A Life Update

This week has been, by far, one of the most stressful in my life. Why's that? Well, here's a brief timeline of events.
Friday: didn't receive my visa on-time. Had an existential crisis, questioned my decision to go to London.

Saturday: decided to announce backup plan, should visa not come through. Backup plan involved moving to Washington DC (where Phil lives). 
Monday: Decided to go through with backup plan, after several frustrating encounters with the university, and still no visa/passport.
Tuesday: Attempted to get refund of deposit from university, was told that could only happen should my visa be denied (not if it doesn't arrive on time). Freaked out; couldn't go to DC without the deposit ($5,000), couldn't go to London. An hour later, my visa arrived.
Today: decided to go through with my original London plans, although I have several misgivings about the process. Changed flight, and will be leaving next Tuesday (instead of my original flight, which left yesterday)

Approximate number of breakdowns and/or panic attacks ranged in the 15-20 range over the last 7-day period. 
And while I may have been a bit capricious with my changes, all the decisions I considered or made were thought-out and  well-planned. It was not with ease that I originally made my decision to drop from my grad program and move to DC, nor was it a simple decision for me to immediately return to the idea of going to London and entering grad school. 

You may be confused as to why I decided to consider dropping grad school as an option in the first place. There are several small reasons that built up over the last month and had me questioning it:
1) I didn't have my visa/passport, and it would cause me to arrive late, I would have to change my flight, and I still might not get it at all.
2) The university wasn't responding to any of my emails or calls. I sat on hold for over 2-hours trying to contact someone only to be hung-up on, and I sent over 6-emails to different departments without response. No one had informed me about my financial aid, housing, or registration, though I was only one-week out from arriving. I questioned the overall support I would receive from them. 
3) Opportunities were opening up for me in DC, which made it seem like a better option. I would be saving money, I had a close friend moving there, and I'd be near Phil. 
4) It would obviously be easier for me to stay domestic; I was last-minute questioning my finances and overall ability to succeed in grad school. I was feeling generally unprepared; classic case of cold feet. 

So, there I was, certain that my London plans had fallen through, and then suddenly they were a thing again. My head is still spinning from the number of plans/decisions I've had to consider over the last few days. I've had a perpetual headache, and all I want to do is sleep in a dark room until everything settles down. But now they have; I've decided that London was, and still is, the best option for me, and that despite my misgivings, I need to go through with it. 

So, I don't know that I'm excited about it yet, mostly just incredibly stressed, but I'm at peace with a real decision finally being made. 

Here's what I'm annoyed about. 
When I announced publicly (on my personal Facebook) that I might not be going to London, and though I wouldn't make any official decisions until later in the week, my backup plan was to move to DC, I received a lot of responses. Many were kind-hearted and focused on giving me support no matter what, and offering my condolences for the amount of pressure I was under.
However, both online and in person, I received many comments that went along the lines of "well, I'm sure you're happy about this new plan! It seems like DC is what you wanted anyways" or "No need to pretend that DC wasn't your plan all along!"

I get it. These were intended to be supportive, or to make me excited about going to DC even though London hadn't worked. 
But part of me thinks, do people really think that all I really want is to be with my boyfriend? That this was all some facade that I'm happy fell apart?

I'm not so petty as to concoct a grand scheme in which I invested over $8,000, 6-months of planning, and lots of excitement to move to London for graduate school, all as a cover-up for what I truly wanted: to live near my boyfriend. Because that's it, right? Every girl's dream is to fall in love, get married, and live happily ever after? So my visa not coming through was really just doing me a favor; now I don't have to pretend that I wanted an education, I can just go be with my man after all. 

And though I have no proof, I wonder if this type of response would have been the one given to Phil, if his plans fell through and he moved to be near me? 

What it comes down to is this: my decisions are transparent, they are not passive tricks to convince people I want something I don't. I was happy with the decision to move to DC, only in that I felt certain London was no longer a viable option. When it became an option again, my difficulty in finding excitement in it rested primarily in my mental exhaustion in evaluating options, and the fact that I had already begun making DC-related plans. I had changed my mindset so wholly that London wasn't in the picture, and it was its sudden reappearance that bothered me. But after careful thought, it is clear that what I'm experiencing is mainly a fear of failure and worrying about such a massive unknown change. But this is it: I'm going to London, and it's final. 

With that said, I have had some incredible people give me massive amounts of support, great advice, and a lot of therapy and coaching to help me through all my questioning and decision-making. My friends are some of the best in the world, and I couldn't ask for anyone better. A big shout-out to all you readers too; your comments and messages always encourage me to keep doing what I'm doing. So thank you for sticking with me. 

I changed my flight today, so I will leave for London (sans layover in Reykjavik) next Tuesday. If you are in London, I'd love to meet up with you at some point! I may be a bit absentee on Due East this week with all my planning left to do, but I'll keep you up to date. Stay tuned for our regular programming, back shortly. 

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  1. I'm glad it all worked out! Sounds like it has been incredibly stressful, I'm so sorry you had to deal with all of it. Also the people on facebook - that's just irritating. People need to know when to just keep their thoughts to themselves.
    Good luck in London.

  2. oh dang that sounds so stressful. I wouldve lost my mind! And I completely understand the way you felt about how people commented... But yeah they meant it well I guess. Im glad it worked out for ya :)

  3. Oh. My. GOD. Taylor! HOW are you still sane? My head would have exploded - I am soooo sorry for all of this happening, but I am also so glad it worked out and you are coming! Don't fret about others peoples assumptions - people think what they want, as long as you are doing what you want then you're good :D Can't wait to see you in London! If you need any help setting things up when you get here let me help!! You've been through enough - I've already taken on this annoying stress here, so let's make sure you don't have to deal with that either!

  4. ...Well, it may not mean anything, but just so you know--I'm rooting for you, so keep your head up, dear!!...

  5. There are so many facets to moving internationally! I'm happy it's working out like you originally hoped as, like you said, SIX MONTHS of planning and thousands of dollars went into this. Have you received any orientation assistance from your university yet? Nothing ignites rage in me like sitting on hold (even if it's only 20 minutes compared to your 2 hours!) then being hung up. Seriously nothing. How are you supposed to call back and pretend like everything is merry and not give attitude to the next poor soul who answers the phone? I hope the school is more supportive once you finally reach London. And speaking of supportive, yikes about some of those FB comments! Did you have any conflict when you addressed them?

  6. You'll have an AMAZING experience in London, I'm sure of it! Love you!

  7. I'm a first time visitor and whoa, I don't blame you for your head spinning. I'd be lost and confused and freaking out x a million too if I experienced everything you did in such a compressed timeframe! But I'm sure you'll have a blast in London and that everything worked out for the best, even if it all came together at the eleventh hour. Best of luck in London!! (It seems like so many people I know are moving to London for grad school this year! I must've missed the memo :P)