19 November 2020


The number 7 has been a motif for as long as I can remember. I was 17 and ranked 7th in my high school graduating class, I was supposed to be born on December 7th, I earned my master’s degree in 2007, I went full-time with my business when I was 27, what was once a memorable wedding date of December 27th, and so on.

To add to the numerical legacy, I just turned 37. If the past is any indicator, it’s destined to be a banner year, and despite this coronavirus ambush, I would say moving to the UK is a rather wonderful gateway to celebrating the Seven that has followed me everywhere.

I have felt centuries in my soul since I was old enough to realize I didn’t quite fit in with peers of my own age. I loved volunteering with the elderly, I made fast friends with my friends’ parents, and my loved ones called me Grandma Chelsea in middle school. As I processed everything that has happened in the past two years, I like to think that I’m finally spoiling that soul that was once worn down by life in the one place that has always felt remarkably good, and with a permanent cameo by an unexpected someone who makes me glow even on my darker days.

Reminiscing on previous visits across the pond, I remember beaming from the inside out as I looked beyond the window every time I was in a car, train, or bus. I never got any leisure reading done or anything productive that one would normally do. I was spellbound by the intense feeling of ancient familiarity that I had never felt before. For having moved around so much, home never was an address. Home became wherever I needed to be or where I was emotionally. Well, when watching light-dappled hills and people adjust their market bags on their shoulders zoom by, my soul jingled over and over. I haven’t been able to shake that feeling since.

So now this 37th trip around the sun causes a personal eclipse to my Virginia chapter, and I’m boldly facing forward to being somewhere I have felt most alive -- in spite of the transatlantic challenges I have had to overcome and continue to overcome. To have an opportunity to shine bright in a whole different way. To be worthy of a new beginning.