please stand behind the yellow line

I was walking around London the other night with my head in the clouds, thinking about a thousand things (what to make for dinner, an upcoming birthday, emails that need answering, a roll of film to pick up, why we get goosebumps* and all that jazz) when I realized that my feet had taken me to my destination all by their lonesome. There I was, at Fulham Broadway Station, without really knowing how I got there. And then it hit me — I have just entered my 4th month of living in London and it’s only now beginning to feel like home. Everybody told me that it takes about 6 months to get used to a new place but when you’re plagued with doubt in that first month of transition — why, oh why, did I ever leave home? — it’s hard to believe that you will ever get accustomed. But you do. You adapt and before you know it, you don’t have to pull out a map or check your GPS to know exactly where you are going.

I’ve been to four weddings and a funeral since I’ve arrived in London (true). I’ve seen several plays, attended discussions on topics ranging from millinery to the cosmos and the psyche. I’ve seen the mole man’s house and I’ve been to photo exhibits and dinner parties and picnics in the park. I’ve had more cider than I can count in just as many pubs. I’ve traveled up to Scotland and down to Cornwall, saw shooting stars while camping by the river Wye and watched hot air balloons float above Bristol by dawn. I swam in the ponds of Hamptead Heath and the fairy pools of Skye. And I went from being in a long distance relationship to learning how to be in a “real” relationship. It’s been a wild and amazing summer, no doubt about it.

But the biggest lesson I’ve learned this summer is that whatever seems impossible on the onset, all the little things you fear, those things that scare you stiff and stop you from moving forward and make you want to stay rooted where you are… they disappear with time. And it’s only when you look back on the past that you realize how much you’ve conquered. And the only way you can get to the other side is through. And the more often you go through, the easier it becomes and the more you trust at the next onset  that everything is going to be alright in the end. And so… you jump. Knowing that you have the safety net from all your previous jumps to catch you.

And that’s where goosebumps come from.

* Goose bumps are the bumps on a person’s skin at the base of body hairs which may involuntarily develop when a person is cold or experiences strong emotions such as fear, nostalgia, pleasure, awe or admiration. They are created when tiny muscles at the base of each hair, known as arrectores pilorum, contract and pull the hair erect. The reflex is started by the sympathetic nervous system,which is responsible for many fight-or-flight responses. Source: Wikipedia

Jeanine Caron is a regular contributor to Gypsy Girl’s Guide.

  • Aaah.. My dream and hope (really!) is to going abroad.. leave my childhood, my area that keeps me stuck and everything that still the same.. I need a fresh and new condition. It’s a big bless if you can go to another place.

  • The title of your post reminds me of Italy. I kept repeating that line over and over while waiting to board a train: Attenzione alla linea gialla :)

    I miss you sis, I miss you a lot tonight, but my god it’s awesome what you’re doing over there!

    Love you to bits! xoxo

  • So get it! it is so true!!! That is a pretty good summary of my own life right there :) So glad your are already feeling at home. xo

  • whatever seems impossible on the onset, all the little things you fear, those things that scare you stiff and stop you from moving forward and make you want to stay rooted where you are… they disappear with time

    Yes. This. So very this.

    This is the point I’m at…about to make a huge leap into the unknown. And I’m terrified. And excited. And there are lots of things that I don’t know, things that could go wrong, things to learn and figure out…and it’ll all be okay. It’ll all be okay.

    (Also, and randomly, those are some truly _excellent_ purple shoes in that picture.)

  • 6 months? more like a year! and yes on the getting to the station without knowing how you got there… magical feeling… keep on going sweet girl – you are living a life so many wish they could..and YOU are showing us how to do it even if it is so damn difficult! xx

  • I live just around the corner from Fulham Broadway, if you ever need a cup of coffee let me know. We have travelled all around the world and it does take time to settle in somewhere! love your blog and your pictures

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