On life-changing risks, and going back
Almost five years ago I boarded a plane that took me 3,457 miles away from home. I did it to study, I did it to explore the world, I did it to get away from the mundanity of my hometown. I embarked on this crazy adventure filled with both laughter and tears; I felt on top of the world and felt deep sorrows. I’ve lived, sometimes not well, sometimes I didn’t leave the house from horrible anxiety and depression, in these five years, and have gone from hating where I lived to now feeling like it’s the only home I have left. Five years ago I took the biggest risk of my life. It was a stupid one. But all the great risks are a little stupid.
And now I’m facing the possibility of leaving London, and it’s the scariest prospect ever. A few have asked me why I wanted to stay here, and I’m honest in my confession that London is my home now. London is a deeply imbedded part of my being. But what I don’t say to many people is how scared I am to go back to New Jersey. This prospect of going back, of moving ‘home’, feels like the worst thing that could possibly happen. And I know that that’s melodramatic but it makes me sick.
Because going back, in my irrational head, means going back in time. I am so scared of having to go back to New Jersey and live as if the last five hears haven’t ineffably changed myself and my life. Going back will mean my risk was for nothing, I’ll just go home and go back to the same life I left. Going back denies the impact of every place I’ve been, every lesson I’ve learnt, every hurt that I’ve felt, and every person I have loved.
And so I’m petrified. I’ve built a life here, however small. I’m not prepared to leave it behind as simply another chapter of my past, slowly lost in time.
I’m not sure how to end this, because I guess there really is no way to end it. It’s an ongoing anxiety without conclusion, at least not until it gets sorted out either way. I guess it’s just always worked out for me really, but I’m not sure it will work out again this time.