I’m on another train journey, but don’t worry I’m not going to bang on about trains again, but what goes up must come down so I’m doing just that.
After 3 days (isn) up in Yorkshire I am returning to London and falling back into the grind (and actually spending longer than a day in this new office of mine). Any time I leave London I am reminded that without a shadow of a doubt I pretty much belong there. Or maybe not specifically just there, but I am a city girl right down to my very core. I thrive on the buzz that comes with a city and even though it can definitely feel overwhelming at times there is no way I would be able to function anywhere but the city.
I’ve just spent 3 days surrounded by beaches and rolling hills and greenery and the ocean and while it was all fucking great and felt like I had reset something within me that I didn’t realise I needed to (that’s a lie, I totally did I was just in mild denial about it) I couldn’t keep that up. I couldn’t keep walking down to the same beach and slowly strolling down by the ever changing tides edge and getting sand everywhere and seeing the same people every day and living this quiet life in this quiet town indefinitely. And I don’t even think this is because I’m in my 20s and the thought of living that slow a life is borderline terrifying because there is so much I want to do and I can do that with great ease when I live half an hour from the capital city, although I can acknowledge that an element of this does come from that, I think a lot of it comes from the fact that I am just not built that way.
I was never gonna get the grades to get into York uni anyway, but it was an option I left open for myself and was then one that I really hoped I could shut down almost instantly because when I visited the uni it was effectively in the middle of fucking nowhere. And to get to a place where there felt like there was something going on took too long and was too much effort. It sounded good in theory and in my head I knew it would carry some weight to be able to say that I have a degree from York, but deep down I knew the second that I stepped foot on the campus that I would never have been happy there and it would have broken me a lot sooner than uni ended up doing in the end. At one point I was fully convinced I wasn’t going to get the grades to get into Liverpool either, but I knew the second I stepped out of that train station for the first time that if I ended up there that I would feel just fine there. I knew that (eventually) I might even thrive there because there was just something about the city that although not the one that I am used to just felt like home. It was familiar but different. It was comforting and because cities are total bitches it definitely almost broke me, but it also built me back up again.
My 3 years in Liverpool are the only time that I haven’t lived in North London and honestly, at this moment in time, they will probably be the only 3 years I don’t live in some area that considers itself London. One city, vibe wise (because yeah I talk about vibes and shit), that even comes close to the one that I call home is New York. Although I imagine living in that city in a hugely idealised fashion which is most definitely in no way practical and so as a result the only place that I can really imagine myself living in is the one that I was born in.
Maybe I feel this way because I born in a city and was never part of that quieter, slightly slower paced life and the idea of switching to a setting like that baffles me massively and to be honest almost scares me. I can deal with the slower pace of the seaside/countryside for max 3 days I have learnt over the years, but anything longer and I get some sort of cabin fever. If we’re talking holidays, like sandy beaches, clear blue water and spending hours poolside with a frothy book in hand then I can go about 10 days…maybe. I’ve haven’t tested that one recently because I haven’t been on a holiday like that in 8 years, but in theory that seems like my limit. Then, as much it drives me up the bloody wall, I start to crave people just stopping in the middle of a busy street so they can study a map on their phone. I start to almost miss being on a totally rammed train and then hearing someone call from the door that they are half hanging out of ‘can you move down the train please!’ (the answer is honestly no, all the space in the narrow metal tube is being occupied by more bodies than I imagine was intended for it). I miss pulling out the station and seeing The Gherkin in all it’s green lit glory and The Shard being excessively tall and unfinished looking pan out in front of me. I miss the graffiti in the seemingly impossibly high places that vary in degrees of decency and for some reason need to get more philosophical the higher up they are spray painted. I just start to miss the city as a whole because it moves at a frequency that I am unknowingly tapped right into.
Basically the moral of this story is that I am a city girl through and through and although getting a bit of sea air has effectively control, alt, deleted my life and mind set it’s gonna take a lot to change that.
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