Monday, December 31, 2007

I Have (Just) Settled Here

Being in London for Christmas is bittersweet this year, as I am aware that next year my time home may well not be as extensive; after all, I will be working and time off is a precious currency. Despite it being wonderful to come home, we will have to weigh up the consequences of taking a few days here and now rather than there and then. Which is always depressing, to go through the cost benefit analysis like that.

Nonetheless, it's been extremely enjoyable, albeit limited on the whole time spent in London with London. I love London for its own sake, not just the people I love who are here, although obviously that helps. I've not yet wandered through lonely streets, besides the Thames, which is something I miss passionately. I'm just drawn to the idea that proper city living involves life revolving around a river through the centre. Manhattan may be surrounded by water, but it's just not the same; Boston, obviously, fits that ideal a bit better.

Reading xopo's post about DF was a good reminder that our homes and first loves may be elsewhere, and how important it is to remember why you were in love. Catford may not exactly be glamorous, but London is a part of me and I'd hate to be one of those people who hated where they grew up, and are reminded of everything that constrained them when they go back.

London for me is, instead, somewhat liberating. It's where I formed; I can wander here anonymously, without my responsibilities, without being part of a couple. Not that I begrudge that, obviously, but my identity is different these days. So to be reminded of where I come from, who I am, and how I came to be that person brings back a little of the teenager in me when I was malleable, growing, hardening into who I am now. And it therefore frees me up a bit to stop being angry at the world, to see wonder and joy. St. Pancras station did that for me all on its own last week. Another reason why I'm glad to be back, and will hopefully return to NYC refreshed and ready for the next stage in life.

No comments: