Every since M was granted the visa, I keep finding myself overcome by electric jolts of panic. One moment, I am busy doing something ordinary — folding laundry or tidying away a mess of toys — and the next moment, I can barely breathe. It’s a mix of good and bad panic — it’s both fear and excitement at the same time. I’ve lived in Britain for 14 years — all my adult life — and I am very happy here. It feels just as much like “home” as America did when I was there. My friends are here, I understand how things work, I know where things are. I fit here. I will miss the UK terribly and I’m very afraid that I will discover that I won’t like living in the US when we finally get there.
And yet, there are wonderful things to look forward to in the States as well. Big things and little: a much bigger house for our money, closets, a constitutional right to free speech, drive-through banking (so much more convenient with two little ones in the back!), garbage disposals, four seasons, that can-do attitude, regular elections for all sorts of things, parades, Thanksgiving…
I don’t know what to think. I’m so excited and so afraid at the same time. If I give in to this fear and we don’t go, I’ll always wonder if we should have. But if we do go, and I hate it — or we hate it — that’s just a horrible thought, because it will be too late, and we won’t be able to afford to move back again.
The thing is, we don’t have a choice. We can’t afford to live in the UK any longer. Day-to-day living is incredibly expensive, and loftier ambitions — just basic things, like buying a house — are completely out of our reach. So the decision has been made for us. We are going. As to whether or not we’ll like it… well, there’s only one way to find out.
Between now and then, I am just focusing on all the good stuff there is to look forward to. And breathing through those panics.