As time ticks along, I find myself constantly thinking what I may be doing if I weren’t where I am now. And mostly, I guess I’m just trying to figure out if I miss my American life. Not to say I’m not happy with the choices I’ve made to lead me to this day, but I think it may be human nature to simply wonder “what if?”
As news kicks up in Cleveland, putting my beloved city back in the spotlight for positive reasons, I can’t help but wish I were still around to experience some of it first-hand. Maybe not so much the upcoming RNC, as it certainly poses a lot of logistical obstacles downtown that I’m quite happy to be away from, but I wish I could be in the thick of the atmosphere in general. I desperately miss watching Cavs games, especially now that they’re in the finals and I can’t follow along at 2am on work nights. I also miss having people around to talk about the games because, annoyingly, the NBA isn’t a hot topic over here! I miss wandering the streets downtown, going out with the masses on the weekends and I miss the greenery in the surrounding suburbs. And the lake. Boy do I miss seeing that beaut. Don’t get me wrong – I love London and all it has to offer, but it’s lacking that familiarity and comfort I think I had in Ohio. Perhaps that’s something that will come to me in time.
In work, I surprisingly find myself jealous of my ex-co-workers back at the TV station. When I first left, I was happy to dive into a new industry and try something else out. The depressing side of news photography was heavily weighing on me, and I didn’t want a jaded worldview so young. But now that I’m on the outside looking in, I actually wish I had that seriously heavy camera and tripod to carry around with me every day again. I loved being the first to learn about things, and I got to meet some really awesome people in my short time in news. I can’t help but wonder if I had stuck with it, what else could I have experienced? But such is life, right?
My new job is equally fun, but in different ways. I’ve been given my creativity back in this job. I get to come up with fun story ideas circulating around a topic I’m passionate about: travel. And while some days I wish I weren’t desk-bound, I remind myself on crappy weather days how I used to hate having to work outside in the elements. No more wearing 7 layers of clothing to prevent frostbite and struggling to hit the buttons on the camera with my semi-frozen hands. Or walking around in torrential downpours, frantically trying to keep my camera equipment dry. I’ve got a desk to call my own, which is strangely empowering considering how inconsequential it may seem to others. And with everything I may miss about my old job, there’s an equally long list of aspects I certainly do not. So I try to remind myself that I chose to redirect my career trajectory on purpose, and that that choice was the correct one. Will that change again? Possibly. And I think it’s my prerogative to do so as often as I want!
I’m happy here, more so now that I’ve had time to settle in, meet new people and have a routine. But I also think now that I’m finding London ‘home,’ it makes me feel nostalgic about what I’ve left behind. I’m sure all of this is normal, but for me, it’s the first time I’ve ever actually missed my hometown, so it’s a new emotion to face. And maybe, eventually, some of my friends from back home will be able to visit and bring a taste of the CLE with them. Until then, know I’m thinking about you all and miss you dearly! And London is still fabulous and exciting, but hasn’t changed my Northeast Ohio soul one bit. Cleveland strong, baby!