Six years ago today, I left Scotland to make a new life in London.
Six years ago, I was nervous about starting a new job, making new friends and finding my way in a new city where I only knew one person.
Four years ago, a blessing disguised as a devastating life event blew my comfortable, ever-so-slightly boring life into the wind. Confused, frightened and reeling, I moved to Dalston; an area of London new to me back then, which quickly became home and remains one of my favourite places not just here in London, but anywhere in the world.
The friends I made in that Dalston flat saved my London life, so much that I still sometimes wonder where I would have ended up without them. Those special ladies are still among my closest friends, although today we’re all living in different time zones.
Three years ago I’d just started a new job; overwhelmed with imposter syndrome I struggled to find my way. But I persevered, made some new friends in the office, went to therapy (more about that another time), moved again and ended that year with a clear plan about my future in London.
Last year, as I watched the New Year fireworks in central London from the roof of the New Zealand High Commission (thanks to another London friend I met while taking a language class at L’Institut Français in South Kensington) I knew 2019 would be my year. I knew I’d finally exorcise my last remaining demon and I knew I’d move into my own London flat at last.
Today I’m making the same journey I first made six years ago, but now it’s London I call home. Today I’m glad to be coming back to my own home, filled with my familiar things, even though many of the friends I’ve made in the last six years have now left London for their own new adventures out in the world.
The course of my life over these years certainly hasn’t been smooth, but without that rough road, I don’t think I’d be the person I am today. I know I wouldn’t have met the people who have become so important to me, who supported and guided me when I couldn’t see which way to go, when I felt like I didn’t belong anywhere.
Things change. Where you once felt sure and steady, gradually you feel like a spectator. Where you once felt overwhelmed and uncertain, suddenly you discover excitement.
Enjoy the journey, and keep facing forward. Let’s welcome the next year, or six.