Confession: I’ve been putting off writing this post for a few days.
I guess I’m not ready to accept that I’m leaving soon. It seems like only yesterday I stepped off the plane from Philadelphia, unpacked my big blue suitcase, and placed that thing under my bed- and now, in a short time, I’ll be pulling out that hefty bag out once again to repack everything (well, everything plus a few extra souvenirs and Cadbury chocolates).
This semester has been absolutely incredible, full of ups and downs, highs and lows, times of utter bliss and complete stress, but I wouldn’t have traded it for the world. From getting to intern at a fringe theatre in a picturesque London village out of a storybook (my coworker Claire has recently bookmarked this blog on her office computer- Hi Claire!) to sitting atop the hill from which Saint Peter preached in Athens, I have had so many amazing experiences over the past few months, ones that I don’t think I will ever be able to explain in words to my friends and family back home.
Prior to leaving America, I made a bucket list of over fifty things that I wanted to this semester, which consisted of fully realistic ones like going to the White Cliffs of Dover and taking the Beatles Abbey Road picture to some totally improbable ones like meeting Eddie Redmayne and David Tennant. Well, at this point, I’ve completed about half of the items (after adding some more), even a few of the crazier ones like watching a Sherlock filming and meeting at least one Harry Potter actor (Last Monday, I got to see Imelda Staunton bring the house down with her rendition of “Rose’s Turn” in Gypsy).
I think making that bucket list was one of the best decisions I made before studying abroad. But I’m not gonna lie: at multiple times this semester, I got very overwhelmed at the daunting task of trying to complete every solitary item in these couple months. It was actually my mom who helped me put things into perspective; during one particular Skype call, she said, “You’re young. You still have your whole life ahead of you. This won’t be the last time you’ll be in London or even Europe. You’re gonna come back one day.” So, as I prepare to head back to the States, I try to keep that idea in mind. Therefore, this isn’t goodbye, it’s just a “see you later”.
I will see the friends I’ve made here when I get back to New York, and, boy, do I look forward to all of the slow-motion running and major attack hugs that will commence on Washington Place in September. I will have all of the pictures that I’ve obsessively saved on my computer to show people that, yes, I did actually cook a full meal from scratch in Tuscany. And, most of all, I will have those snapshots in my mind of all the seemingly trivial moments that made a huge impact on me: lying in the middle of the Palazzo Vecchio on a bright sunny day, listening to Downton Abbey writer/creator Julian Fellowes tell me about how he would craft the movie version of Al Jolson’s life, seeing Jane Austen’s actual writing desk, and so much more.
In the words of the great philosopher, Tigger from Winnie the Pooh, “TTFN, ta-ta for now.” Thanks, NYU, for giving me this great opportunity to study in one of the most wonderful cities in the world.
And, London- this won’t be the last you see of me.
- along the Thames: Kerry Candeloro