"You're moving to London? How exciting!" I heard this phrase more times than I could count as I told my friends and family I was leaving home to pursue a new career opportunity (although that’s not particularly difficult, as I suck at maths).
Four long years ago, I took the plunge and moved to (what my Grandma calls) "The Big Smoke". I had only been to London twice before I packed my bags, hopped on a train, played my women empowerment playlist, and pretended I was in an early 00s movie.
Moving from home is soo exciting
All I heard leading up to the move was how "exciting" it was going to be, and how "lucky" I was. I spent hours researching other people's experience about leaving home, and they all said how amazing moving is - and how beautiful your life will become as a result of it.
Being a lil gal in a big city is so romanticised in films and books - everything is supposed to be bigger, brighter and sparklier…but that's not actually the case. It's too big, a little smelly, the water tastes weird - and it's really, really lonely.
When people asked how I was finding the move, I always played it down - "yeah all good, a little scurrry but fun!". But it wasn't scurrry, it was scary.
We should normalise how scary moving away from your friends and family to a new place is! I wondered what was wrong with me when I looked outside and didn’t see the birds singing and people skipping down the street, and just saw a huge empty space where my friends should be. Why wasn't I seeing in new colours and discovering new senses? Shouldn't there be a permanent smile on my face as I fight off the millions of people who want to be my friend?
Why is 'I'm struggling' a taboo phrase?
For the first few months, I kept myself to myself and didn't open myself up to new opportunities. To be honest, I was utterly overwhelmed and feeling completely inadequate just because I wasn't grabbing life by the balls, and having the amazing exciting time I was promised.
Telling people how I was struggling made me feel almost… ungrateful. My experience was so different to what I saw in movies and read about online. I wasn't have the exciting time I was promised, and opening up about what I was going through made me feel like I was disappointing people, how embarazzzzing!
To tell the truth, everything was just…hard.
It's hard to live your best health queen life when Uber Eats exists
Cooking was hard (I wish I had shares in Dominoes the amount I ordered from them), getting on with 4 strangers in a house share was hard, and most importantly - meeting new people was hard.
You are only one decision away from a totally differently life
Eventually, I shook myself out of my funk - joined a gym, went to work drinks, socialised with my housemates and most importantly - I gave myself time!
I'm not sure how it happened, I'm not even sure when it happened! There wasn't one noticeable moment where the clouds parted and the universe threw a crystal at my head, but I was now certain that moving away from home was the best decision I've ever made.
Without even noticing, I had learned how to cook, colleagues in work became friends, and the strangers in my house share turned into family. Things were actually bigger, brighter and sparklier (although the water still tasted weird). I was experiencing the exciting opportunities I was promised, and I was suddenly living my best London life!
A ship in harbour is safe, but that's not what ships were built for.
- John A. Shedd
Moving to Landannn was the best decision I've ever made, because it got me to where I am now. I have a blossoming career, unbreakable friendships, a loving boyfriend, and a huge (no longer scary) place to call home. I would be half the person I am now if it wasn't for the amazing, beautiful souls I've met in this weird, sometimes lonely, city.