So, what have I learned since then?
It's risky to put yourself out there so publicly with hard held beliefs, because, our opinions can change. But have mine? Yes and no. At the core, I still believe in everything I said and stand by it firmly. But some things have adapted...
As far as stuff is concerned, two things have crept back into my life - books and art supplies. Books because I do blog features and I'm studying for a PhD, so that was probably inevitable. Art supplies crept back in as a result of my MFA in Illustration. When we arrived in Scotland, my entire studio fit into my backpack - my laptop and my Wacom tablet. That was all I needed. But my MFA taught me to work traditionally and that requires paints and papers and brushes, and, and...
The other 'stuff' however, has not crept back in. I still look at chachkies as just something to dust. And I still have a surprisingly small wardrobe, although I do have to buy new staples as they wear out. I did buy a guitar that I don't play like I should, but otherwise, this mindset has stuck.
There is one thing I regret getting rid of - my books. There are several I wish I still had for my PhD research, and I miss being able to run my fingers over all the wonderful reads. But books were the one thing I really couldn't take with me as they are heavy and cumbersome and cost tons to ship. So! There's that.
As far as the "OMG, what have I done? What if I was wrong?" part... This has been an amazing adventure and much harder than I thought it would be. We couldn't predict that politics would do what they have. Both Brexit and Trump have had serious impacts on our life here and the decisions we are making for our future. My health hasn't been great, and that was something I also couldn't have predicted. (Turns out we didn't quite have it figured out after all, although we since have. More on that at a later date, maybe.) I still think we did the right thing to go on this adventure of moving to Scotland, but I would never hold it against someone for not taking a leap like this. There is much to be said for a feeling of safety and 'home.'
And I've learned some important lessons. I have learned that people are people no matter where they are. They are no better, or worse, with or without an accent. I've learned to ignore negative commenters on YouTube - people make ridiculous assumptions and accusations from behind the anonymity of the internet and I simply don't let it get to me. But I've also been rewarded with heartfelt thanks from people who have said they are grateful that I shared what I did and helped validate their own feelings. That's a heart-warming result.
I have also learned that I was right about some of my assumptions about the UK. The sheer age of the cobbles under our feet cap centuries of stories that seep into the very air here. People are raised with it and take it for granted. But for me, I see it objectively, for the rich and wonderful wellspring of stories this land is, and it is like candy to my creative mind. Also, the 'scratchy' illustration style preference of the UK has seeped into my own style and made me better as an artist. That's exactly what I hoped would happen. So, I have achieved my goals. YAY!
It will be interesting to check back in and reflect once more when the views hit 500,000. Maybe you can help? Have a watch on Youtube, click the image below. (And maybe leave a nice comment?)