leaving.

I’m not the same girl I was when I left.

(I’m so much more than I was!)

I started this blog before I moved to London because I wanted to document my travels; I felt a sense of freedom and a sense of self that I didn’t have before, and I wanted to show the world what I could be.

I am moving home in just over a month, and I am feeling that old nostalgia creeping over me like the vines over the colleges in Cambridge. The way you look around on the tube, and think “I won’t be taking this train anymore once I leave”, look fondly up at St Paul’s Cathedral and see it in a different light, or running my fingertips along the books in Foyle’s. There are places I call home here, that will probably always be home to me. They made me happy, and they were a part of my journey. There are people I don’t want to leave, and places I want to always be around.

I didn’t document my life over here as much as I intended to – I left it to instagram posts every other day, and just lived it. There are so many pictures, so many things I want to tell, but I haven’t. The stories are there though, there inside me and I know that I can share them whenever I want to. They’re not going anywhere. I did live. I saw the whole of the UK. I traveled with my sister through Italy and Greece. I went to Paris, twice, with old friends. I saw fireworks from the top of a penthouse in London on New Years Eve.

Parts of this year wasn’t easy. Sometimes when you go through something personal, it’s just that: personal. Some people find it easy to share; sometimes I do, but some things I went through this year were hard to discuss. And this blog, for me, can be quite personal. It’s not a bad thing. Sometimes it’s inspiring being vulnerable, and sharing something relatable. I know I love that in other people’s writing, feeling the same feelings that they’ve laid out on the table.

I was talking to my friend the other day, who moved to London at the same time I did. Our time is coming to a close, and we can experience those feelings together. We spoke about it a few months ago, walking along the Tower Bridge at sunset at 4 am. One of those spontaneous and surreal moments.

“It’s scary leaving. But also good… it’s a fresh start. You can do anything you want.” 

That’s how I felt when I left, and that’s how I feel now. Life is for the living, and every open door will lead to something. I’m feeling good, feeling the hot London summer wind run through my hair, taking in everything, trying not to forget any cobble stone, any corner pub, or coffee shop under a train archway.

I don’t think I ever will.

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PS: Lorde’s new album came out at the perfect time.

gloomy sunday.

When I’m down, I like to be out there in the world. Being inside, in my bed, is good because you can cry as often and as much as you like, but sometimes its being outside and present that really gets you out of your funk (at least for a little while).

Yesterday, I had coffee at a new place with a friend, then Mexican at another new place. Then strolls to try and find a flower market (could not find it, but came across some other really beautiful shops and markets in the process).

I came across some people who made me smile. An old man & his poodle, who had a little bow on its head on the Overground, of whom I came across in again Lewisham about an hour later! Small world, which is very uncommon in bustling London.

Then I strolled past a father & his daughter waiting for the bus: the girl, about 12, looked exactly like I did at that age, and looked so happy. I smiled at her and wished her in my mind all the best for the future.

Life is hard, life has its knocks. I get defensive when this happens – sometimes I just run away from that that causes me pain. But sometimes you can’t always run.

Life is full of rain, and sometimes, you just have to face it.

the way they met.

“This story is for every woman who may be panicking or feeling pressure because they’re in their late 20’s or 30’s and haven’t found the one. I’m sure you have a lot of friends who are married with kids and you feel like you’re running behind. Well I’m here to tell you NOT TO SETTLE. I was married in my mid-twenties. I definitely settled and knew it. I always tell people if there is even one single ounce of you that is telling you it’s not right, listen to that. That tiny feeling will not go away and will only continue to grow. Can you live with that feeling and pain every single day? You shouldn’t. And you deserve not to. There is someone out there for you even if you don’t find them until later in life. I was 30 by the time my divorce was settled. Shortly after, I was in a new relationship. After 2 months, I moved to Philadelphia for my new boyfriend so he could attend grad school. However, after our 2 year anniversary, I ended things. I realized that he wasn’t the one either and I wasn’t going to walk down the aisle again knowing it didn’t feel 100 percent right. At this point, I was 33 and decided to move to LA for MYSELF. I signed up for an online dating app and went on several dates but none that really excited me. Until I met Reid. We set our first date for drinks and the rest is history. After two weeks, I knew I didn’t want to date anyone else. Now 3.5 years later, we’re married and trying for a baby at 36! I think I realized Reid was the one the first time he did something that upset me. In my two other long-term relationships, there was always a lot of conflict and defensiveness if I brought up something that upset me. So I braced myself for the worse when I told Reid that I felt bothered and un-loved by one of his actions. His response was so understanding, apologetic, and filled with love. He made me feel like I had a true partner. This is something I had NEVER felt before and always longed for. Reid and I never fight! I’ve realized relationships shouldn’t be THAT hard- in fact, they should actually be pretty simple. Your partner is supposed to be the person who you tackle life’s hardships with not the one who creates them.”

I saw this beautiful post today on The Way We Met, a Facebook page sharing how people all over the world met their significant other. I am a huge fan of these kind of pages – I love seeing the many different ways that people come into contact with their love. How they collide in this place we call earth. Some ways are the epitome of fate, others are more ordinary, but nonetheless special.

This one really spoke to me. I’m a huge believer in not doing something just because you believe you have to. Taking time in love. Doing what you love, and what YOU want to do, and letting love and life happen in its wake.

This is a beautiful story, and I couldn’t help but share.

Lou x

sunday song.

Nothing you say
Will ever be wrong
‘Cause it just feels good being in your arms
And I’m running with you
As fast as I can
Singing to myself I wanna hold your hand
And we’re going downtown
‘Cause we feel like running around

stars.

When I was a teenager and I had just learnt to drive, I sometimes would stop on the way home from a movie or dinner out with friends. I’d pull the car over on the side of the country road, a minute from our house, and lay on the bonnet of the car. I’d gaze up at the stars for a few moments, taking deep breaths in.

The stars out there are so vivid – no smog, pollution, usually cloudless in the dead of summer – the heavens sprawled out above me. It would always take my breath away. I’d lay there and think about whatever I needed to. It could be love, or life, homework, my parents. The future, the past. Or maybe even just appreciating the stars. The little pictures they make up, which change with each turn of the head.

I still do it, sometimes, when I return home. I’m still that same 17 year old girl; the same girl who appreciates the little moments, the girl who needs her own space and time to understand the world.

The girl who, if you are lucky, will look at you like you are stars.

stars

poem.

all the little people in this big
wide
world
we are full

we all have
big dreams
big hopes
big secrets

bubbling
at the frayed edges of us

so please

love your big dreams
your big hopes
your big secrets

for that means you love
you
all of you

and please
for those you
love

love their big dreams
their big hopes
their big secrets
should they tell you

feel honoured
for secrets are hard work
both keeping

and telling.

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President Trump, 2016.

“We are in a new era. And now is the time for us to be strong. Now is the time for us all to come together. It doesn’t matter where we were born, or who we were born as. It doesn’t matter who we choose to love or if we have children. It doesn’t matter, any more, about being a nice girl. We have rights to gain and rights to protect. There’s stuff to be done, all across the world. It’s time to get in formation. It’s time to get nasty.”

Emerald Street, newsletter 

 

I am in awe, and I think the rest of the world can agree.

I did not think we would get to this point – but here we are, and all we can do is be strong, stand together, and rise above the ideals of this man who somehow was elected as president.

Lou x