One Month in London

Posted by JSYL on Friday, February 01, 2008 in
It's exactly a month since I first arrived in London, excited to finally get off the 20-hour flight and simultaneously wishing I could be at home. I feel like I've been here for 6 months already. It's true what they say, time moves a lot faster over here. At the same time, I feel like I haven't even started to do half the things I set out to do in making this trip.

I'm sitting at my laptop on my bed, in complete darkness. I had this really vivid nightmare-dream (it started out a dream, became a nightmare, but ended up okay in the end). I got up to tell my flatmate all about it before it went out of my head. But it's kind of a policy of mine that if I have even a semi-nightmare, I need to stay awake for a while to get the images out of my head before I can safely fall back asleep again.

(Note: this wasn't what my nightmare was about, its actually my flatmate wearing his hoodie zipped all the way up. It cost him 185 pounds. Nuts!)

I won't go into the finer details of the dream, but the reason this dream is particularly distinct from all the others I've had while I've been here, is that none of the people in it were Australian. They were all people I'd met here...except for Prince William and the three guys I beat up in the end. This is gonna sound super cheesy and a little nuts...but I think its too timely for it not to be a sign of things to come.

Let me explain. I think, or rather, reflect, a lot more here than I would back home. My schedule's growing increasingly close to on par with life in Sydney, but I also have a lot more downtime here when I'm completely alone, and have the luxury of thinking only about myself and for myself. To be honest, a little less than half, maybe a quarter of this thinking time has been filled with thoughts about going home, thoughts that start with an observation I've made about London life, and end with "In SYDNEY...'insert some comment that essentially means that living in Australia is so much better'". Another quarter of my time can probably account for the thoughts that followed these- half repenting for resenting the humungous opportunities I've been handed and am priviliged to have, half giving myself a pep talk to make the most out of my time here. Truth be told, I've been feeling the combined pressure of all the "Good luck"/"You're going to learn and do sooo much" well wishes and the times I've given myself a kick up the ass for not embracing this experience fully 'enough'. And at times, instead of motivating me to get into life here, it made me want to retreat, and shy away from it.

It's not even that I constantly wanted to jump on a plane to go home. I've never once physically wanted to leave. It was just seeing sunshine-flooded photos of barbecues, feeling like I'm missing out, that my life's on hold for 6 months frozen in limbo, and the fear that all my friends will forget about me and that life there will go on the same or better even, without me. What kept me going was the reminder that this period is transient, that every day I'm a day closer to being back with all of you. But I realise now that that was totally the wrong attitude to take. Of course I still miss you all, just as much as before. But I can't keep thinking of 'Sydney' as my final destination. For the next five months, London IS my home. My flatmates are my family, and my life is focused on being right here with them, and taking what I can from being totally immersed in that, back with me.

Long story short, that vicious cycle I described is quietly dying out, and as recently as this week, I've really begun taking a lot from my journalism classes and using it to think seriously about my career, and how I want it to start off. I was kind of dreading going back to my final semester of law, doing PLT and making those tough choices impending graduation- i.e. inevitably doing some stuff that will probably ensure me a bit more security later on, but that I'll hate doing while I'm doing it. Needless to say I've made some changes to how I want it all to go down when I get back: who I'm gonna be, but more importantly where I'll be headed. And the more I think about it, the more convinced I am that it's actually going to happen- these massive changes and ideas that weren't even conceiveable a month ago, are now realistic goals to set for the future.

Sorry to be so cryptic, but I haven't worked out all the kinks in the life plan just yet. What's important is that I've started to.

I'm getting out of the homesick rut.

It feels fantastic.



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