The Life Hangover: England at its finest.

An excerpt from what was going to be the greatest thing ever written.

August 10, 2011.

           I have the sudden and impulsive urge to organize everything in my life again. I’ve moved from my day planner to here, this fresh and new notebook that will be the object of my documentation of this particular trip to England.

People are funny….people are suspicious.

            This is my third adventure across the ocean in less than a year and to most people this sounds rash and impulsive. “Another meaningless expense” they say with their eyes, “Why don’t you try somewhere else this time?” radiates from their domesticated opinions. But I’m afraid I can’t do that, not yet, because I have been plagued by the life threatening disease of mindless love.

I am in love just like that couple over there under the rosebushes across the path. Pure and starry eyed love. I am in love with the sights, the sounds and the smells. Even the grime of London has filled my heart with pure joy from time to time.  Cold cloudy days, crisp breezes blowing my ratty hair across my face and hot cups of coffee with friends who never judge, yes, this place is a vivid depiction of all things truly beautiful.

“Good for you” she says

“Good for you!!” they all seem to say as I bounce happily through the streets. But I know like any blissful night of binge happiness I’ll wake up with a headache and an extreme feeling of regret, wondering where I left my metaphorical underwear.   Yes, the life hangover. Anyone who’s ever been truly happy for a time has had one. And right now I’m looking into the near future, predicting its looming presence, but I really shouldn’t worry now, no, not now. Right now I’m far too happy.

What I want to know is why this place stirs up my insides so much. What about the subtle differences between here and the wide open spaces of home has got me so infatuated and so utterly addicted to this place?

Here I am not strange, I am not odd, eccentric or crazy, I’m just me; A young girl with pretty green eyes and a funny accent.

Could it have been the freedom? The ease of basic transportation, an ability to get up and go anywhere, visit ancient buildings in beautiful bustling cities, see castle ruins smattered across the landscape, one in every field it seems. Seeing so much evidence of human history and the people who made it, etched onto blue plaques along the streets. The is history that oozes out of every building in this country, and it would dazzle even the most seasoned North American Scholar.

Even the smells have a way of tormenting my tempted heart. The second I got off the plane, after revelling in the ecstasy of viewing the patchwork landscape peek through the clouds, I could smell that unique, indescribable and euphoric scent that meant I was here. London smells of gravy, Brighton smells of the sea and the streets of Leigh smell like fresh coffee and chips. Each smell unique in both aroma and the heart string it plucks. These reasons all contribute in part to the long distance relationship I have unavoidably established between the whole of myself and my dearest England.

I picked up a book at Waterstones this afternoon, and I think it just might be the thing to encourage positive change in my life, maybe even the world. Simply entitled “Shit happens, so get over it”. This should really have been my mantra for some time now, but better late than never I suppose. Now if only I can stick to it. As a rule I tend to wallow and fester in my negative thoughts so much it eats away at whatever shred of happiness I have left.  That’s what She tells me all the time, “Shit happens, get over it”.  It all made so much sense at the time. Her advice always does, but something in my brain has went off, a red flag, what if She was wrong, what if it all turns around on me, goes under, what if “Good for her” turns into “Slut” and “Ingrate” and “Homeless Gypsy”. These are my fears. If this trip so far has taught me anything, it is that regardless, I’m not going to be able to stop.  Tone down perhaps, but not stop. “Shit happens, so get over it”….Is this shit?

Trying to sort out one’s life isn’t as easy as some people make it out to be…

        It’s funny, at home going so for long, so many days all alone in my apartment. Wasting the days, one by one, sun up, sun down, rinse, repeat. The one thing that made my day worth living through was seeing him at the end of it for a measly two hours, or more so the hot frothy cup of coffee at Starbucks of all places, while poking at my laptop, talking to ‘England’. Ironically this habit has turned me into a coffee snob. But now all suddenly being surrounded by people here in England, new people, around all the time, I find that my conversational skills are in desperate need of an oil change. It’s been so long since I’ve had to really use them; it’s been so long since I have been in so many different social situations in such a small amount of time. There’s only so many people that will except remarks about the weather as legitimate conversation here. Rats, there goes my trump card. I’m more or less just used to comfortable minimal interaction, a sort of “give me coffee” hermitism, and the odd bit of basic customer service banter acquired from years working at the grain store. All of these seem more than useless in this setting. There is no reason at all to complain though, it’s a good thing! I keep telling myself “get out more”, well… this is definitely out!

There is a little bug in my ear that makes me fear this particular attempt at personal growth in the depths of my bones, but that’s no reason not to try.

       It’s remarkable how different places that are so the same can actually be. And a Life Hangover is something that I’m not really looking forward to. But making memories is what I think it’s all about, and some of the best are the ones you review through a piercing headache and two Tylenol, while consulting the porcelain God.  Wish me luck world!  And I really shouldn’t worry, it can’t be anything a little coffee can’t fix.

-Miss Hailey Jane


3 responses to “The Life Hangover: England at its finest.

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