Regrets are a funny thing. The people that I have surrounded myself with influenced the decisions I have made and have caused me the inexplicable pain of making an important choice. Life altering choices. This is how I find myself sitting in the proverbial heart of the United Kingdom.
I sit in a glass orb, crammed with several people. A large portion of them are tourists, including the Americans with expensive cameras hanging from their necks, those strange looking pouches encircling their waists that hold their precious cash, keeping the dirty hands of thieves away from their overly large pockets. Then there are those European travelers. You can tell the difference between them and the Americans from their mannerisms and the thick accents of their voices when they speak, staring at the Americans in disdain.
I laugh silently to myself. How odd I must look, sitting in a corner by myself, staring out at the glistening water, the buttery sunshine that shone through the glass warming my skin, even though the warmth would depart soon with the oncoming sunset. Me, a young girl, sitting in one of the glass enclosures of one of the most famous Ferris Wheels in London, all by herself. They may think, “Does she not have parents? A boyfriend?” then again, they may not even notice me at all. Tourists tend to be unobservant in that way, too enraptured by the beauty of the city they are seeing, which is understandable.
We may all be different, but the one thing that all of the people sitting in this glass ball has in common, is their love for this city. The disdain for one another can easily be forgotten when we all share a moment of awe and wonder for being in such a magical and inspiring place, making our hearts soar with contentment. That is, for one who appreciates the beauty of a place such as this.
In a sense, you can say I ran away from home. All throughout high school my parents had a dream for me. Get straight A’s, go to a preppy Ivy league such as Yale or Harvard, play your cards right, and you will do well. But then again I say, that was my parents dream. They never bothered asking me if it was mine. So I labored through high school, taking all AP classes and getting a part time job at the local thrift store. I really tried to do what I could to make my parents happy. Then I came to a realization a bit late in the game of life. On my graduation day actually. I had been accepted to Yale, Columbia, Princeton, Harvard, the works. I was valedictorian, and my I could see my parents beaming with pride.
During my speech, where I spouted the usual garbage everyone expects to hear, my closing statement really hit home. “Everyone has a choice in life, a choice of which direction to take. To live out a life of their own, or to live out the life planned for them. Now, the real question is, what is the difference between the route they should take, and the one they want to take? In the end, will you choose the route that is best for everyone, or the route that you know is best for yourself?
I wrote this sentence, not realizing how pertinent it was to my life. That night after a dinner of fake smiles and talk of college, I finally realized what I wanted, and which route I would take. That’s how I found myself booking a one way ticket to London with the cash I earned from my part time job. I took the keys, haphazardly packed my things, and fled into the night.
Was it necessary to do such a drastic thing, to leave and leave only a note, saying “I want to live my life my own way.” Maybe not. Maybe I was too dramatic; I couldn’t even bring myself to care. The orb came to a smooth stop above the ground, and I got off, waiting for the shoving tourists to depart.
I went and stood in front of the body of water, shimmering, as if winking at me, a sign telling me I made the right choice. As the sun went down and day transitioned to night, the stars twinkling at me, making the scene even more beautiful, I looked out over the city of bustling people on the other side of the lake and whispered to myself, a real smile on my face for the first time in years, ready to begin my new life. “No regrets.”
About the Author
My name is Stephanie and my dream in life is to become a writer. I love London and everything about it, from the beautiful scenery to the interesting people. Music is a crucial part of me and my life, and i hope to inspire people to do great things with my writing.
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