Even though it has been eight years since I returned from living in London I often think of time as being before and after living in the UK. When I am traveling around San Francisco and the Bay Area and I see a familiar place I ask myself, "do I know this from before or after London?"
These two major sections of my life-novel are broken down into smaller chapters of where I lived, who I loved and what jobs I've had. Sometimes the lines become blurred and my linear story of chapters gets out of order. "Was this more than 8 years ago?"
Sometimes I become mad and realize that I am sad about having lived two different lives with friends dropped along the way. But then I think about how peaceful my life is now and realize I had to have all of those chapters to be the person I am today. Is there anything about my current life that I would change? Nothing. Would I have gotten here regardless of the path? Yes, I think I would have.
Ironically, today I received an email from a former London co-worker and that a special person is leaving the organization. I remember how kind these folks were to me when I left. One of my leaving gifts was a magnet that says, "live your dreams, except for the one about the spider." I have that over my desk at school to inspire and amuse me every day.