Goodbye, California

I’ve said many goodbyes over the last couple of weeks. The hardest is coming. I’ve been here before, though. Exactly a year ago I had to say goodbye to all my friends in London. I wish I could say that you get numb to the experience. You don’t.

For me, the sadness comes in waves. I’ll be doing something totally ordinary and then it will wash over me: a pain in my chest, and a feeling like I am choking on something. There’s a reason it’s called a heartache – it honestly does hurt.

So, the suitcases are mostly packed – they look like they are leering at me, with their zippered mouths wide open. They are full to the point of exploding. There’s nothing like a bit of packing to make all your possessions look so inadequate and pathetic. You have all this stuff and what does it amount to? I am loaded down with a bunch of heavy junk.

My idea was to come to the United States and start a new life. I’ve not been that successful. Namely, I haven’t found a job. For that reason I will be going back to London, where I have a husband with the means to support our small family.

What I will miss:

I will miss the sky, the expansive blue dome of sky that you get in California. It’s endless. It looks like someone has thrown a baby boy’s blanket across the roof of the Earth.

I will miss the beach, the canyons and the gentle winters.

I will miss my friends. Thank you for listening to me, for supporting me and for trying to help me. I will not forget all your generosity. You have done what all good friends do – tell me the truth about myself.

I will miss my family. It’s not easy to live with your mother when you are a mother yourself, but we’ve made it work somehow. I am so glad my children know you well enough to ask for you when they wake up in the middle of the night.

I will miss my brother. We can laugh at each other. The wine helps.

What I have learned:

You can get used to almost anything, even sharing a bed with your child when you should be sharing a bed with your husband.

You are stronger than you think you are.

You can’t have everything all at once.

A year goes too quickly.

Driving requires coordination and confidence.

Insurance is expensive.

Every relationship, even the one with your parents, requires patience and compromise.

Thank you to everyone who has read my random scribblings so far. I am afraid that my blog has kind of lost its reason for being. I will keep you updated with my experiences from London.

I’m off to catch a plane and I should be in bed. The end.



Filed under American life, transitions, Uncategorized

9 responses to “Goodbye, California

  1. Cousin

    I will miss you and the girls more than you know! It hasn’t hit me that you are leaving. I am so happy we got to spend the time we did together. Thank you for writing this blog, it brightened some of the most stressful and dullest days at work and I hope you continue to post in London too. I will see you across the pond! Or as the Chatterbox corrected me on Saturday, “It’s not a pond, it’s an ocean.”

    • Ah, the wisdom of the Chatterbox. I am going to miss you lots, but the flat is cute and we have a bit of room for guests, so long as you don’t mind sleeping on the floor or the blow-up bed. We will be here when you want to come and visit. By the way, I think the plastic Crocs will come in very handy here, since it has apparently been raining for about two months. Now, if I could only find plastic pants.

  2. I am going to miss you so much!! I’m so glad we were able to spend sometime together on Saturday. Safe journeys to London. Keep us posted on London. Much love to you and your family.


  3. At least I’m one of the few who gets to say, “See you soon!” A beautiful post, C.

  4. Chris

    See you soon I hope! Love, Chris

  5. beautifully written. Welcome back! can’t wait to see you xx

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