I’ve been living in London for 76 days now and it still feels like a dream. Not in an “I’m walking on sunshine” way where every moment of everyday has been perfect and unforgettable. It’s been a dream because I feel like I get to hit the refresh button and start anew.
Hitting the refresh button is about leading the life you’ve always wanted to lead but never had the guts to because something or someone was holding you back. Doing that thing you always wanted to do as a kid but never got around to doing as a grown-up because there were more serious grown-up matters to tend to (or so you thought). There is something empowering about starting with a clean slate because the possibilities really are endless.
If I were to liken my time here so far to anything else, it would be my experience studying abroad as an exchange student in New York back in the ‘fall of 2010’ (without which this blog wouldn’t exist). To my naive early twenty-something self, anything was possible and I was absolutely intoxicated on that feeling. Recapturing this wide-eyed fearlessness today has been exhilarating. Exploring new places, meeting new faces and soaking everything up like a sponge, albeit a wiser, more experienced and cynical sponge. Starting with a clean slate in a completely new environment gives us the permission to rekindle that youthful naivety we’ve all tucked away somewhere and forgotten about.
You might be thinking, “well, of course temporarily living in a different country offers you the freedom (and anonymity) to start afresh and be whoever you want to be before you have to come back to the realities of home”. The thing is, there is a natural ebb and flow to life. There are periods of intense momentum, like when you’re studying for that exam, working towards a job promotion or buying your first house. But then there are moments when you feel yourself wanting to shift gears or switch off – and it’s in those moments where you have the power to reflect and wipe the slate clean.
Here’s to the next 76 days.
x Grandma AL
The London Edition.