Can we please just take a minute to appreciate this nameless traveler who adds an unnecessary aura of pensiveness to my photo above? I secretly wish I was him, instead of on my side of the camera, in a train, going away from the Thames. But hey, not all of our dreams come true now do they?
…or do they?
I’m a full supporter of chasing your dreams and following your heart, as fleeting, inconsistent, or irrational as it may seem. And right now, my heart is telling me that London is the next place to make a life for myself. Or am I getting that mixed up with Dublin? I think writing this in London is obscuring my judgement.
Put aside my total fangirling over Shakespeare, James Bond, Peter Pan, or Harry Potter. As well as my love for English accents (although I do love Irish and Scottish just as much). I can now proudly say that I’ve observed London in every season except spring. And in each season, I still can’t seem to get enough of it. Sure it’s a big, dirty, cold city. But it’s just got so much history, potential, and and…magic? Is that what I feel whenever I go there?!
Last time I was here was for a weekend in February of 2016, and I remember walking through Hyde Park with Sem, and just dreaming about living here one day. If this desire has lived in me for over a year and a half, then I think it’s safe to say it’s something I’ve got to do, right? Just like how my tattoo was a two year long thought process. At 18, that tattoo became a thing, and I still love it. Maybe that’s how I’ll feel about London.
One thing I’ve been thinking about is this idea of “settling down”. I’ve realized that living a nomadic life is quite lonely. Mostly from messaging Mei and asking how she’s doing. She’s still in travel mode, has been since July, and will continue until November before she goes home to Melbourne. I’m also thinking about these two English guys, James and Luc, and how they’re still in travel mode as well, off somewhere in South America. I remember Luc saying they would be gone until December. As much as I love traveling, I’m starting to realize that being “stuck” in one place isn’t a bad thing, as long as you’re in love with where you are. It’s comforting. Adaptability is an incredible skill to have, but so is the ability to form meaningful, deep relationships, and grow and maintain them over a long period of time.
Face your mistakes from yesterday into tomorrow, rather than fly away knowing that there’s a comfort in never seeing someone again.
I’m not saying that London is 100% where I’m going to move to after graduation, nor am I saying that the next place I live is where I will live for the rest of my life. But I am seeing the value of putting roots down somewhere, finding a little corner in this world to call my own, rather than parading around the globe homeless. The question, is where do I want to end up?
I was listening to my latest obsession, a podcast called Invisibilia, and that episode was all about categories, how we love categories, and how we feel secure when we finally find ours. It goes against my anthro professor’s conclusive statement about living in the post-modern era where we don’t like categories. But I think he’s wrong, and that we just want to make new categories. And I think I’m in the process of figuring out my category, and then deciding where that category fits best. Starting with my physical place on this earth.
For example: I’m a dog person over a cat person. I like coffee and tea equally. I’m a morning glory rather than a night owl. I’m a flighter, not a fighter. So, where does a morning glory who gets scared easily go when she wants to walk her dog and choose her preferred beverage according to her mood? That, my friends, is what I’m still trying to figure out.