Today marks exactly one month since I left London to move home to the States. In some ways it feels much longer than that, and in other ways, the time has flown by.
Leaving London was tough. I’ve had a lot of incredible times in the Big Smoke over the past few years, but the last few weeks leading up to the move were some of my most cherished moments in the city. Those weeks exploring reminded me exactly why I fell in love with London and ended up living there for two and a half years longer than originally planned.
Actually leaving London was really tough. One of my dearest friends took me to the airport and helped manage all the tears that followed when the Air France agent told me I was overweight and needed to lose some kilos (not possible). We were a little delayed arriving because of delays on the Piccadilly line, so I was flustered and teary (and maybe slightly dramatic) when I handed over my credit card and asked how much. He then spotted my carry-on luggage and said it looked overweight (of course it’s overweight, that’s where I put all the heavy stuff!!!!). Two trips to the repacking area and scales left me no closer to solving the problem until a sweet supervisor took pity on me and allowed me to check a third overweight bag and didn’t charge me any extras. It benefitted me that it was a partner airline, they didn’t have the exact cost in their system and she thought we were traveling as a twosome. When she realized, she said it was fine and I gave her a big hug. All of this after I already shipped three boxes and gave stuff away. Sheesh!
Luggage drama aside, I had so many emotions about leaving what had become my third home that I cried all the way to Paris (the sweet cards my friend gave me didn’t help eliminate the tears), where I was connecting for my long haul leg to Atlanta. I had a twenty euro note in my wallet, so it seemed appropriate that I spend it all on macarons to cheer myself up during my layover in Charles de Gaulle!
My first two weeks were spent in Atlanta, getting re-packed for move part three and spending time with family and friends. I moved back to Los Angeles at the start of the third week and have been here now for two weeks, most of which has been consumed with the business of being an adult and slowly piecing my life back together.
Piecing my life back together has been overwhelming to say the least. Job searching, mattress searching, car searching and moving all at the same time is not something I’d wish upon my worst enemy. On their own those items can be daunting, and all at once has made me feel like I’m slowly cracking.
Fortunately, through friends and social media groups, I found an apartment before I moved back. That came with drama as well since rental agencies don’t love it when you don’t have a job yet (and when you’ve been living out of the country and they won’t count any income you made abroad). After coming to an agreement, having an apartment sorted was one huge thing that gave me a place to feel settled. A home base to start to piece my life back together from.
During the moving and repatriating process, it’s been difficult not to get wrapped up in everything I should have done differently. Hindsight makes it so easy to get up on a soapbox and judge myself on all those shoulds.
Had I known the path life would take, I would’ve done a few things differently – like not store a twelve year old car (which was driven occasionally) – but all of those choices led to all the wonderful things that happened in the past few years, so while I might not remember where I stored my really great tool set I’ve been building for a decade, or had to go through the hassle of selling my car now versus in 2012 where I would’ve gotten more money, these things are trivial in the grand scheme.
Slowly but surely, things seem to be coming together (knock on wood). I’ve sold my car on Craigslist (yay!) and gotten a new car. After a week of research, eight trips to five dealerships, a podcast on negotiation, I got a great deal (exceptional price according to True Car) on a Subaru Forrester. I look forward to not doing this again for another decade, at least! I will say, it’s very nice to experience all the fun stuff that has happened to cars since 2000 when I got my Blazer. Haha! 😉
As for pastry chef jobs, a friend told me about the Women Chef & Restaurateurs national conference that was being held in LA April 17-18. The timing couldn’t have been more perfect. More to come on this amazing group, but it was one of the best decisions that left me filled with inspiration and connected me with a network of incredible women in the industry. I’m so excited to be a member of this organization! More on this next.
Finally, the mattress hunt is still on. Taking suggestions! 🙂
None of this would have been possible without my family and friends. I’m not sure thank you will ever be enough to those who have helped me throughout this entire moving process. Listening to me cry, vent, problem solve, lend me money, and generally just be there for me as an unwavering support system. Without the support of them, these past few weeks would have been significantly more traumatic.
For now, your repayment will be in the form of baked goods and getting to talk to me on the phone in a similar time zone. Except the Londoners…y’all just get to FaceTime with me all the time! Haha 😉
Thank you again from the bottom of my heart for all of the support! I love y’all dearly!