amyleon

Missing London.

      I miss London incredible amounts. So I took the time to sit and really think about my time there and all of the things I did and experienced. Fortunately the list is long :)

I challenged myself to take classes I would never take like gothic Literature, and I learned from that mistake.

 I did poetry all over London. I won a London slam. I got offered gigs after every performance, and was given pouts when I couldn’t make it. I was invited to join 3 collectives, all which I had to turn down because my time here was short. I was paid for my words. I was accepted by a group of artists who didn’t care who I was, where I’ve been, or where I was going. They wanted me then, in the present, they soaked me all in and did life with me. We breathe alike, and though I’m leaving I don’t think I’ll forget our breathing pattern.

 I was an extra in a film that went to Cannes. At this film shoot I met a guy named David. I didn’t know it then but he was going to alter the rest of my time in London…for the better.

 I was challenged to edit in my creative writing class which has always been hard, and I succeeded in writing about my mothers condition. I was honest.

 I started talking to my birth mother again. Not too often and not too personal, but I’ve been kind. She sent me a card for my 21st birthday, and I read it this time.

I turned 21. 

I got drunk for the first time…in Berlin. What a memory. What can I say I’m in Europe!

I inspired people one at a time to face their fears of performing, and got people who could have never imagined themselves on a stage, under the spotlight. I am proud of them.

That boy David, gave me the best gift I could have ever asked for, his friends. They quickly became family. All of us lived together for two weeks in a townhouse on Edgeware Road. Every 5 minutes I asked myself “How on earth did I find these amazing people?” it was unbelievable. We dealt with each other’s awful laughter, sleeping habits, pain, and joy and expected absolutely nothing in return. They were a group of friends who made a spot for me in their hearts. One of them said to me “You are my greatest disappointment.” I didn’t quite understand until she said “You walked into our lives too late.” This made me cry, with a smile on my face.

I saw my two best friends in the entire world, in England. We never expected to be here, but by the grace of God and the generosity of people we made it. We had sleepovers just like we do in the states, and took adventures none of us expected to have. I learned that in friendship the only thing that changes is location.

I have gotten closer to God in a way only He could understand. I brought my friend to a 3 day Christian women’s conference that I never thought she’d survive. We did it together and she left with her first ever Bible, and my heart has never been happier.

I went to Spain (Cadiz & Seville), Germany (Berlin), Ireland (Dublin & Kilkenny), Scotland (Edinburgh & The Highlands), and France (Paris). I lost my passport, experienced the American Embassy in Ireland and made friends with tons of people. I bumped into a girl in Spain who knew one of my closest middle school friends…what a small world!

I know this is very long, but it is therapeutic. Its helping me realize just how much I did. hmm what else…

I got pet more than 300 times by people all over the world. Clearly they have never seen big hair before.

I didn’t experience racism at all, which made me realize just how much I experience it back home in America. That was eye-opening.

I paid my own phone bill. It wasn’t that bad, if only American phone companies were as cheap -_-

I had full control of my money and budgeted everything…I did a pretty great job with it too and ended up living in London extremely under budget. Believe me that was a shock! 

I had roommates I actually liked for the first time in my college career.

 I volunteered at a soup kitchen and met a beautiful woman named Maria, who reminded me why helping others is the perfect way to live your life.

I met a homeless man named JP who said “I bet you sing beautifully. I haven’t heard you, but I can tell from the kindness in your voice.”

A guy from a London University, who has seen my work on YouTube, recognized me on the street. He stopped me and told me how much he enjoys my work, congratulated me on winning the slam, and said he’d keep an eye out.

I got used to the small shower.

I drank tons of tea. I’ve learned not to hate it.

 I went to Margaret Thatchers funeral and stood in milk-covered streets as people reacted to her death. It was definitely a once in a lifetime experience.

I saw Matilda, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night time, One Man Two Guvnors, and many more.

AH THERES SO MUCH MORE. This made me really happy. I can’t wait to make this summer count in the city! :)

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Performance by Amy Leon ladies & gentleman. #iamadventhope #cafenight #amyleon #singer #performer #poet (at Church of the Advent Hope)

Made with Instagram

AHHH ITS HAPPENING! When I first came here a wonderful woman named Marnie told me that I was here in London to “Make it happen.” And I am! I have been doing poetry slams and open mics all around London and have met some amazing people doing it. The other day after a performance a girl came up to me and asked if I could help her get started. So now I have a student!

