless I am in fact talking about underwear. I’ll miss the slang. Skiving and scupper, blimey and crikey, twee and prat. I’ll miss the fabulous comedies on the telly.
There’s so much more. I’ve barely settled in and begun to make this village home. It’s not an easy place to call home when you’re not from here. In two years I haven’t reached that comfort level here where I think of this place as home.
But it’s in England. The home of Jane Austen, Charles Dickens and so many of my favorite writers. And every day I’m here I see the possibility of it becoming MY home get a little more real.
I’ve made good friends here and so have my children. Making friends is never easy for me, and as with every move, it took me a while to stop being constantly lonely. But then suddenly I wasn’t. I had people who I care for a little bit more every day. It hurts to say goodbye to those friends, to the ease of seeing them in person regularly. I’ve moved a lot through my adult life, and I know that friends, real, in-person, huggable friends, are a lovely necessity.
I just don’t know how to put a positive spin on the fact of leaving them behind, the probability of never seeing them in person again. I don’t know how to make that okay. Not for my children and not for myself.
I’m leaving. And soon these particular people whom I have grown to love will be memories, Skype faces, emails. This place will be photographs, an address I struggle to remember.
I hope that in leaving we’re moving to a place that will become home in the way I long for. Real, permanent, watch-my-friends-get-old home. But right now, what I know is I’m leaving here. THIS place. England. This temporary home with its wonderful words, infuriating roads, and abysmal yet lovely climate. I’m leaving THESE irreplaceable people.
It’s time to go. It is. But I’m a little bit heartbroken right now.