It’s the end of a long day. I don’t mind working – I’m one of those people who’s lucky enough to love what I do – but the offices I work from are the most sauna-like shoe-boxes you’ll ever experience. It’s hard to focus when a dribble of sweat sits persistently on the end of your nose all day!

I guess at the end of the day, to answer the Most Commonly Asked Question, I finally landed on my feet. I’ve decided I’m no longer panicked enough to jump ship and swim ashore… 

On the weekend I unpacked all the photos I brought with me, and a few postcards and pictures friends have sent while I’ve been here, and I decorated my flat. It’s a big deal for me – a few of you have probably realised I was getting pretty homesick for a while (and doing a terrible job of “putting on a brave face”). I was missing my friends and family – I wanted a hug, I wanted familiarity. But FINALLY something clicked in my brain and I knew I still wanted those things, but I also wanted adventure, experiences, and to be able to look back and have no regrets.

And to be honest, everything has come together nicely for me. I’ve made some beautiful friends, I love my neighbourhood, I’d really miss the art galleries, theatres, films and clubs if I wasn’t here, and I’m slowly learning to stop complaining about the manic weather. I have a video card, a Boots discount card and a travel card. I know where my local police station, Apple store and Sainsbury’s is (that’s all you need – isn’t it?). I’ve started planning summer trips to Prague and Paris and Christmas skiing vacations to Norway with friends – plans are afoot! I’ve even chatted with my brother about staying here long enough to go to Turkey next ANZAC with him.

And what, you may ask, is a girl like me getting up to tonight? I’m going to celebrate my new-found-London-confidence by doing something I never thought I’d go through with. I’m going to a really nice restaurant. By myself. And I’m going to order three courses. And I’m not going to rush through it. I will take a book (because I get easily bored) but I won’t read it while I’m eating.

For years I’ve admired those people who could, without obvious self-consciousness, spend time in a restaurant by alone. I have a friend who makes a point of spoiling herself like this every couple of months. It’s the barrier between the “quick cafe meal” and “taking my time at a nice restaurant” that I struggle with. But I’m going to do it!

 And yes – I know this whole self-discovery/finding my independance thing is a bit of a cliche, but I’m going to celebrate it anyway. What’s wrong with living a cliche, as long as they’re the happy ones?!

*raising a glass*    “Cheers!”

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