New Beginnings as Brummies

Alright, so it has been a while since I've talked about how we got here - to Birmingham. I can't very well tell you about all of the wonderful experiences we've had since arriving here without actually telling about this not-so-fun part because that's just not real life. The truth is that it was an extremely difficult transition in a lot of ways, and it all started the morning we left for good ol' Brum.

After experiencing some of the marvels of London, reality was beginning to set in - and, with it, my anxiety. That was not helped in any way, shape, or form by the fact that the trek to our new home was a new level of awful. But first we had to eat breakfast, check out of the hotel, and get to the train station via the tube.

Never, ever, ever try to move to a new city with all your belongings in massive suitcases via public transportation in the middle of morning rush hour. 

We didn't really know how crowded the tube was going to be, we didn't know that certain tube lines were more crowded than others, and we didn't know how the train system worked with all those bloody tickets and receipts that look like tickets. Add tripping over other people, lugging around 50-pound suitcases, exhaustion, claustrophobia, anxiety, being THISCLOSE to having the tube doors slam shut on you more than once, rude people glaring at you because you're taking up too much room or you accidentally stepped on their foot, running to catch the train only to realize that you got on the wrong coach just to get off (with said suitcases) and run down to the other end (because you didn't know that you could walk through the coaches)... ugh. This is why I never wanted to write this post. That morning was hell. Absolute hell. I can't even write about it in one sitting - I had to leave the computer for a solid ten minutes and come back. It was so awful. Just thinking about my hyperventilating while running for my train makes my chest tight.

I mostly kept myself together on the train from London to Birmingham without going into complete meltdown mode. We arrived at our destination and hopped into a cab because, let's be real, we had no idea what we were doing or where to go. The drive was a bit longer than I expected and the drivers were crazy as heck, but we got to our hotel in once piece.

The husband and wife who ran this hotel were extremely nice and very helpful, but everything was still a bit of a shock to me. The city looked nothing like I expected, we had no real place to live yet (that is a completely different story that unfolded into more drama later, much to my dismay and despair), it was noisy and dirty everywhere I looked, nothing was familiar, the list goes on and on. I was completely exhausted and 100% overwhelmed. The past few hours had pushed me to my limit, and I was about to break into a hundred different pieces.

All I really remember was sitting on the bed with my mom and Patrick across the room as they were trying to decide where to go. They knew that I needed to be distracted, but I recall being asked one too many questions and I just lost it - I completely broke down. Sobbing, gasping for breath - the works. That was the first time I actually cried about the whole moving abroad thing, the first time I truly let my emotions show exactly how I felt, and it was obvious that I had been bottling it in (something I try not to do on a normal basis). I had brought leftover valium with me from my dental appointments a few weeks prior (I'm telling you, anxiety sucks), so my mom convinced me to take one; eventually, I calmed down enough for us to go out for a bit. I'm pretty sure we took a bus back into city centre (things are a little bit fuzzy for obvious reasons), but we got there somehow and explored a bit of our new home - complete with canals, bridges, lots of brick, beautiful old buildings, Victoria Square, the Bull Ring, Selfridges, the works. The pretty parts of the city.

(This last photo is not from that same day, but it's one of my favorites... so there you have it.)

We had our room booked at that hotel through Monday morning when my mom was scheduled to leave for her plane back to the States. The next day, my mom and I were heading on a train to Wales in order to catch the ferry over to Dublin for about 36 hours. Boy, was that a whirlwind trip! But it was definitely one to remember - in a good way, of course.

Over the past few months, we've settled into our new home. City living is so not my thing, but it is what it is. It isn't all bad; it just isn't my cup of tea (haaaaa haaa... tea... in England). Our roommates are wonderful, we're close to so many things, and living in city centre means that I can occasionally see Patrick during a break in the middle of his day, which is extremely nice. Popping into the college now and then means that I get to see some lovely faces as well, which is always a plus. That being said, I love getting out of the city far more than I love coming back in, but you can't always have it all, can you?

And, without further adieu, here's a little tour of our flat and the area of Birmingham in which we live! The video won't be listed as public on my YouTube channel forever (I'm a little bit paranoid), but I'm going to just hope that no crazy stalkers find this video before I make it private. ;) Enjoy, and be sure to let me know what you think!