I arrived here as a blank canvas, with only the deepest depths of my withered soul in tact. I was lost, a little broken, but sure, sure that what I needed could be found inside the labyrinth of this fascinating city.
I had survived my teenage years, they were raw, bittersweet and left me with a chill that ran through my body making me want to run. I was ready to start over. I was layer upon layer of a mixed up girl that just wanted to find my place in this world.
I started as a voyager, travelling as though this place was not my own. I was on the outside looking in, daunted and confused yet excited and thirsty for more. I ventured curiously from one landmark to the next, eager to learn.
I was rooted as an academic, I explored the city based on an institutional agenda. Text books, essay titles and performance pieces drove my journey and there was so much that I didn’t notice because of this.
And then slowly things started to change. My eyes half open, I took a job in a place of adventure where people were different and different was ok. I started to shake off the ideals I once had and out in that urban air, I began to breathe.
It was the people of this city that swept me up in the beginning, and together we created stories and dreams that will always remain. With every border, every street, every train destination, a connecting memory was made, now held delicately, like a new-born, inside of the person that I am today.
There is something about this city, something sky scraping and mixed up, something that makes you want to cut yourself open and pour the inner most part of yourself out over the cobbled stone. Each pocket has its own identity, its own story, its own ability to shape you.
Its a captivating sea of buildings, historic and iconic, some modern in mould, with walls that whisper a truth untold and unfound because everyone is searching in one way or another. The constant change urges you to open you eyes and notice, before its too late.
A complex city of obstacles and opportunities, no one part the same as the other. Like the beating hearts of the people within, everything is different, each zone a rhythm of its own.
In this place, you can live the life you want, if you allow yourself to do so. If you utilise, connect and be free to experience all that is here. You have this city in the palm of your hand and only your hands can sculpt your future self.
Over the years I have walked these streets both aimlessly and with purpose and each step taken has taught me something amazing, something beyond what I knew existed before I was here. I’ve listened to voices from far and wide, learning lessons I didn’t even know I needed.
I have tasted food from every origin imaginable, seen tones of skin in a beautiful, vast array and heard fusions of language and dialect that imprint one thing deep in my heart. This place is for everyone. Its the diversity of this city that brought me back to life.
I look at myself now, a wife, mother, professional, friend, advocate and sister in faith. I feel proud of who I have become. I weathered the storm, I shook off the girl that I once knew and I grew, slowly but surely. The North made me but London raised me and for that I feel truly blessed.