Let me first and foremost say that I have seen great progress in international plane advancement. What I mean is, they are trying really hard to make it so you're not bored on really long flights. I walked through first class and saw that they all had TV touchscreens in the seats in front of them. I thought, man, what a nice feature for someone during a flight like this: To have a nice selection of movies and music and TV shows to watch and listen to at the touch of your finger.. What a luxury. They even had a variety of games to play. Then, I continued back to my seat. It was the second to last row, and I saw that I, too, had a TV touchscreen. The seats looked nice. It came with a blanket and a pillow. Needless to say, I enjoyed the flight to England much more than I thought I would.
I clicked on the music selection and clicked classical, just for kicks. I saw that they had exactly what I thought they might have: Top Classical Pieces, Andrea Bocelli, Rhapsody in Blue.. typical. Then, they had Hilary Hahn playing Shostakovitch's violin concerto and also the Mendelssohn concerto. They had entire albums, including Goat Rodeo. I was pleased. Their movie selection wasn't bad either. I went to watch an episode of The Office, but the sound was so bad. The sound was clear with the music from before, but it wouldn't play anything from a movie or TV show. It was a little disappointing, but I ended up watching Juno, which is important to this post.
I sort of dominated the flight's game of Solitaire.
So, in case you've never seen Juno, here is a quick synopsis: At age sixteen, Juno McGuff finds out she is pregnant with long time friend Paulie Bleeker's baby. She decides to give it up for adoption (with the approval of Bleeker), and finds a couple, Vanessa and Mark. Mark is a composer for successful commercials and Vanessa's job is never really mentioned. Mark and Juno bond over similar interests such as music and slasher movies when Juno visits to give the updates on the baby. Over time, Juno and Mark seem very attached, while Bleeker is sort of just goes with everything. Eventually, Mark tells Juno that he is going to leave Vanessa to pursue his dream career of being in a rock band. The baby's situation is up in the air at this point. In the end.. well, you'll just have to watch it.
So, Mark happened to be my provider of inspiration during my flight today. I first watched Juno when I was in high school, so naturally, I identified with Juno the most. I thought (rather cruelly), " Mark is so creepy. He seems so immature for wanting to leave Vanessa so he can selfishly dreamed a dream that probably won't happen."
Now, I understand what Mark was going through. A lot of people my age can. Mark made lots of money and did well. He was very successful. However, in the end, he doesn't want to write songs about titanium power but would rather be in a rock band. He thought about the regrets of not doing his dream to the point to where he dropped everything that lead to a different future. Because of Juno bringing these memories back, he sort of vicariously lives through her. He hurts and jeopardizes the future of others to do what he thinks is right and best for him. Mark lived in long regret of not pursuing what he's always wanted to do. This is when my purpose in England became quite clear. My goal in life is to not be Mark. I don't want to begin adulthood with regrets of not pursuing things I just dream of doing. I simply won't stand by it.
Here Hannibal is now!
On the plane here, I couldn't help but feel this sense of guilt and asking myself questions like, "What makes me so worthy to travel here?" I think of my family and my mom and dad, who have helped support me coming here, but they are not here. I just feel guilty for receiving help from so many people who don't get to experience this with me. It's an incredibly lonely moment when you're all alone and you think about how you couldn't have done this without help.
Then, I thought of Mark and compared our lives. I have had my future jeopardized in a few ways, especially during sophomore year and this past year. Looking back, I was incredibly scared of failing and not doing things well enough. Now, I realize that if there is something I really want, I cling to it and I don't let go until someone tells me exactly what I am doing wrong. This can be a pretty bad thing, but in this case, I think it's what ultimately pushed me to come to England. As many of you know, I want to study music and films. I know how hard it is to get into that business, but if I don't at least try, I'll end up like Mark, or some version of him.
It's a scary moment when the place you fantasize about becomes reality, because in your fantasy, nothing goes wrong. Now that I am real-izing my dream country, I am terrified of driving even more than in the USA, and I feel like my life is on the line when I cross any street. Our driver, Hannibal, is a hero driver for driving more than 120 people to and from the Heathrow Airport today. Crazy driver.
I was so tired today and it took everything in me to stay awake. I walked around Kensington High Street and went into a ton of shops. I found a lovely bookstore where I had the most friendly conversation with the cashier about Miranda Hart (whose book I purchased!! FIND ME MIRANDA!), book lights, and what it takes to become a surgeon. I found the art store I had been looking for too! I purchased the Tombow pens I had been wanting to get for a while.
While at the art store, I found myself in an interesting situation. A woman, who was working there, asked me if I was all right. She seemed to have genuine concern in her voice, and I assured her I was fine. I hadn't slept in a while so I thought maybe I looked pretty sleepy. She left me alone and went to restock some paints. Then, this guy helper came by and saw me, and asked me if I was all right too. He seemed even more concerned than the woman. At this point, I sought out a mirror to see what I looked like. I felt so bad for looking like something wasn't all right. I live in Kensington, which is one of the richest neighborhoods in London (I found out that the Beckhams live here, JK Rowling owns a house here, ambassadors live here, and I just get the general feeling that I live by a lot of important people. Who knew I would end up in such a place haha). I mean, I was wearing my high school musical sweatshirt, so maybe that made them think I wasn't all right? Anyway, I visited more stores after and that's when I learned that instead of asking, "May I help you?" or "Is there anything I can do for you today?", British store workers ask, "Are you all right?" I felt so stupid once I realized this. Haha but they were very nice people, especially when I reacted the way I did. Reversing the situation, I can't imagine going and asking someone if they need help with something and having them get all self conscious.
I have orientation in a few hours and am hoping to learn a lot today. :)