Friday, October 26, 2012

On vacation vs. unemployed

I am on my way to the airport as I type, for a week long trip to London. I did my junior semester abroad there, back in 1983 (yes, the Boy George era) and I had one of the best times of my life. It was a formative experience in a way these kind of iconic college experiences should be but rarely are: A die-hard, relatively unsophisticated suburban Long-Guyland girl, I discovered my love for cities. My love for art (until that point, I gamely let myself be dragged around to museums by my parents, but didn't feel passionate about it). My fascination with the class system that led me to write my senior year history and literature thesis on D.H. Lawrence. I met a cute British boy and improbably found myself with a boyfriend -something I had yet to do back at college. Just as important, I became friends with all of his friends. Suddenly, I was the cool girl I'd always wanted to be, the american surrounded by wry, cynical British men (love that British humor and of course, what American woman doesn't love the accent?) I discovered that it takes twice as long to realize that a guy is a jerk because of the accent. (Not with my guy, but in general.) Plus, I traveled all over Europe, my first time out of the States, including Italy. Even back then, I preferred Rome to Florence and Venice.

In fact, I had such a wonderful time that I told myself I didn't want to sully my view of London by going back as a mere tourist. So I have resisted for nearly thirty years, watching from afar as the only thing I didn't like about London (the food) caught up with the rest of Europe and the gritty east end where I went to college became impossibly hip. Now I get to see these changes for myself and revisit the places I loved at 20 (the Tate, Bloomsbury, Hyde Park and covent garden) through my 49-year old eyes. I can't wait to see what has changed more: London or me. (I know I should say "London or I" but that just sounds wrong to me. Allow for some grammatical informality on this blog. Hey, it's the Internet.)

Stay tuned. I feel like a new beginning is finally in store, especially after the lovely SELF hello/goodbye party we had at my pad last night. Jobs come and go. Not so, friends.

The amazing clean up crew!

Art department togetherness

The cool photo department!

Three former SELFers and future who knows what? 

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