Judging by how frequently I post on social media about my back-and-forthing between two cities, I’m sure you are aware that I have emigrated to the west country. That’s correct, I now live in Bristol. And have done since July.
I know right? Fucking weird.
Ever since I spent three years wishing my way out of Exeter, never did I dream that I would be leaving the motherland for the west anytime soon. But lo and behold, five years later, here I am.
The move wasn’t a decision made based on personal career progression or the fact I had a burning desire to fly the nest. Instead, my boyfriend got his dream job here, I was stuck in one that I didn’t love, I was looking for a new chapter and, whoever it is that writes our stories, decided that my plot line was growing a little stagnant and a move to Bristol would be the thing to change it.
Now, I could sugar coat this for you and pretend that it has been a euphoric experience that I will never forget, but what would be the point in that? I could be all dramatic and say that it has been torture, but that would be lying. In truth, moving from London to Bristol has been pretty… easy.
Yes, like any new change, the first couple of weeks were hard. I cried every time I thought about leaving my colleagues behind or driving away from my family and I delayed packing until the very last millisecond. I would ask all and sundry if they thought moving was a good idea just to doubly check that I was making the right decision (my own intuition has never been enough for me) but then it happened. I handed in my notice, packed up my stuff (albeit in stages) and followed my heart to Bristol without a job or any real idea of what I was going to do here.
I have never been the type of person who would have things fall into place for them. Major milestones would turn into calamities and everything seems to go a little wrong in my world. It’s been a long time coming but things have finally sort of done just that. Within a week of moving to the city, I was signed up to start a new job in Digital Marketing/PR – something that I had always been told I’d be great at but never really understood what it meant and, although there are days where I desperately miss working in education, the kindness of the people here and their great breakfast spots have made this transition a smooth one and I will be forever grateful to you for making me feel like I am exactly where I should be.
But let’s not talk too soon.
Between starting a new job and piecing together our beautiful new flat, as well as swanning off to foreign lands for friend’s weddings and such, I haven’t really had the time to stop and think about what’s just happened. But, as the summer draws to a close, things are slowing down and I can see the dust settling – I think I’m about to know how I really feel about all this.
The truth is: London was my first love. I was born there. Raised there. I had my first kiss in Ealing, drank my first drink in King’s Cross, broke my wrist in Russell Square, interned in High Street Kensington, White City and The Strand. I landed my first job in South Kensington. I have dated guys from Fulham, Clapham, Kilburn, Battersea, Camden, Stratford… and the rest. I have enjoyed carnival after carnival. I have climbed over the gate of Buckingham Palace, late at night and enjoyed a beer with friends. I have put fairy liquid in the fountain at Trafalgar Square, only to be disappointed that it didn’t turn central London into a giant bubble bath. I have enjoyed club nights at Fabric and Koko underage, sat on park benches with nothing but a Smirnoff Ice and Adele’s Hometown Glory – be it cringe or not – speaks to me. My whole life history has been written in the capital and I am not sure I’m quite ready to write the rest of my story anywhere else – but then I ask myself: is it really living if you live in one place your whole life?
London, I simply just miss you. With your dusty seats, pushing, shoving, ample rooftop bars that overcharge me for shit cocktails and lack of outdoor space. I love you because you gave me so many great venues for dates, you were the inspiration for this blog and you make life so fun that healing a broken heart was doable. I met my best friends because of you. I am strong and street-wise because of you. I admire you for opening your arms to different nationalities, genders and sexualities on a daily basis, even though you don’t always quite understand them. People think you are so harsh, grey and greedy but in reality you are a beautiful combination of strength and exuberance masked behind a haze of concrete and violent news stories.
Bristol, although I do fancy you a little bit and you treat me so well, with your laid back charm and carefree persona, London makes my heart beat that little bit faster than you do as I crawl into it on the train and I miss it more than I miss my own mother, so I think you and I both know this is temporary. But not all great love stories have to last a lifetime, do they?
They say that home is where the heart is and I’d have to agree.
Mine is most definitely nestled somewhere in the depths of that city, keeping it warm and waiting patiently for my return, whenever that may be.