Wednesday, 8 September 2010

Something Better Somewhere Else?

Today I'm so glad to welcome Meagan Lopez as a guest blogger. Meagan lived in the UK with her British beau around the same time I did and has recently moved back to the US. I found her through the blog-o-sphere only after leaving England, but have so loved hearing about her experiences as an American in Britain and back again (many not too dissimilar to my own!). I hope you enjoy her post too and get a chance to stop by her blog.

Coincidentally, I've seen two movies in the last week regarding change.

It was my mother's idea to watch the first one – in Baltimore. All three of us – my sister, my mom and I had read the book, fell in love with it and felt it had moved us in some way. It was only fitting that two and a half years later, we would go together now that it's come out, especially since this is the first time I had been home in two years. This movie embraced change, taught us that when taking a new journey, the most important thing to remember is that everyone you meet, every event that happens has the possibility of teaching you something, has the incredible chance to open doors in your life that you never knew needed opening. “Eat Pray Love” was this movie.

The second one was in my new city – Chicago. This one I had never heard of, probably will never see in big screenings and my boyfriend and I went to because I hoped that by going, I would be introduced to people in the Chicago film industry, make a friend, possibly make connections that would lead to a job. It was in the Midwest Film Festival and a random email I had sent to a local casting director led me here. She told me to introduce myself to two people, so I did. (We shall see what comes out of it...) The movie that was viewing after the reception was called “Something Better Somewhere Else.” It mocked change – not to slander it or necessarily put it down – but just by asking the question, “Will things truly get better if you change your circumstances, or do we just always think that the grass is greener?”

I believe both movies basically had the same point – if you go into something without first changing yourself, then nothing you do to change your circumstances will necessarily affect you for the better. We must be ready and open to accept these teachers along the way, or else, eventually, we will find ourselves meeting the same type of people, getting into the same types of conflicts and being just as miserable as we were before the change took place.

So this is where I am. We have been living in England for the last two years. Without getting into too much detail, I am an American, my boyfriend is English and the Visa situation in England was tricky for me – as in, I didn't have one. Here in America, my boyfriend's industry is booming and he already has opportunities available to him – hence why we moved.

I wrote a novel while I was in England so as not to go crazy. I started a ladies' club in England in order to ensure I had a social life. I bought workout DVD's to stay in shape. I had a life where I didn't really have to worry about money, where I couldn't leave the country for fear of not being let back in and where I really felt trapped when all was said and done – despite my efforts.

And there I was, an emotional, talkative American in a foreign country that coddled “feelings” like a snake coddles a mouse (not everyone – there are exceptions to this rule whom I vehemently stand by and embrace – they are the people who kept me going, they know who they are. I love them.)

I was ready to move. I loved England in many ways (Sunday roasts, pubs, the history, the country side, the subtlety of life that America lacks, football passion, tea and even driving on the left side of the road), made many friends and loved my boyfriend's family more than words can say – but I was ready to really have a life where I could have a career, travel wherever I wanted, make friends out and where my boyfriend and I would be on equal footing.

So here we are. Getting ready to have this life, and I'm stuck in a circle – wanting to make sure each step I take isn't made rashly and without thought, but needing to make money pretty quickly while my boyfriend's Visa goes through and trying to balance all that I learned along the way with this new rushed life.

Adjustment problems back into America are few and far between. Like Alisha, I have found it to be pretty seamless – after all, this is home and no matter how much time is passed, I don't think I will forget that. Surprisingly, being away for so long has taught me to love America in a way I never could have before.

So, the question is – have I grown enough along the way, learnt from past mistakes and am I awake enough to see when lessons are thrown my way, opportunities shoved in my face, teachers gently tapping me on the wrist? Or will this change just be the same as every other place I've ever lived?

I believe it will be a bit of both. But hopefully, when I miss things and the patterns start reappearing in my life, I will recognize them, gently acknowledge that they are there and politely say “You know what? I don't want you in my life right now. Please make room for the 'something better somewhere else.'”

Thank you Alisha for allowing me to guest blog, for being patient with me while I moved here and for always giving me food for thought.

Meagan Lopez is a freelance writer now based in Chicago. She has just finished her novel, The Three Questions. After high school, she left Baltimore for Los Angeles, graduated from USC and entered into the world of casting film and television. Click here for her IMDB page. Her blog chronicling her journey from America to England and back again can be found here.


Jenny said...

This expat thing is definitely a foreign world to me (pun intended)- thanks for sharing Megan!

alisha said...

Wa wa...!

Anonymous said...

Nice job Meagan. I loved Eat, Pray, Love but haven't seen the other film Will need to seek it out.

Nadine said...

Great post! And congratulations on finishing your novel!

TheLadyWhoLunches said...

Thanks guys for your comments! Will let you know how it all goes!

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