Aaaand I’m back at the airport. You know, when I was buying my plane tickets, a week seemed like a long time to be in London. Now, I feel like I just arrived and I’m not completely ready to go home. Part of this is probably carryover from leaving Ghana since I was feeling okay in the airport there, but now there’s no ignoring the fact that part 1 of my adventure is about to be over. Am I happy to be going home? Hm… I have mixed feelings. Yes, I’m excited to see my family and my friends. At the same time though, I’ve discovered that I’m fine with being away. I used to think I’d spend the rest of my life in/around Philadelphia, but I’m not so sure anymore. Just what I need… more uncertainty about my future! Anyway, there’s plenty of time for me to figure everything out, and there’s plenty of time for me to ignore the fact that one day I’ll have to figure it out! So no worries for now.
To catch you up on how I got from York to here… James and I spent the morning yesterday hanging out and pretending that we might not be saying goodbye forever. I know, I know. I keep bringing that up, and it’s probably getting old. It’s impossible to ignore though! Last time I thought about never seeing friends again, it was at the end of college. Obviously you’ll keep in touch with a certain number of people, but it’s impossible to keep up with everyone. Now, we’re talking about friends in different countries, not just people moving to different states. Plus, unlike college, we don’t really have a common place we’ll all definitely go back to… the only place we have in common is Ghana, and it’s beyond unrealistic to think that we’ll all meet up there again. I just need to hold onto the small possibility that we’ll cross paths again.
(On a side note: I’m starting to think that it can’t be healthy for me to lie to myself this much. And seriously, how gullible am I that it’s this easy for my brain to fool itself? Hmm or maybe that just means that I am very persuasive. That sounds like a positive… Yeah, we’ll go with that.)
My train back to London was at 2, and when it pulled up, we hugged goodbye and that was the end. James said, “I’m not going to do that dumb ‘wave through the window as the train pulls away’ thing.” Fine with me because then I at least had some hope of hiding my tears. That hope was shattered once I got to my seat and realized I was at a table seat, which means my seat was facing two others. So much for my poetic, private, and tearful ride through the English countryside. Instead I got an awkward, “I’m totally fine and am definitely not crying”, and “okay so maybe my eyes are watering but I think it’s from the dust in the air” ride through the English countryside. Good times.
This morning, I had big plans for waking up early and trekking all over town before my flight, but that didn’t happen (you’re shocked, I know). Instead, I rolled out of bed at the last second possible to check out of my hostel on time and only had about two hours to kill before I had to catch the tube to the airport. I decided to visit the British Library since it was nearby. It’s the national library of the UK and has over 170 million items cataloged, including 14 million books. There are some exhibits there as well which is what I went to check out, in addition to wanting to just experience its library-awesomeness (because who doesn’t love libraries? They’re the best!).
To poorly summarize the exhibits… there’s Jane Austen’s writing desk (I’ll be honest, I was probably the most excited about this), some Beatles lyrics and scratch notes (which I tried to be excited about, but I’m not that into the Beatles. I know, I’m sorry), tons of Bibles including a couple Gutenberg bibles (first book mass-produced by a metal movable-type printing press) and some beautiful Armenian bibles (woohoo!), one of Leonardo da Vinci’s notebooks, and two original copies of the Magna Carta (kind of a big deal for democracy, in case you’re unfamiliar).
After I left the library, I went back to the hostel to grab my stuff, got on the tube, checked in at the airport, and here I am. Now all that stands between me and home (besides the Atlantic Ocean, of course) is 8 hours of airplane food, movies, and uncomfortable sleep positions. See you soon, USA!