Over 2 years ago I fell in love. It wasn’t love at first sight. It was the kind of love that starts slowly and kinda creeps into your life. I wanted it to happen but I didn’t quite realise how deep it had gone until recently. What captured my heart wasn’t a person, it was London. The entire entity of the city has me punchdrunk with love.
Being home in Canada for 6 weeks has truly made me realise how much I’ve fallen for London. Being away was just like being away from a lover. I wanted to check in with them, I wanted to see pictures, I wanted to go back. This came as a bit of a shock to me as I left fearing that spending such a long stretch of time in Canada, with falling into an everyday routine of going to work and seeing friends, I wouldn’t want to come back.
Turns out, Ottawa is no longer what it used to be for me. “Home” has always been an awkward concept for me. I was born somewhere I never lived, and had my entire life uprooted by my dad’s job twice at what seems to have been pivotal moments. Home has always been where my parents live. Ottawa has never quite felt like “home” but it has been for the last 10+ years for lack of a better description. But now I find myself writing “Going Home” for both my flights to and from London.
I guess it’s part of growing up and making a life for yourself, but both Ottawa and London now feel like “home”. They both have their own set of homey qualities. Ottawa is where my family and a lot of friends are, but London is where all my stuff is, where work is, where a whole other set of friends are. London is where I’ve built my life.
So here’s to another 5 years (or life!) and building on my new home!
Tomorrow is a big day for me in terms of my life in London. It will be the first big step in setting in stone my future… Frightening, I know.
Tomorrow I have my interview for my own job. Having that job is what allows me to stay in London. That in and of itself is amazing. After 2 years, I can’t imagine going back home. I have so much left to see and do here. I feel like two years has truly rushed by at lightning speed. I’m not ready to leave the city. Especially not now that I feel I’m truly carving a life here for myself.
More than that, I’m not ready to leave my job. When I came here, I was excited for the job just like anyone is excited for a new project. But it was mostly a way to get myself out of Ottawa. I knew it was going to be exciting to start something from scratch but I didn’t expect so many highs and lows. I’ve had to do so much here that I had never tackled before. I’ve learned so much.
I feel I’ve always coasted through jobs throughout my career. I’ve always enjoyed what I did, from the call centre to buying, but being in this job has turned my world upside down. I’m no longer coasting. I don’t have a support system to help me when I need it. I don’t have a boss that I can pass projects onto if they get above my skill level. Here, I’ve had to do it all. I’ve had to teach myself how to do so much and I am such a better person for it.
I’ve also been privy to a different world than back home. I’m talking to senior management or a regular basis, I’m providing my feedback and advice for new divisions… these are not things I would have been able to do back home. Since it’s a much smaller team here, I’ve been able to touch many more topics and grow.
Whatever happens, I’ll forever be thankful for this opportunity. My boss is amazing, my colleagues are amazing, it hasn’t always been easy but it’s always been rewarding. And honestly, what more could I want in a job?
So you’d think having my heart broken would mean that I took a break from dating. But following that old adage about getting back on the horse, I have had more dates planned. Dates with English guys.
Since I’ve been here, I’ve mostly stayed away from English guys. At first it wasn’t by choice, it was just the luck of the draw, but then it became a conscious decision as my limited experience with the English were getting worse each time…
The guy who broke my heart was a foreigner, maybe that’s subconsciously why I’ve given English guys another chance but I’m wondering why now. Maybe it’s just the guys I’ve met but here’s a short list of what I’ve found:
– they’re terrible kissers.
Not all of them but the majority of them. One guy I dated was super sweet and it seemed we got along well enough but the kissing was so terrible that I couldn’t face going on a third date with him. He was by far the worse kisser of my life. My face literally hurt from kissing him. He would just push his face into mine. Teeth would touch, tongues were poking awkwardly, it was a mess all around.
I had to learn what this word meant when I first moved here. Banter is the playful exchange of insults between flirting parties. Apparently is a good thing to tease each other. This is something people actively look for in their relationship. I enjoy the bit of teasing done in good humour but I wouldn’t call it the foundation of a relationship. I don’t fully get it and it makes a lot of guys look like dicks.
– they’re passive.
This could be the guys I’ve dated. But English guys have been more passive, slower to set up dates, less likely to make a real first move. Foreigners will grab and kiss you, the English will toy around with the idea and hug you goodbye or take forever to make a move. This is not hot in my opinion.
This is of course all subjective. Maybe I just have bad luck with dates in general. But the English are different it seems. I sadly don’t see myself falling for a Brit, even if I did manage to find one that was a good kisser.
In theory I had a fantastic Easter weekend. I was productive, got a lot of stuff around the house done, I went to a really random yplan comedy night and hung out with the hipsters in East London at a cider festival. But because a boy broke my heart (again) it all seems gloomy and the happiness seems like it was so far away that I don’t even feel as if it was just 2 days ago that I was blissfully happy drinking cider in the sun.
