My London, my home

Saturday, 21 March 2015

It's the sidewards glances I get that evoke something within me. The sneers when I announce that I'm leaving London. That yes, in my 27th year on this planet, I am going against the heavy flow of whippersnappers fighting their way into the capital to make something of themselves; to be somebody. Instead, I am fleeing the bustle.

To be fair, I'm only going to Manchester. It's hardly a revolutionary change. Same 24-hour multi-layered city, different size, 200 miles away. But it's not London and that's what appears to incite panic in these people. The family and friends, colleagues and customers, and strangers that I meet in every day life. It's like I've announced that my life is over and I'm taking myself away to die. But I'm not. Actually, I feel totally the opposite - like my life is finally beginning.

I think I've been somewhat of a late starter. Too busy worrying about the what ifs and might happens. Just safely plodding along until things were all aligned, and then I could plot my escape. But escapism never came. I never ran away to university and I never took a year out to go travelling. While these opportunities can still definitely happen in my lifetime (and no doubt will at some point) just being content with what I've made of myself so far isn't going to cut it for me. You know me, I can't sit still. I crave adventure and I crave change. Why do you think I dye my hair so much?

I was lucky enough to have been born in London, a proper shifty-but-streetsmart East End kid. I grew up discovering all the different journeys I could take from point A to B, both literally and metaphorically. I was immediately immersed into the hustle of city life, where sights like the beautiful winding River Thames and the tourist attractions that are poetically placed along it cease to amaze from an early age. I wondered, why on earth would people from all across the globe save for a lifetime to visit my London?

But now I'm faced with the possibility of only visiting the capital every few months or so, I get it. I finally get it. It's the comforting hue of red postboxes and telephone booths and TfL buses. The bedazzling smog that surround our many skyscrapers, executing that amazing photo. The evening walks, night buses and the morning tube commute. The theatres, the street performers and buskers, the cast and characters of everyday life. The differing suburbs and the alleyways that link them. The little glimmers that pop-up here and there, and the stalwarts that never die. The vastness of it all and yet, the way it feels so small. The fact that we hosted an Olympics just three years ago, and what a bloody good job we did of it too.

Now, when I see droves of tourists blocking up the streets and pointing in amazement at something that I once felt was so mundane and trivial, I no longer feel wound up and think to myself why? Instead, I am proud. Proud to call this my home. You can take the girl out of London, but you can't take London out of the girl.

1 comment:

  1. Welcome to Manchester! I hope you love it xxx