Last week I got a message that asked “If you have time would you like to be one of our feature poets?” …would I like to? Do I have time!?  OF COURSE. I am getting a 20 minute slot at an awesome pub to speak life and truth and whatever ideas I feel like sharing into the ears of Londoners! I’m the only American…and the best part is I am getting paid! Isn’t this poster a beauty? I am so pumped. *chubbykidsmile*

I've started reading.

I am currently reading a book called A Million Miles in a Thousand Years by Donald Miller. Excuse me while I dive into cliché about how the book is changing my life. I started reading it a few days ago in a playground in Pennsylvania. I was sitting on a  child swing, despite the fact that there were many children in the park waiting for me to move so their mommies could push them. But I figured I’d give one mom a break and occupy the swing until Elianna and Julian were ready to go home for naptime. I am Elianna and Julian’s unofficial but so very official aunt. Unashamed I sat there pushing myself book in hand. To all the kids who glared at me with their itty bitty faces, freedom comes with self sufficiency :)

Pennsylvania is one of my favorite places in the world. Since the age of 12 I have been coming here to escape the rush of the city. New York City. I am currently on a bus there right now…from Pennsylvania. Goodbyes are always the hardest because children grow faster than the speed of light and seeing the difference in height and intellect whenever I return always makes me feel like I’ve missed something. But my conversations with the children are always so rewarding, that I’m filled with pride by their rapid learning and can never wait to return to see what new words they’ve learned and what new forms of sass they will bring to the table.

Since Pennsylvania holds such a sense of peace for me, I am glad that I finally brought a book along. I can’t even remember the last time I read a book for pleasure…or for educational reasons for that matter. Needless to say, I was excited. This book has been in my possession for nearly a year and I don’t even think the owner knows I have it. I think Ben will be pretty happy when I return it to him on Wednesday. I remember the day I took it out of his hands. We were having a songwriters meeting and someone else, I forget who, was returning it to Ben and thanking him for the recommendation. I asked about it and they said it was a must-read so I said I’d take it and bring it to the next meeting. We had several meetings and I never brought it back. I even forgot I had it until I was packing for my semester abroad in London. I decided to pack it because I knew I had to return it sometime, and returning a book that you haven’t read to a friend is awkward. A whole 4 months in London filled with opportunities to read went to waste as I let the book gather dust on my desk.  Honestly when I packed it for my trip to PA I never intended to actually read it. But I’m glad I’ve started. 

Ok, so what’s the deal with the book huh? Well, its exactly what I need right now. It is about how Miller learned to live a better story. Through his journey and his flat out honesty I have come to the realization that I am not living a story that I am proud of. I go through the motions, I take opportunities and I give them, but none of my experiences are nearly as fulfilling as they seem. Don’t get me wrong I am terribly thankful for my life, for everything I have done and all the people who have gotten me to where I am. But I do not think that I am taking the risks necessary to live the full life I daydream of having.

I daydream a lot, and in reading this book-which I haven’t finished yet- I have come to terms with the fact that I need to start taking those day dreams and living them, and if I’m not gonna live them…well I at least need to stop wasting time having them.

So that is exactly what I am going to do this summer….and hopefully for the rest of my life. I am going to be daring, honest, risky, and have a heart that follows God and believes in whimsy. It will be scary, but fear is a choice, and for the first time in my life I am choosing to not let fear make my decisions.  

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This semester has been one of adventure. I have walked on parts of the earth that I have only dreamed of, places that even when dreaming seemed impossible to reach. These are three of those places. 

Upper left: The top of a mountain! Arthur’s Seat in Scotland.

Upper right: The highlands in Scotland.

Bottom:  Alcazar in Seville, Spain. 

:)

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Key-holders.

I was asked to write a piece for NYU New Yorks “Cup of Hope” event that is going on today! So I wrote this for all survivors of sexual abuse. May we realize that we are the key-holders to our freedom and that hope is born in the marrow of new beginnings :)

Performed live in London. After I performed this a London poet came up to me (which was really exciting because she was EXTREMELY talented and i have never met her before) and she said “The only way I can thank you is by giving you two of my poems” then she gave me two fantastic poems that I will hold very close to my heart. 

Watch on lundylion.tumblr.com

Singing some James Blake at the top of the Franzosischer Dom in Berlin!

James Blake is one of my favorite artists. I have been lucky enough to see him 3 times while here in London and I have met him twice. Me and him have a great budding friendship that I hope unfolds into a collaboration one day. So of course when I was in this beautiful church I had to sing one of his songs :)