We’re supposed to be feeling full of beans in the midst of savage public sector cuts and rising unemployment for women and young people at home, complete chaos in Libya, more earthquakes for an already devastated Japan, predictions for catastrophe in Nepal and increasingly worrying world weather patterns, an indicator that we have really and truly fluffed our best chances of having a sustainable future on this planet. Oh, that and we’re all going to die next year.
There was a time during the past winter when I thought: there must be more than this. Going to work in the dark, coming home in the dark, why would I do this? What am I doing here?
Now that Spring is here and the days are longer my thoughts are not quite so downcast. And of course I can appreciate the beauty of a British summer - I love Pimm's, Wimbledon, and have no problem with having a go at Making The Best of It. But as soon as it's not all Darling Buds of May I want to high-tail it out of here and my thoughts continually return to sunnier, more chilled out climes.
Sometimes I feel a bit like a mango in the fresh fruit section of a supermarket (bear with me here) - grown in a hot, tropical place, picked before being fully ripe, and flown over to sit in a chiller in grey old rainy old London-town. (I know, I know, there are better analogies. I can't find one right now though, so we'll leave that terrible one in.)
|A Bad Analogy|
Is it London that I'm getting tired of? Maybe if I was living in the countryside the seasons wouldn't be such a mystery and I wouldn't feel so disconnected. But it’s more than the weather – after all, it’s been warm and sunny for the past week and I’ve still felt like I want to run away and bury my head in jam.
No, part of the problem is the feeling that I'm toiling away in the big bad city for, well, not much really. I’m not managing to save, despite the laughable ‘London weighting’ portion of my salary. I’m not going to be able to buy property here. I’m disillusioned with my job and the unfettered change that seems to be sweeping the sector. I don’t believe in what I’m being paid to say anymore. But annoyingly, despite being paid more than ever, it’s doing nothing for my happiness (nor my savings – I just seem to spend more). Finally, I’m fed up with fighting elbows, armpits and women with big bamsies (as my dear dad would have called them) on the journey in and out on the bus every day. Let David Cameron commute for a bit (for REAL, Dave, not with the car carrying your briefcase behind you). You stand up among the many baby buggies Cammo, and get jostled for a space to stand, by druggies, whilst listening to EVERYONE ELSE'S MUSIC EVERY MORNING via their ridiculously loud personal headphones. Or worse, their phones, with no attempt to make their musical experience personal at all.
|Not quite the overcrowded number 59 from Streatham, is it Dave?|
Of course, I know I should be grateful for small mercies;
- We’ve got a little bit of green space to plant things in.
- My commute does not require taking the underground.
- The new Spanish upstairs neighbours aren’t anywhere near as fat and stompy as the previous ones, and they seem to be much less loud and bonky than in the beginning.
Not to mention the big things, like:
- We have great friends here.
- I have nice colleagues.
- London is still full of bloody brilliant sights and people and I used to love living here.
So what’s happened? If anyone out there is experiencing a similar crisis of faith, please share. Did you get over yours? Did you move away to run a knitting group or start a home school or pursue a long-desired career as a beekeeper? I feel I need some help falling in love with London again.
Especially as we supposedly only have 1 year, 8 months and 4 days to go…
PS. Speaking of crazy bus journeys - check this dude out.