COLUMN: London leads to longing for home

I never thought I could miss Muncie, but alas, if nothing else, this time in London has taught me that there truly is no place like home.

Now, don't get me wrong. I've had a blast here and I wouldn't trade this experience for the world; but with my time here quickly running down, I'm torn between my desire to go home and my wishes to remain in London.

It's really a double-edged sword. No matter where I seem to be, it always feels like the grass is greener somewhere else. This thought applies to a lot of areas of life.

For example, when I'm in Muncie I spend all of my time wishing that I was (for the most part) anywhere but there, preferably in a big city. Now that I am in one of the biggest cities in the world, part of me can't wait to get back to Muncie and it's mid-size town mentality.

I've realized that ultimately it doesn't matter where you live -- whether it be Muncie or Munich, Germany -- after you have lived there long enough, you start to take for granted all that's around you.

I'm guilty of it myself and I've only lived in London for two and a half months. I haven't even got past the tip of the iceberg of things to do and see here, but there are times when I find myself being almost lackadaisical about my current address.

I know it's not right, but it still happens. But then you have those moments of brilliance like when you stand by the Thames River at night and look around you at all of the lit-up churches and businesses and you realize just how beautiful it all is and lucky you are to be there.

The same can be said for anywhere in the world... you just have to stop, take a look around you and realize the beauty of what's around you. The sad thing is that in today's day and age we are all too busy talking on our cell phones, fighting rush hour traffic and people to get to where we have to be.

Sometimes it really makes me wonder what the big hurry is all about. I've also found the longer someone stays in a single location, the more bitter they become. This has been especially evident in the big cities I've visited in my life. With all of the hustle and bustle going on, people tend to walk around with a chip on their shoulder. People sort of grow cold; not only to those around them, but also to everyday people they pass on the street.

I have always told myself that if I was lucky enough to be able to get a job in a big city when I graduated from school, that I would make sure to keep sight of how lucky I truly was. With living in London for this short time, I would like to think that although I've had my moments where I am cursing the city and it's people, that for the most part I've tried to keep a smile on my face. I have tried to not let the attitude of those who have grown cold to break my spirit. Thus far it's working, sometimes I'm amazed and I even get a smile back.

The same attitudes can be found when transitioning from college to the real world as well. When you are in school, you wish you were out in the real world and then once you get out into the real world, you spend all of your time wishing you could go relive the glory days of college.

Perhaps we need to spend more time enjoying the moment as it happens and less time planning or worrying about what is to come in the future. But hey, it's just a thought.

So until next time kiddies, stop and smell those roses.

Write to Angela at angimangi@hotmail.com.


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