After returning to the US, I have come to realize some really wonderful and sad things. I'll start with the sad things first because I like the idea of ending on a positive note.
1. England is far away.
For it being the country that it is, it is pretty far away from home. Part of the beauty of England was that it was far away, but it really does take a lot of money and saving to go. I want to take my family there more than anything and I have already decided that once I get a real job, I will start saving some money so they can see everything I saw and more. I cannot wait to go back again. I've made up my mind. I'm going back, which is a positive thing in my opinion.
But another reason this is a problem is that if I wanted to go, I would be so far away from everyone I love. My mom is on the other side of the world in relations to her family and she left her country around my age. I just don't know if I could do that. I would want them to live closer to me but I really love the UK. I love how easy it is to travel between different countries and how cheap it can be.
2. England is expensive.
I've had to come to terms with the fact that I will never, ever get to live in Kensington again. It's weird to think about though because if I came back, where would I go? I don't know any area as well as I knew Kensington, but it's just not realistic. Kensington grew on me throughout the trip, but especially after Paris where so many places were so dirty and smelly. I enjoyed the safe neighborhood I lived in and appreciated the cleanliness. I could go without climbing four flights of stairs every day, but I definitely enjoyed the benefits of living in that neighborhood. I believe it contributed to a lot of my happiness because nothing was too far away. If I go back, I'm afraid that my favorite art store won't be a 20 minute walk away from my home. Which in reality, is okay. I know how to get there, but it does sadden me that I'll never have that experience again. Unless of course, there is an extreme shortage of music teachers and suddenly everyone wanted to fund music.. one can dream right?
But the one most positive idea I have learned during my trip is worth way more than the negatives.
1. I can do it.
This whole trip was a complete miracle. I still can't believe it happened and nothing went too terribly wrong. I went, and I did it. This is a lesson I learned in my class from my teacher. I have never met someone who had so much faith in me for knowing me such a short time. As a reader, you might think, "Heh. He just wanted to push you so that you finished your assignments." Yes, that is probably a tiny, little bit true. At the same time though, there was genuine encouragement from him. One girl in my class wanted to take on a pretty large project of organizing a music video for a musical number. While most teachers might have said, "I don't know if you have time to do that.." or "That seems like it's too much to take on..", our teacher encouraged her to do it 100% of the way. In the end, she did do it. When my class was on our outing, I talked about how I wanted to eventually go down to the bed of the River Thames and get a rock. I didn't want to stray away from what our purpose was, so I made a mental note to go back there sometime. (I began to collect rocks from various places on my trip.) He shrugged and said, "Let's go now." And then we did. It seems like such a small thing to do and so simple, but it made me realize that I create a lot of mental blocks for myself. During the beginning of the session, he told me that I needed to stop being so afraid to do things wrong. So then I did. As a result, I created some interesting projects in only a few days time. For once, I was happy with what I made because I just.. did it.