It’s no secret by now that London has completely stolen my heart.
Having originally intended to move to the south coast of England, London was a last minute decision based on pure circumstance, opportunity, and fate. A big story began, and for once, the great tale, was my life. Now, this may only be a great tale for me, but nevertheless, to think that I created something worth even writing here is big. I think that if nothing else, I’m writing it for me, so that I can also see something that happened whilst I was trying to make things happen…
London is a city of beauty, magic, splendour, and grand everything! It can make you feel alone, surrounded, complete, empty, discouraged, on top of the world, poor, rich, lost, found, and everything else. It’s a city of extremes, intensity, love, hate, everything, nothing, searching, overwhelmed, and so on.
As you know by now, when I moved to London, I spent 9 months in a village and went to centre city whenever I wanted to and then ran home to my safe nest. In time, however, I realised that the fears and doubts I had had were true. Equally, the qualities of the people and my excitement were also true. It can be everything good and everything bad, that I have learned. Whilst the people are generally pleasant and nice, they are also very “English”, and this can really come across. I have several British friends that even notice it and are not thrilled about the truth of it. People can be tough, dry, rude, pretentious, ignorant, and condescending. That’s a reality with which I had to come to terms.
My main issue with London is that huge separation between what I call the “London Illusion” and the “London” reality. Let me explain…
People see London as this magical, classical, fancy place but they do not realise what it actually takes to live here. It is ranked amongst the most expensive cities in the world, some high streets being the most expensive on the planet! There are the rich people, and there are the people who struggle everyday. There is quite a large gap and a low average salary. I was having a conversation with my friends (who come from wealthy families no less), and even they admitted that unless you inherited money, got lucky, or can sit on the money you have made, living the “London” dream, as it were, is not actually for most people. You are either working too many hours to enjoy what your salary can offer you, or you are not making enough to be able to take advantage of the city fully. Obviously, you can always have a great time in London, see wonderful things, and experience a lot of what it has to offer! I am simply saying that if you compare to other cities, the level of accessibility is lower. Though, we do have about 17 million people here and a lot going on so I’ll give London a break. 🙂
My partner and I are lucky enough to be comfortable and as a couple, it is also easier because we live together and such. I would say we live a good balance because we can afford to be comfortable, spend money beyond needs but actually invest in “wants”, and also enjoy some finer things in life. But we work hard, we are careful with our money, we know how to budget, navigate the city, not take anything for granted, and we know how to arrange our priorities. Don’t get me wrong, we struggled with finding our flat, and changing jobs and so on. It was not easy. We have gone through all the normal life things! In fact, it was so intense at times that I really thought I may lose my mind. It was rather intense. Especially that back home, it was so easy and simple (and cheap!). BUT, that moment when you make it happen, and it all comes together, you just feel so incredibly happy.
If you are thinking of moving here, definitely get in touch if you have any questions at all!
To me, making it in London was everything. So had Law School been, then grad school. Now it is all coming to an end, as we are planning to move at the end of the year, and it feels funny… London has been such an absolutely amazing part of my life. It IS an amazing part of my life. I still have so much time, and I know London will always be part of us and our lives. So many happy and emotional times. So much to remember, so much to share. So much that shaped me, so much that protected me.
I am forever one with London for changing my life, holding me close, keeping me warm, bringing me back to life, helping me reach a level of my potential, and guiding me toward love, not only for myself, but for my beloved Tomas.
Thank you, London!
Thank you, readers!!