I miss you. There, I said it.
I know I've never really told you this enough, but I love you.
I never really appreciated you and how much you mean to me. I was enticed by the bright lights of America. I fell for blockbuster films and far too many episodes of Friends. I left without turning back.
At first I was on the rebound. America had everything you didn't. There were boys with cute accents and free gym membership and more types of peanut butter than I could even dream of. Everything was bigger, everything was better and I knew right then this was where I wanted to be.
But then there was the lack of vegetarian gravy in the supermarket, everyone staring at me for the way I dress in a sea of jeans and hoodies and doors regularly shut in my face when the person in front of me didn't look behind then. People couldn't tell what I was saying sometimes, or they didn't care enough to try. I missed having a cup of tea made in a kettle and people knowing what I meant by biscuits and understanding that not all biscuits are cookies.
Suddenly bigger didn't always mean better. Bigger meant long bus rides to even go clothes shopping and having to wait until someone with a car could take me to buy food. I realised that Mall of America, the Mall of my dreams, was a two-hour drive away. I realised that Chicago, which looks so close on a map, really takes 8 hours to get to. The weather started to turn, and I started to miss our mild winters.
I started to miss being able to go out drinking with my friends. I missed my little country, where in a two-hour drive you can get from Manchester to Birmingham, or Birmingham to London. I started to miss trains, getting me from A to B for what now seems like pennies.
I missed pound coins after trying seven dollar bills to get a Diet Coke and not one of them working.
I missed people taking me seriously without asking me where I was from.
I missed blending in and not having my accent make me a topic of discussion.
I'm sorry England. I'm sorry for all the times I moaned about the rain, and all my vows to meet an American boy and leave you forever.
I'm sorry I complained about my dirty town. Stockport, I'm sorry. You're a dump, but you're my dump. And you're a dump with Top Shop.
England, I'm okay with just the choice between smooth and crunchy peanut butter. I don't need to have thousand varieties. I'm okay with the rain, I have a leopard print umbrella.
I'm sorry I left you and abandoned you. I'm sorry I thought the land of the free would be better than the land of home.
I hope you take me back again, and we can start again.
I will always love you.