I have now celebrated fours years since I moved to London and I don’t know how to feel towards this anniversary. Let be completely transparent and honest. My mood isn’t exactly celebratory. Lately and special this year, my state of mind swings from melancholy to complete apathy. I’ve found myself at times not understanding what the hell am I doing here. Not recognising myself.
It’s four years, goddamnit, which is basically half of my adult life.
Four years when I came to London with a heart full of sorrow, but a head full of dreams. Coming to London was my choice. But this same choice was the choice I had to make between a life surviving, or a life living.
But when I came here I came for a job I knew wouldn’t be my passion and I just hoped it would be a mean towards an end. My father tells me no one likes his or her job. But while that might be all right for some, it will never be all right to me. I don’t think I was born to live such a dispassionate living. And while London has brought me so much of what I truly adore to do with my life, after four years, eighty per cent of my time is still spent on dispassionate mornings and tedious afternoons. It is still based on me pretending someone I’m not in an a place I don’t feel I should be in.
Four years. Four years in London.
And I do love this city. And I do hate it as well. I am finally able to admit I am in a toxic relationship with London. This is a relationship where I’m the only one giving, while getting nothing back. And it is also this love, this hate, this toxicisim that also makes me doubtful of my intentions to leave.
Four years. Coming here was a dream come true, and an achievement that did not come easy. Doors never simply opened to me. I had to force this door’s lock, an aged and rusty lock. This was a time in my life when I had lost hope of ever achieving anything worthwhile. I didn’t believe in justice. And I was only 23.
When I arrived to London and started to be a living part of it, I couldn’t believe it. And this lasted for a long time. London still didn’t seem real and yet I was a part of its daily routine. My week days spent in taking red double decker buses, suddenly always talking about the bloody wheater and understanding why the Brits do it, not even realising it that as time went by I was also starting to acquire a taste for tea, pies and gin and tonics. And my weekends were now passed visiting world renown galleries and museums. Strolling by Westminster Bridge and the abysmal sight of the Big Ben were often part of my routine. And worst of all – queuing. Yes. I found myself queuing too many times, and for too long.
I was becoming a Londoner who didn’t believe she was living in London. It wasn’t real. And I guess now it is. Because now I am aware of this unhealthy relationship I ended up getting myself into with this city. I worshipped it from the very beginning. And now I’m stuck.
I feel like I need to go out not to be miserable, by accepting that I will be miserable after leaving it. Like a painful break up. Afterall, already four years. It’s like an epic romance, where the lovers cannot leave apart, but never be happy living together.
I’ve always read about love being blind. I have been giving so much of myself to this city, blinded by the idea of it. I have sold my soul to a job I don’t enjoy anymore, been living in a room, not being able to afford more than that. I have let my skin become paler and paler with the lack of sunlight, my body suffering with the lack of vitamin D, isolated myself from friends and family, lost touch with my own language, got sidetracked with the promise of more. But there’s never more. There is only London and I did all of this for it.