AM I THAT MUCH HAPPIER LIVING IN LONDON?


I've thought, for a long time, to write a piece that comes from deep in my heart in hopes to reach someone out there who's feeling the exact same as me and know they're not alone. Since, the past few months or so, I've found comfort in watching Instagram stories and videos of people who seem to be in the same stage in their life as I am or they are in a better stage in their life where I aspire to achieve some day. 


When lockdown started, it really deteriorated my mental health. I live alone and I decided to stay in London just so I could keep my personal space. I got that alright. 3 months of personal space. I was on furlough for those months and cycled a lot to the parks nearby and took the longest walks just so I could break up my day between morning and evening. Fast forward a further 3 months and my headspace is completely fucked up where I can't physically go back to those places without spiralling into a pit of anxiety ridden emotions. Being alone for that amount of time without human contact is terrifying, you come out of the other side a different person. I think that applies for everyone, it made us all stop and think and it forces ourselves to listen to our body. 



When I was studying in Kent, I longed to live in London. I believed it was what my soul craved. It was the lifestyle I wanted. Everything happened there, there was so much to do. All. The. Time. Since Kent is only an hour away, I used to travel into London with friends for day trips turned memorable nights out and missing the last train home and I always thought, wow is this just a snapshot of the life I'm missing out on? 


It's been a year since I moved. I grew up in a big city anyway and for me, it was only natural to move to a bigger and "better" city with page after page of job opportunities. I often question if I'm actually happy living in London. Maybe it's the numerous other factors that are affecting how I feel about this busy city like going from living with 5 other people to living by myself. It's a drastic change and definitely not the norm in London. 



Post- lockdown I realised a huge part of why I sometimes feel lonely is that London is actually so big that there are events happening at any given time, anywhere. I wouldn't give a second thought travelling 50 mins from one side of London to the other but time is distorted when the destination is a city outside of London, the physical distance plays a huge part.


You get a real sense of FOMO on social media. It had a huge impact on me wanting to make the most of every day, I wanted to do something constantly. I didn't realise this until I went back home to Manchester last month that it felt ok to just stay at home and do nothing because there wasn't much going on in the city, whereas when in London, I constantly see people "living their best life" socialising with their masses of friends somewhere in arms reach. In a way, I'd romanticised the lifestyle of after work drinks, picnics in parks, drunk nights on primrose hill and swimming in the ponds. 


If you follow me on Instagram, you'd probably think I'm already living this lifestyle and I guess I am, I'm guilty also of showing only the highlights of my life, but as humans we always want more. I love London. I love everything it offers. I have a love hate relationship with this neurotic city.  


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