Just when the caterpillar thought the world was over, it turned into a butterfly.
This past Monday, my cocoon cracked opened when I stepped out of Heathrow International Airport and into the next five months of my life that will be spent in London. In my twenty years, I have been exposed to most of the United States. I was born in Chicago. I go to college in Los Angeles. In the past year alone I have been given opportunities to travel to other great American cities such as Atlanta, San Francisco and Boston.
But now I will be living in England. England.
At my ripe age of 20, I thought I had figured out traveling. I felt completely comfortable getting on cross-continental flights by myself, riding the Megabus in the middle of the night for a weekend trip to the Bay Area or just getting in my car and driving to a new part of Southern California.
Yet all the while I was weaving myself into a warm and familiar cocoon. In the week since I left the United States for the United Kingdom, I’ve been given me glimpse of just how massive the world actually is.
My first days in London have shown me that studying abroad will mold my mind in ways previously unimagined. Before I applied for this program through USC Annenberg I never imagined I would have the opportunity to live in the UK. These next months will give me a new cocoon. I’m guessing at times I will feel very unusual and sometimes lonely.
But that’s why I decided to board the plane to the United Kingdom.
I thought the world was over.
As the daughter of someone who works for the Chicago Transportation Authority (CTA), I thought I knew what public transportation was. But then I rode the Tube and hopped on a 24-hour double decker bus.
As someone who has lived and worked in the glamour of Hollywood, I thought I knew what fashion was. But then I walked through central London and was exposed to an even greater level of high fashion.
As someone who prided herself on mastering the English language, I was humbled when I tried to communicate with a Londoner and didn’t understand a lick of what they were saying. (I need to brush up on these British phrases.)
But just when the caterpillar thought the world was over, it turned into a butterfly.
I’m looking forward to my metamorphosis. If this past semester of junior year taught me nothing else, it’s that growth sometimes hurts. Education can sometimes be uncomfortable — especially when you learn that what you thought you knew is not a universal truth.
No one likes being the new girl in class. Or being that person who doesn’t know which way to look because cars drive on the other side of the street. But I’m confident that all of those experiences are parts of a larger puzzle to my understanding of who I am.
So here I am. Restarting as a caterpillar.
And here this blog is. Documenting my growth period.