I have a friend who told me that when she moved to London it was as if she’d recognised that even though the city would break her heart, she didn’t care- she went home with it on the first date and let it cum on her face.
No. Wait. That’s not right. That’s not what she said.
She said she just… knew. Knew that if she let it, London would definitely show her a good time, probably change her in ways she couldn’t yet put her figure on, and most certainly leave her for somebody thinner in the end?
I don’t think I was listening properly when she tried to explain this.
BUT. But, but, but, despite the fact I just screwed that extended metaphor up, I HAVE A POINT.
I’ve been doing it wrong. The clouds of worry have parted, the dismal rainy insides of my over-think-y mind have cleared, and the first rays of spring sunshine are peaking through into my psyche to suddenly make me say, well fuck. I think I’m gonna let London moisturise my face, too!
(I wish I were more sorry about the porn in this post.)
There are many things I believe go against what is true and right and real in life that, because I was worried I wasn’t cool enough for London, not edgy or creative or trendy enough, I basically sought out, in a self-destructive attempt to prove myself right that yup, London is wanky and not worth my time. I like being right. And self-destructive, apparently. It’s a bit like dumping a boy before he can dump you. WELL I NEVER REALLY LOVED YOU ANYWAY. etc.
Let’s move on by making some lists.
The Things That I Consider to be Largely Irrelevant to my Life and Reality in General include: All-glass buildings, knowing who the best DJ’s are, planning a route in advance on the underground, understanding Vietnamese food, shopping at American Apparel, and ironic facial hair.
The Things I Enjoy Very Much But Are The Opposite Of Cool include: dreamers, theatre and acting-y people, angels, getting drunk in the middle of the week for no reason at all, wearing my brother’s clothes, Scrabble, and using accents to aid everyday speech.
I spent most of the tail of last year feeling like a square peg in a round hole, because like I said, I accidentally moved to the trendiest part of the city and I saw how other people were building lives here i.e. within the remit of list one, far as I could tell, and decided that they were rubbish so I should move because I could never style my hair in that way.
But, OH HI COMMON SENSE, I felt like that because I was judging my London by the standards of other people’s London instead of having the strength of character to define my own rules.
And I know better than that.
London intimidated me so much (because she totally is cool and effortlessly stylish and basically the gateway to innovation and creativity) (and I mean, as we all know, a gal like me seldom gets intimidated by anything so heck, she must be amazing) (I’ve switched London’s gender from male to female now, haven’t I?) that instead of being uncomfortable- because moving somewhere new where you don’t know many people is designed to be uncomfortable- and being okay with that, I shouted loudly I DON’T EVEN CARE I’M GONNA GO TAKE MY BALL HOME AND WATCH T.V. ‘CUZ THIS IS CRAP ANYWAY i.e. the lady doth protest too much.
But I was overlooking the most important fact of all: London doesn’t give a shit.
London is precisely so intimidating because there are no rules, no matter how hard you try to make some, and that’s why people love it here. That’s why I’m starting to love it here. It’s a blank canvas that couldn’t care less how you colour it, or even if you do at all. London basically shrugs nonchalantly and indicates with the sweep of a hand that, well, here’s what I’ve got, take it or leave it.
And when she does that she is basically gesturing to every opportunity any human being could ever want, all easily accessible as long as you’ve got an Oyster card.
I’ve spent my entire adult life kicking and screaming about how things should be done, and now I’ve found myself in a city that has looked me dead square in the eye, gaze unwavering and focused, and said: well go on then. Or you too scared? Whatever- I’m bored of you now.
And that’s exhilarating and terrifying and confusing and basically I can fight, flight or flee, and for a minute there I thought I’d flee. But now I understand that finally everything I’ve ever wanted is mine for the taking AND I WILL MOTHERFUCKING GRAB IT ALL.
I get it now- I do. I was doing it wrong. London is bloody ace. It’s all mine to conquer.
However I want.
However I want.
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