I guess it's been awhile since I've written anything on here, but don't worry, I'm not dead. I've just been overwhelmingly busy. In the last few months, I've been working full-time, writing elsewhere (online and for print publications, yippee), trying to maintain some semblance of a social life in my new city and on top of it, I moved into my own place, which was a wonderful milestone.
For the first while of being here in the UK, I was subletting, and after that sleeping on a couch for awhile. I was lucky to have the accommodations that I did, but I desperately wanted a quiet, peaceful place to come home to after work where I could veg out, take baths, write, paint, and make myself at home with my candles, my postcards, my plants ... you know, homey odds and ends.
When I first moved in, which was also the weekend of my birthday, my friend Esther gifted me with the above key tag, and it took a lot for me to avoid bursting into tears. I'm not a crier, but moving to a new country and starting over, not knowing many people and just generally feeling like a drifter from the start ... it all had an intense impact on my mental and physical health. While everyday I was grateful to be in this amazing city, a place I fall in love with more week after week, the initial financial strains and housing instability made me feel panicked. So receiving the key tag, and attaching it to my new keys to the place where I'll be living for the next year was overwhelming. A weight was lifted off my shoulder.
Later that weekend I celebrated my birthday by zoning out at a Turkish hammam, and then wandered into Peckham Rye Park where the light was perfectly golden, the sky was pure blue and the trees and gardens were lush and green. It was picturesque and another reminder of why I'm here. I felt a huge sense of peace after second-guessing myself for weeks.
I realized, also, that I'd been so incredibly hard on myself. Only recently has my three-month anniversary with London passed, and the whole time I was beating myself up about my progress here. But taking stock, I realized I have accomplished so much and I have so much to be grateful for.
I don't need to have it all figured out three months in, or even six months in, to being here. I have a two-year visa, and I came here to grow as a person, to see new things, to get away from Toronto, a place that was boring me to death (very little hyperbole here), and most of all, to have fun. So it's high time I start dragging myself down just because I've hit a few speed bumps.
Now that it's November and 2016 is crawling towards its end (which is freaky, since I crystal-clearly remember riding my bike in the grey afternoon on January 1st and thinking to myself how crazy it was that I was moving to London this year), I'm doing a lot of reflecting. I've done so much this year, I'm so proud of myself, and I can't wait to see what 2017 brings.
After all, 7 is a lucky number.