August 17th 2016 used to be the day that couldn’t come fast enough. It was the day I was going to get my happiness back.
It was the day I booked my one-way ticket to the U.K. for. It was the day I was going to board that plane and discover what it meant to live in a new country.
You see, I had spent my previous summer in England, and I loved everything about that summer. I missed the endless travels and I missed being that carefree person that went along with them. So I made a promise to myself that I would find that person and feel that happiness again, and I believed they could only be found in England.
During my spring semester of senior year, I decided to apply to grad school in the U.K., and one week before my college graduation, I found out I had been accepted.
There was no looking back from there.
I booked a one-way plane ticket to London for August 17th, and the only things that stood in my way were a few months of summer, a visa, and a grad school deposit. I was planning on spending my summer so engrossed with making money that time would fly by. I was planning on feeling so sick of my hometown that I would be ready to leave.
I was planning on leaving everything behind.
And then I realized that I was in love with you, and it changed everything.
Falling in love with one of my friends’ months before I was supposed to leave was never part of my plan, much less one of my female friends. I can’t say that there was a defining moment when I realized what was happening, but I can say now that I feel overwhelmingly and helplessly in love with you.
And that’s the shitty part about plans. They’re based on fleeting emotions in which the next weeks or years of your life are supposed to play out. They don’t capture or anticipate just how much feelings can change, or in my case, my readiness to leave.
Now I couldn’t feel more unprepared to leave, and the thought of living my life without you is paralyzing.
How am I supposed to call a new place 3,000 miles away home when I have already found a home I’m very happy with in you?
I know I could ask you to come with me and you would follow without hesitation. I know it’s not too late to cancel my flights, or request my grad school deposit back. I know I could start applying for jobs or grad school in the U.S. and possibly move in with you in some city somewhere.
But I always promised myself that I would be a free spirit, that I wouldn’t be tied down by anyone or anything. And so as much as it pains me, and as much as it terrifies me and makes me want to cry every time I think about it, I am going to leave. On August 17th I am going to board that plane and I am going to live out my year in England.
Maybe in this year I will rediscover the happiness I’ve been chasing for the past few months.
Or, maybe I won’t.
Maybe what I will realize is that I don’t want to live my life without you ever again, and that when this year is up, I’m ready to call you my permanent home.