Thursday, March 25, 2010

#35 Ode to London

March 25 2010

Ode to London

So this is it. I am packing up all the final bits of my flat and we are within 5 days of the move date. My life in London is well and truly coming to an end. Thinking back over the last 6 years and all my time here, I can't help but smile. The fact that I ended up in London was all down to a vacation that I had gone on with my old roommate from LA. There are so many small and tiny decisions that were made in that period that ended up having a monumental effect on my life. So I wound up in London, with little more than the naivety that only a 23 year old can possess.

London represents my 20's and freedom. It represents years of questionable decisions and nights that I can't remember and nights I wish I couldn't remember.. People and friends have come and gone, bars and clubs have come and gone, and like everything good.... London is coming to an end. I think everyone leaves London at some point. Whether they are searching for more space for a growing family or whether they are yearning for a more quiet and less smoke filled existence in the expanses of the countryside. But I leave here knowing that I did this town proud. I was packing up some things last night and came across an old journal of which had entries from my final semester at Brown all the way up to me meeting Matt. I also found a letter that my mother wrote to me the night before she left after having helped me move over here. I can honestly say it brought tears to my eyes. I couldn't have imagined then how it would all turn out. I also found another entry during those first few months, where I was so lonely that I used to cry myself to sleep. Now anyone who knows me will probably be horrified at that statement, but it's true. I had never ever been so desperately lonely as during my first few months in London. But it's all part of the process. If it was easy, then everyone would do it.

Bye bye London, I love you more than words can say.

What London means to me in a nutshell:

Best friends
Sterling, Bertie, Bondi, Hazzler, Colin, Dal, Megan, Sophie, Jeffers, Ryan, Becs
Eades, Badders, Scorch, Reena, Talisa, Jackey, Uncle Reesy, Garns, Brad, Glenn, Bobby
Brown Dog
Sands End
Duke on the Green
La Famiglia
the City
the District Line
Elizabeth King
The Ship
South Park and all the dogs - Mash, Benji, Teddy, Jack, Yorda, Lucy, Luca, Lola, Chantey, Hendrix, Willow, Coco, Oscar, Fin, Ruby, Preztel, Wilma, Luna, and all the rest of the lovlies
Travelling the world, Thailand, Vietnam, India, Croatia, Paris, Capri, Rome, Norway, Sweden, Zanzibar, Ireland, Tuscany, Edinburgh, Valencia
Early days of partying in Farringdon and King's Cross... Kate Dwyer
Thanksgivings with the group - Cotswold, Tuscany, Kinsale, Suffolk
Road rage
Soot in your nose
Commerce Partners
Harbor Group
Churchill Arms
Portabello Market
Vintage shopping
More rain
wash out summers
White winters
King's Road
Ledbury Road
Dover Street Market
Mount Street
The Berekely
The 22 bus
Richmond Park
Wimbledon Common
Teddy the German Sheppard
Edward Rutherford novels
Guitar hero
The Derby
Aragon House
Bond Street
Parson's Green
Broomhouse Road
Settrington Road
Parson's Green Lane
Westbourne Terrace
Musgrave Crescent
Shorrolds Road (yes I have moved 6 times in 6 years)
Sophie's Steak House
Mahiki birthdays
Hyde Park
The V & A
Men in skinny jeans
Ark Day Spa
Eve Lom facials
Elvis night at Novello's
John and Gail
Singing Irish songs
Rugby at Twickenham
Veal milanese
Chez Bruce
Me Me's
The Big Easy
Lucky Voice

I am sure there is so much more but I will miss all of the above and hope that the next step is just as big an adventure whatever it may be!

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

March 16, 2010

Well well... quite a lot has happened since my last The Ride. I took a few weeks off due to internet connection issues, laziness and just a general lack of topics. But The Ride is back on track.

I feel as though everything is about to change and it's not just some niggling feeling, everything is about to change. I was commenting on how brave I thought one of my friends is. She is 30 years old and is leaving her entire life in LA and what she knows to move to London. She knows a handful of people here and has a great job, but I've really got to tip my hat to her. Not many people would have the balls to completely upheave their lives for something new and unknown. It made me realise how much I sometimes underestimate what Matt is doing for me. He is in the exact same boat. He is upheaving his entire life here in London, all of his friends and family, traditions and memories, for a new and unknown life in southern California. No matter which angle you look at that from, it takes a huge leap of faith. I guess I bring it up now as it's nice to see these big leaps of faith still being made, whether someone is leaping to a new country, a new relationship or a new life. As we get older we inevitably get more comfortable in our day to day lives and taking these leaps of faith and making huge changes becomes scarier and harder to do.
I know that I've expressed mixed feelings about the institution of marriage but like all major decisions, I think one has to take it with a huge leap of faith. My long term boyfriend, Matt, and I got engaged recently. It was one of those incredibly special moments that I actually prefer to keep more private than some of my other exploits, thus I won't be detailing it on The Ride. So not only did I turn 30, not only are we moving our lives to CA, but we are also going to be planning a wedding and wrapping our heads around spending the rest of our lives together. All making me leap with lots of faith. If I was religious at all, I am quite certain I would be praying!

But ultimately change is good. It's healthy, and staying too long in one frame of mind or one way of life can be boring and taxing. People harp on quite a lot these days about change. You have Change Managers now popping up in even small to mid sized companies and hardly a week goes by where you don't read something about embracing change. Even Obama's campaign slogan was all about change. So why is change always so hard then? Looking around at my demographic, many of have been avoiding change for as long as we possibly can. Whether we are delaying taking that next step in our relationship, or putting back having a child, or blaming our lack of career change on the economy rather than on our own fears, it's pretty clear that we are all not full of leaps and faith. I guess I could sit here and try to pontificate why but ultimately it's very personal. We usually only change when forced to and then when it does happen we are happy we did and we always say how it was "for the best".

So in 2 weeks times I'll be writing the Ride in southern California and I imagine the change that brings on will give me a slew of topics to ponder. Things like; who will I make friends with?How will I cope working with my family? How will my relationship change being in a new country and both in new jobs and surroundings? How much will I miss London and my friends? Will we be happy or happier? I have no idea and it's pretty exciting knowing that anything is possible. But I've done big changes and they've always been the best things I've ever done. Even when those first few months are the most lonely and depressing months possible (hopefully Matt and Wicklow will eradicate this this time) I know it's always for the best.

Cheers to change!