I didn’t come to London to find love, but in my mind I always hoped I would. I’m a beyond hopeless romantic even if I don’t even admit it to myself. I’ve been dating like a lunatic since I moved here, hoping to find someone to share all these new experiences with and it has lead to nothing but heartbreak. Yes, I’ve been on a couple great dates but the vast majority has left me feeling inadequate and lonelier than I felt when I began. London can do that to you. All big cities can. You’re in a sea of people yet you find yourself with no one to talk to.
This latest heartbreak has been the biggest one I’ve felt in years. And we weren’t even dating. But for over a year we’ve been going back and forth, with me believing that actions spoke louder than words. I know it sounds like they should, but not in this case. And now I feel like I’m going to be everyone’s words and action and wonder if I’ll genuinely trust anyone ever again. Isn’t that always the case with breakups? Even fake ones.
You can’t change the way you feel. All I can do is accept my feelings and make the most of them. Taking this as a chance to really break off something that has been unhealthy for me for a long time. I can say all the stereotypical things… say that what doesn’t kill me makes me stronger… That’s not how I feel now. I just feel lonely.
I also feel relieved. A new kind of free. And in times of need, you sometimes discover that you have a lot more than you think in your life. I was able to call people in Canada in the middle of the night and they listened to me snottily cry into the phone for over an hour. And one text to a friend here means that he was calling me making sure I was ok. He’s probably the best thing that has come out of my dating here. A date turned practically best friend. One that reminds me that my one true love is probably burgers. I had gfs invite me to Sunday roast, and even to church so I wouldn’t be alone . And that felt amazing. And the most random of all, I had my spanish flatmate, empathetically listen to me cry at 8am, not mind when I blasted Frozen on the tv and sang to my heart’s content taking over our living room and then even insist that I hang out with him and his friends and eat the amazing dinner he made.
So for now, I might cry for another couple of days, and I might swear off dating, again, and most likely throw myself into a million activities to fill my time and make me forget that I even have a heart but at least, with the help of friends, I made it out of bed today.
Being back in London feels awesome! Especially now that summer is dawning upon us. The days are getting longer, I’ve actually seen sun; I’ve even NEEDED my sunglasses it was so bright! Life is wonderful!
Summer also means the start of festivals and days in the park and drinking on the patios of pubs. There is already so much I want to do this summer I don’t even know where to start. I’m absolutely gutted that I’m gonna be missing probably 3 weeks in July as that’s when all the coolest concerts seem to be happening. BUT it’s fine as there’s still all the other weeks from now to September!
Nothing beats London in the summer. London is always full of life but it comes in full bloom in the summer. I can’t wait to be a part of it for another summer!
On the to do list:
– movie in the park
– concert at sommerset house
– anything at udderbelly
– bike rides
– walks by the canal
– East London randomness
– theatre in the park
I whole heartedly love airports. I love watching all the people and all the possibilities. Sitting here, you have no clue who is going and who is coming home. Who is about to start an amazing adventure or whose has just come to an end. You don’t know of it’s business or pleasure, although sometimes you can take an educated guess. You don’t know who is afraid to fly and who lives for the thrill of being miles high in the sky. And all the outfits, the tans, the backpacks. Seeing who still smells of beaches and sunscreen and those who look enviously thinking that it will be them sporting said tan in a week.
As I go home for 10 days, I wish I was going on a giant adventure. But then I realise, this IS my adventure 🙂
Sometimes, you just need to stop waiting for someone and go out there and do something you feel like doing. Even if it’s all by yourself.
That was my Saturday. As I was lying in bed debating just spending way too much time lying in bed I saw a glimpse of what was a rare sunny blue sky in London and decided to seize the day. I wanted out of my little bedroom. Unsure what to really do, I browsed trusty ol’ yplan and found it. Hannah. A “kid’s” play at the Unicorn Theatre.
I had been to Unicorn Theatre before and loved it. It’s a small-ish venue which means that basically every seat in the house is a good seat. The productions usually have a small cast and are always done beautifully. True, it might be aimed at a younger audience, but let’s be honest, I’m not very mature for a 28 year old. If it has shining lights, I will be amazed and awed and will love it. And Hannah was full of shining lights and great visual effects, therefore I loved it.
The play is actually based off Marlowe’s The Tragical History of the Life and Death of Doctor Faustus. I don’t usually associate literature from the 1600s with tales for children but it worked. It spun around a teenage girl who gets the chance to make the world spin around her. It touches pretty heavy themes like what would you do if you were offered the chance to do anything, anything at all. And it talks about how the world is interconnected and how one small change can create a ripple effect all across the world. It actually makes you think. You get quite caught up in Hannah’s excitement and adventure.
I probably got into the visual effects of seeing the world open up to Hannah as much as any 11 year old in the audience. Because of the size of the venue, if you’re sitting in the front row, you’re literally in the play. It’s a stunning experience.
Check out the trailer:
It’s only on until this Sunday! So if you have a chance, go check it out! We all could use a little beautifully put on play that makes us think about how our actions can impact the world.
More info/tickets: https://www.unicorntheatre.com/hannah
Would I do it again: YES! I hope I’m always amazed by shining lights and beautifully told stories.