The future is not some place we are going to but one we are creating. The paths to it are not found but made. ~John Schaar
Courtney left yesterday.
At the airport, I was two seconds away from breaking down, sobbing my eyes out and dragging Courtney down onto the street, handcuffing her and ripping her boarding pass in two, three, no, five hundred little pieces. Luckily, this time, she was wise and said “Let’s make this quick and painless. Otherwise I’ll make a scene.” She saw into the future better than I did.
When I left Baltimore in December 2008 (Jock and I stopped in my home town on the way to England from Los Angeles), Courtney and I made a scene. It was bad. It was loud, and we were a mess. It went on for a painful amount of time – our crying and wailing and laments – and that didn’t make the leaving any easier. Thank God we refrained this time – for our sakes, and the poor English people around us. I don’t think the Brits are ready for the Bauer/Lopez breakdown.
Since Courtney left yesterday, I no longer feel like I’m living some type of fairy tale dream in England that doesn’t really exist. Don’t get me wrong, my life here existed before Courtney came to visit, but not really. I don’t really know how to explain it. I’ll do my best.
It’s like since there was no other human in Bristol who had experienced any other point in my life’s history – no one knew me as an actor (I acted for 17 years), or as a student (20 years), or as a single woman (most of my life), or even as a brunette (I was blonde for two years until three months ago). No one knew me in any other context besides being a foreigner in England and Jock’s girlfriend, so how did I know that any of my past really did actually happen? There was no one to talk to about it or reminisce.
Or, for that matter, how could I tell that my life in Bristol wasn’t all just a dream? How did I know I wasn’t really making it all up? Was my American accent even real, or was I just making it up to be different amongst these people? (These are some of the thoughts that would haunt me every once in a while).
Why do I need validation from the past to be happy in the present anyhow?
I’ve been in England for a year and three months, and although my sister was the first to visit last March, Jock and I didn’t have an apartment, a job or much money. So, we traveled with my sister and it was absolutely amazing as I love my sister to pieces, but I couldn’t show her where I lived. I hadn’t created a home for myself and I hadn’t yet made friends.
Having Courtney come this time – my best friend of 22 years – popped my illusive English bubble, and made it real. It was the first time I had my own living history walking next to me down my street, introducing her to my friends, showing her my town and my new country. It was the first time I had another American speaking in my ear while all the foreigners spoke in weird accents.
It’s only now that I can say that. It’s only now I realize that’s how it felt. I could write about my life here on this blog, my friends and family could comment on it, and I could send photos, but no one else was experiencing it with me. That’s the only way I can explain how it felt to have Court here – she made it real.
Our friends are a reminder of who we are. They bring us back to our hearts, remind us how we got here, and make sure we know who helped us to get here. They evoke forgotten memories and past lives. I miss my American friends. I miss them a lot, but I love my life here. Moving makes it impossible to always have everyone you meet along the way there with you (a lesson I learned young), but moving also brings the past to the present and makes you realize more about yourself than you ever knew.
That’s what I get from it at least.