I don’t want to go.
London has given me so much these past six weeks. It has given me a reason to wake up before noon. It has given me inspiration behind the camera. It has reawakened my passion for writing. And now I have to leave.
It’s proved to me that I can do anything I set my mind to. I want to do a photo shoot at the Cliffs of Dover? Sure, why not? Done. I wonder if I can pull off a series surrounding the colors one finds in London? Check. I have this pretty dress I packed- could I do something with it? Why not do something with it in Bath? Boom. Oh, your camera bag weighs 30lbs and you need to hike up that cliff side? Bring it on, endurance.
I learned that my passion for photography is not annoying, and I shouldn’t hold back. So many times this trip I started rambling about something photography related, realized that I had been going on about it for quite a while, and would stop and apologize to the person I was rambling to. And this is another thing London has given me: an understanding of who a friend is. These people who I would apologize to would smile and say, “No, it’s okay- I love seeing someone so passionate about something they love.”
So, I won’t apologize anymore. I have friends who listen to me ramble, and I’m going to keep them. Why shouldn’t we be excited for the things our friends love? Why not encourage them instead of making them feel like their passion is silly or stupid or uninteresting? Hey, you love watching slugs? Go for broke, man, and let me know if I can get you a lemonade or something while you tell me about the different species.
London has given me this.
And I don’t want to go.
I learned that I can take a stranger’s picture and not spontaneously combust. I learned that I can stand in the middle of a crowded sidewalk and take a picture of a picture of Big Ben and somehow survive. I learned that the world is not that scary of a place and that I shouldn’t let a fear of judgement prevent me from getting the shot I desire. I’ll still have my moments when my finger will stutter over the shutter button, but I have the evidence that I can do anything as incentive to go ahead and take the picture.
Relationships. Navigating. Problem solving. Team work. Delegation. Compromising. Surviving Belfast on July 12th. These are all things that London has either given me or reminded me that these are things I knew how to do all along.
I don’t want to go.
But I must go. I have to return to the United States because that’s just the way things are. Little pieces of my heart will be stuck in crevices and cracks in the sidewalk of this beautiful (albeit polluted and overcrowded,) city. And I don’t mind one bit.
London has taught me that I can do anything. And I can’t wait to bring this knowledge back to the USA and show the photography world what I’m made of.
Until next time, London.