Sunday, December 7, 2014

Full Circle

Felt a little nostalgic this week about everything. It was our last day trip this Thursday; we went to Windsor Castle! It brought my London experience back full circle because I actually went to Windsor the day I got dropped off at the Centre. It was a week after arriving and my first "day trip" of sorts around London. I had no idea I would find myself wandering those same halls and state rooms again a week before leaving London as a last day trip. They always taught me in English that a full-circle ending is a key component to any truly good story. I figure the same rule applies to me and my story of London.

September 5th and December 4th. Same place. Different girl. 

Windsor gets an A+ in my book; they put Christmas trees in the middle of intersections. 

I have been trying to figure out this week what exactly my story of London is. How it has changed me, what I learned from it, what this whole "study abroad" thing has cumulated to... I feel as if I have the words in my heart but they must not be in English because for the life of me and I cannot figure out how to put them on paper (or in this case, the internet. ha.). I will keep trying though. Maybe it won't click until I am on the flight home and watching this beautiful country disappear into the fog below me. Or perhaps it won't come until I am sitting back in my own room, in a big (soft) bed, and suddenly find myself too lonely to function because my 14 best friends aren't within a few feet of me; I will no longer hear talking in their sleep, or have them convincing me we should snuggle and watch Christmas movies in a blanket fort instead of reading Shakespeare, or experience watching new One Direction music videos all together on a single bed and the freaking out that follows.. 

There are a few things I do know. 

I know that I love this city. It is foggy and get's dark before 4 pm and there is a never ending smell of cigarette smoke in the air and even if it looks like it is a beautiful day it is still freezing, but it is also alive and energetic and vibrant and cultured and full of little markets, loads of amazing art, and my home. 

I also know that the best parts of life always involve the people around you. People are what make everything meaningful wonderful. Luckily, I am not saying goodbye for good to any of my study abroad friends. We fully intend to see each other around campus, have crepe parties frequently, and possibly live together again next year. Thank goodness. 

However, I did have to say some pretty hard goodbyes today to my incredible ward and primary kiddos. It might have broken my heart. They sang Christmas songs for me and wrote little notes saying "don't be sad, I will be with you always no matter where you go" and "I love you 100%". They told me I was their special friend and that me and Kiley were the best BYU students they had had because we truly felt like part of the ward. A few adults might have shed a tear or two about us leaving and it might have put a knife in my heart. These people are so incredible and inspiring and just absolutely so loving. I can't imagine being in my home ward next week.. It will just feel like there are way too many people there, way too smoothly ran, not enough culture or adventure or black people and just.... weird. :/ But I guess the upside is it is only a ten minute walk and not hour and half ordeal. So there's that? 

How am I supposed to leave them? 

I will keep thinking about London and life and let you know when I have reached any sort of conclusion on its meaning. Until then, you can find me studying my brains out for finals, testing, packing, exploring London one last time, and spending every minute I can with my girls here laughing and loving our beautiful life on Palace Court. 

Love Always, Aimee