Almost exactly one year ago I left America for England so I could be an actor. Though in my past rather petulant posts I’ve hinted what I left, I have not been explicit. Yes, a good job, friends, family, stability, a car, a kitchen, but I also left the person I planned to spend the rest of my life with. She still had the ring when we parted outside the security line at Boston’s Logan Airport, but rightfully ditched our status a month into new time zones. Blah, blah, everyone goes through this shit. It’s not a big deal, but at the time I thought I could keep everything together. I thought I could change my life without loss. I was okay losing the job, the career—even the family and friends—but I was not okay losing this person. Like any commitment to someone over a long period of time, that subject becomes your greatest project: she was the object for which I worked most, for which I burnt the most calories. When the disseverance happened—or began to happen—early in my time in England, then I began to understand just what it might take to change and change fully. I wanted no part of it.

My whole year in England—year-one to chase dreams in earnest—consisted of a search for escape.

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I trudged onward, yes, acting and doing the best I could in what I was enrolled, but my body and heart pulled elsewhere. Back. And God, did they pull.

I never found an escape from the decisions I had made. The girl never gave one, nor did my old career open its arms… every time I flew back to America (I returned five times last year) the States spit me back to England like an exiled parasite. I remember each one of those flights… the hope and fear landing in Boston: will someone—anything—be waiting…? And, ultimately, a week or so later, the grit upon touching down at London’s Heathrow: gathering my bags, on my own, here we go…

IMG_2827I wrote most of this post, (the above, actually) in America: trip number 5—what was titled to my friends as “my last return for a long time…”—a temporary visit, as opposed to the prior attempts at escape and restart. This was just fun: a wedding for a close friend, (I’m at that age where everyone is getting married). Also, significant to mention, the person for which I was not willing to lose… well, she was there.

I won’t get into the details, but I’m back in London now.

In my former life I wore a suit and a tie to work. For the first few years of that job I felt like a fraud. I was.

I hated suits, peddled a rusty bike to the fancy office every day and at each speaking engagement was sure my peers would catch me, call me out, the imposter, and send me on my way.

Strange thing happened… I got good at the job… quite respected, even loving what I did. It just took seven years.

I made my decisions on a flicker… something I barely saw in the distance that either I choose not to ignore or simply could ignore no longer. It was, actually, quite dramatic. A few days ago I was back at Logan, international terminal E, outside the security line. I’ve flown a lot this summer. Besides my former post on Norway, I went to Bali for a month and back and forth to America and London twice. I fly to Moscow as part of our acting course in this month. The wedding weekend went through many emotional permutations, but was ultimately cathartic and joyous. Waiting in the security line I was excited to return to London, this opposed to each former flight this year. How I got to this point—how I got to a point where I can look forward as opposed to back… well, it is a much longer post… and some very specific events got me here… but overall the current optimism of my stasis has something to do with luck, people and persistence.

So stick with it, I guess. You can’t turn around, you can probably do it and you may be surprised what comes with you.

Matt: During My First Year in England, I Realized I Was Being Pulled Away. I Wanted to Escape.
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Injuries sustained gave me the break in my monastic athletic routine to self-assess and finally summon the courage to tackle the path for which I thought I was most suited: acting
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