I don’t tell people very often but living in London is something I’ve been dreaming about this since I left high school. Maybe it was something about the allure of a foreign place, maybe it was something about my best friend from primary school (whom I hadn’t seen in 16 years) living there, maybe it was something about knowing that at some point some part of my family used to live there, or maybe it was just a big beautiful city that I saw photos of.
Why am I so in love with it?
I really think of it is just like a relationship. On my best days I feel I love the city, I love the way the moon shines, I love the people on the tube, I love the kindness that I see all around me.
It’s the kindness that not everyone else spots.
It’s the kindness of someone helping someone else up the staircase with a heavy suitcase, because I know what that feels like.
It’s the kindness of people smiling at the guy outside my tube stop selling the Big Issue, because he is so much a part of the local fabric of my neighbourhood.
It’s the energy I get from staring at the big bright lights of Piccadilly Circus, and knowing I can duck down a back street and know where I’m going.
It’s the fact that I can Google anything that I want to do and can imagine, and I’ll have access to that.
On the flip side, it doesn’t mean I don’t have my grumpy days with it. It doesn’t mean I don’t wake up some days and wish it were warmer, or wish the sun would shine brighter. It’s just that all of those moments are so worth the pleasure that I get when I’m so in love with it.
And it’s even more than all those moments. It’s because London is representative of a commitment that I made to myself many years ago. I can truly say in every moment that I’m staying authentic to myself and have made this dream come true.
And THAT is a realisation I haven’t really made until quite recently – that I am living my dream. And that living my dream is not always that beautiful celebrity glossy magazine print version of it, living my dream is hard work. I’m really tired right now. I was really tired dictating this message as I walked in the door after a long day. But I know that I’m doing something every day that puts me closer to being in a place of authenticity.
I started watching this interview that Brene Brown does with Oprah on her series called ‘Living Brave’ recently. Oprah opens by saying what she thinks vulnerability is. Part of her definition includes that it’s ‘being so able to show your own soul so that other people can see theirs in a reflection of yourself’. It’s being so willing to give that up and to stay true to who you are – and I absolutely believe that too.
I want all of you to feel that and see that too. To stop putting everyone else’s dreams, everyone else’s image or picture they put out into the world up on a pedestal, or on the front cover of a magazine and to start putting YOURS up there and seeing it for what it truly is. Seeing it for each of those beautiful moments.
Remembering that life is made up of moment to moment experiences and simply by stopping and reflecting on that I have realised that an accumulation of all of those moments is actually adding up to me getting what I want out of life.
So, why am I so in love with London?
Because London is a place that breathes, a place that gives, it’s a place full of diversity, and every single person in every single moment that I come across in this city is buzzing with their own story to tell and their own story for me to learn from me and for me to see my soul in everyone else around me.
And for that I’m eternally grateful.
Not just to the city, but I’m eternally grateful to myself for finally, finally saying yes to me. And, for following through.