Thursday, 12 February 2009
Why am I living in London. part 2
After being in London for a bit and meeting Matthew I started thinking about what it would be like if I just stayed in London and didn't go back to Minneapolis. I was really inspired by the city and its creative energy. I only had one semester left at MCAD and I was up for the challenge of trying to figure out a way to make it work. I thought about finding an internship in London and sent emails to everyone I knew to see if they had any connections. MCAD's wonderful career counselor Christine Daves let me know that a MCAD alum, Tom Elsinger, was looking for an intern at Saatchi and Saatchi. I got in contact with him and just kind of made my mind up to go for it. In the end the internship didn't pan out, but those things happen.
My semester at LCC ended on December 10th. I ended up moving in with Matthew and his flatmate Wayland. At the time they were living in Chiswick, which is a very beautiful and relaxed part of London. It kind of reminds me of a Linden Hills type area. I signed up for my MCAD classes and took them online, which was great. I also got two part time jobs working as a nanny. I had done that for about five years in Minneapolis while I was going to school. It was the only work I could do since I wasn't allowed to legally work in the UK. I didn't need to have a visa to stay in London. I could be in the UK for up to six months at a time as a visitor and every time I left and came back into England it started over. I had been doing some traveling so it was never an issue. I worked for an English family two days a week and an American family one day a week and it worked out very well.
My graduation from MCAD was on May 9th, 2008 and Matthew was going to come over with me to see where I was from and meet my friends and family. We had been talking about our future a lot. I loved Matthew and wanted to be with him and we were going to have think about getting married. At the time I was 29 and Matthew was 28 and we knew it was just meant to be. I wasn't very keen on the idea of coming back to England and just being his girlfriend. I had just done a degree and wanted to start working. I couldn't just come and hang in out in London so we talked about getting married. The immigration issues did speed up our decision to get married, but it was for the right reason. Matthew proposed to me while we were in Minnesota and it was the happiest day of my life.
Thinking back that was a crazy trip. The day before we were supposed to leave Matthew found out that his grandmother had passed away. It was very sad. I had the chance to meet his Oma and she was a lovely woman. Matthew came with me to Minneapolis for a week and then went back to England for the funeral. He then came back for another week. The original plan was for me to stay for a month so I could see everybody and he was going to be with me for two weeks. I was really happy that he was able to come back out and then we could fly home together. I loved showing him around and introducing him to everyone. It's hard to believe that it was only nine months ago.
Posted by Rhea O'Connor at 10:14