When I was a child, I used to play a movie in my head, over an over again. In that story, I was in my early twenties, with an amazing job in London (always there); with all my life figured out.
The scene went something like this:
I enter a cafe, some bells ring when I open the door. I place my order (an americano, a cappuccino, it doesn’t matter) and sit on a table next to the window. Then, I hear him. I hear the voice of the man who will turn my whole life upside down.
It’s raining outside.
Never went further than that, but that was enough to tell everyone: I want to live in London one day.
Working on it….
That’s why when I applied for a Master’s, all my options were in England. I applied to three universities and got accepted in all of them. One was in London, the other one in York and the last one in Essex. After thinking about it for weeks, I decided I wanted to study in York. (London was such a big city and seemed harder to handle all by myself. The little girl living inside me was a bit disappointed, but she understood my reasons).
I read about York’s history, I saw pictures, I fell in love with every corner of this centennial, fortress city.
After a month or two, my mom found the application for Åbo Akademi, I applied and the rest is history, but for some time, my mind was in York.
Sometimes I wonder what would’ve been of my life if I had stuck to that decision. I don’t think about it with regret, on the contrary, I’m so glad I’m living in Turku and I wouldn’t change it, but I guess it’s normal to ask to ourselves from time to time: What if (?)….
So here I am. Away from Turku, writing this inside a cafe in England, hidden from the rest of the world: pretending this is my life, in a parallel universe.
How did I end up here? In the most random way (like every single time I have travelled). Ironically, if I had studied in York -starting last summer- I would’ve still been here (I say “still” because the master’s programs can last only 1 year when you’re an overseas student in England).
I like to believe there’s a reason for me to be here, that there’s something I need to learn, something I need to do or maybe something in this trip that is going to change my life.
Maybe I’m here to learn that some things are supposed to last forever -like the buildings, cathedrals, walls, that have been here for hundreds of years- while others, are just a matter of time -like my presence in this continent, the people I know, the coffee I’m drinking-.
The bells ring. It’s raining outside.