London, I Think It’s Time to Break Up

Dear London,

We’ve been together for just over three years. We’ve shared some good times, and we’ve shared plenty of bad, but I think it’s come time that you and I call it quits.

Yes, 2012 was a fantastic year. First, we celebrated the wedding between me and my husband. It was a fabulous day here in Richmond–the setting was perfect, and everything went according to plan (even the weather cooperated). Then we celebrated along with the rest of the country the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee. Unlike me and my husband, the Queen did not get sunshine on her special day, but rather had quite a miserable day for her celebration. Despite that slight hiccup, people still went out in droves to share in Her Majesty’s special day.

And then the Olympics came. London, this event was your crowning glory, and I can say with confidence that it is an experience that I will not long forget. The torch passed through my borough twice, and both times the atmosphere was amazing. On a typical day, people seem aloof and unfriendly, but the Olympics had the power to utterly transform the people who call this city home. It was the most welcoming atmosphere I’d felt since I moved in 2009. It was so wonderful, that I found myself rallying behind Team GB even when there were competitors from my beloved Team USA. For once, I was proud to be [somewhat] British. With athletes like Mo Farah, how could you not be excited?

All the excitement from the Olympics elevated my spirits and my expectations of you, London. I started planning my next career move last year, and instead of focusing on moving back to America, I decided to give Britain, you, London, a try. I attended more networking events at work, a professional development seminar, and started getting myself out there and pushing myself out of my comfort zone. Hell, I even signed up for a workshop called the Blogcademy so I could network more and improve my blog on expat life within your borders.

And then I went back to America for Thanksgiving. It’s one of my favorite holidays, and I’m a bit bitter that a holiday of such gluttony, shopping and getting together with friends and family doesn’t exist here (and I don’t mean Christmas¬†+ Boxing Day). I had a brilliant time–one of the best times I’ve had in the past year–a tall order considering all the good times we’ve had together this year. But the problem was that it was almost too good. I came back to you December 2 and felt instantly rejected. Almost like you were upset with me because I had too much fun with my family, friends and cats in America. Like you thought I’d cheat on you with Chicago because I do, in fact, find it a lovely city with far friendlier people. Or maybe it was just that 2012 was such a fantastic year for us, that there is nearly nothing left for you to give.

I’ve done my part to try to make things work, but it’s not been good enough, and I dunno what you could possibly give to me now that I couldn’t get back in America. Sure, you provide more safety in some cases, but you don’t provide the things that make me truly happy. You’ve not helped me build enough lasting friendships (though those I have built, I will treasure forever), I have no close family here, and I do not have to two little critters I left with my family when I moved here, K2 and Whitney. Not to mention the sunshine, ocean views, and fantastic beach towns I miss from California.

Maybe I’m just homesick at the end of the day, but London, we’re through.

Best regards,

Carrie