My good friend told me the first six months of moving to a new country is the hardest, and I must say I agree with her. Nothing has challenged me more in life than moving to a new place, nothing else has made me so regularly question what I’m doing with my life, and whether I can transpose what I want to do into a supportive move to keep me in a location.
It’s happening in London again.
But while times may be tough lately, I’m still here.
I recently had to move from my first place of lodging with family to another home, this one slightly further out than the last in a town called Ewell. It’s significantly quainter than anywhere I’ve been so far, there are cottage-esque buildings everywhere with tudor stylings, the high street is smaller, and the people very friendly. A snapshot of the area is pictured above.
However nice Ewell, and the nearby town of Epsom is, it’s still a 45 minute train journey from London, and the last train is soon after midnight. It makes building a social life; a key to survival in a new city, very difficult, especially when my coworkers often finish work between 10:30pm and midnight. I really need to be living closer to (or in) central London.
That being said, I think I’ll fit into the British lifestyle very well, when I do have coinciding free time with coworkers I love to go for a drink at the pub after work (with seemingly the rest of London) it’s one of my favourite things to do, and it’s a great chance to unwind.
Last night was one of those nights. I went out with a coworker to our favourite pub just up the road from work where we discussed what we used to do before moving to London, and what we wanted to do now we’re here.
Some exciting ideas came from that pub session last night, and I’m really interested to see how they develop as it could radically change what I’m doing here in London.
What I am finding, as I continually question myself on a day to day basis as to what I’m doing here, is that I’m not feeling creatively fulfilled and that the jobs in theatre I’ve been applying for would not quench that thirst either.
Subsequently a few projects I’ve been working on for a number of years now are resurfacing again. I picked up another moleskine sketchbook and started drawing new designs for an art project/t-shirt design idea I’ve been tinkering on since before I moved to America, it was really great to be working on that again and I’ve had some brilliant complimentary ideas that I want to work on for it, a way of engaging my friends creatively as well and getting their work out into the world along with my own.
I’ve also been tinkering on creating a play, a very simple one, revolving around the world of ghost stories, and creating fear, emotions and feelings purely with truthful storytelling rather than stagecraft techniques, which is something I was almost disappointed with when I saw the stage version of The Woman In Black a couple of weeks ago.
The other thing that I’m really looking forward to challenging me creatively is a visit to London by the founder of Johnny Cupcakes, Johnny Earle, someone I greatly admire. As part of the 2 year birthday celebrations of his London store in Foubert’s Place (his first store outside of the US) he’s doing a lecture on March 11, which is now sold out. I find the Johnny Cupcakes story incredibly inspiring and his brand really cool. I own a number of his t-shirts, and my head is kept warm at work by a beanie that I ran to get on my lunch break. He’s built an incredibly loyal set of fans and customers, he’s created something original, and he does what loves. That’s what I really want to be doing right now too, so I’m thoroughly looking forward to hearing what he has to say.
With these exciting prospects ticking away on the horizon, I’m sure better times are ahead in London, and right now I really just have to focus on how I can make them happen. A matter of deep breaths. Remembering that this current job is a space filler, a means to an end while I really get myself established here in London, no matter how impossible that may seem sometimes. I have to take as many opportunities I have to see the wonderful things around me, this is a new environment and there’s something I’ve never seen before around every corner. Even a couple of hours before starting work can reveal a wonder or two- like my quick trip to Harrod’s earlier in the week, or a walk around Covent Garden (photos below).
London is exciting.
There’s lots happening.
And I’m still here.