Accepting that I'll never make it back home.
Hello reader, it's been a long, long time hasn't it? I made a promise to keep this blog more updated and have I done that? Nope. To be fair I have been surprisingly busy rather than lazy so I'll let myself off the hook a wee bit. I hope you enjoy this slightly different blog post. Please let me know what you think.
I made a promise to myself that these blogs would not get too personal or emotional because I wanted to keep a lot of things private and not online even if my trusted mutuals are reading this. But as people will know if they've been up late scrolling through Twitter it's something I'm not very good at that sometimes. However there is one thing that everyone knows about me and it's something I'm proud of and that's even if I am Scottish, living in Glasgow, is that I am a Londoner. London is where I was born, I lived there for three years and ever since I've moved I have gone back home to London at least once or twice a year. I've had family, come and go and many friends. It is home. It is my happy place. My escape. Where I am most comfortable and familiar. I know a lot of it like the back of my hand. I don't know all of it and I probably never will know all of it but for me, it's where my heart is.
I'm currently on my summer holidays, awaiting exam results and possibly leaving school, starting my life in the "big scary adult world". I've kept busy but constant thoughts of anxiety and worry for the future always on my mind. Sometimes it's normal things like will I get a job? Will I get into uni? But now it's a lot more heavier things I don't need to be worrying right now. Such as will I enjoy midwifery? Will I get to leave Glasgow? Will I be happy? Will I enjoy my life? Most of these thoughts occur at three o' clock in the morning but there's one thing I think I started realising a long time ago.
Every time I go back to London, or talk to family members and friends from London. There's always comments. Things such as "God London has never been busier". "God it's expensive". That's okay. I'm not stupid. I see both the flaws of London and the good. It's not the perfect city it has its' many problems and I know it can a lot of the time be a nightmare to live in but ever since I understood the concept of living somewhere I have always said I want to live in London when I grow up. Obviously when I was about four the idea was to live next to Big Ben to "look after it"... but I soon realised no one can really do that and my uncle who worked for The Met at the time said he would do that for me when on patrol so I accepted my top priority of that wasn't needed. As I've grown up I've been told countless and countless of times that my dream of moving back home is one that can't come true. It's too expensive, it's for the rich now, even the "undesirable places" are becoming more and more expensive. I know this is true. My parents lived in Brixton for nearly ten years and if they were to move back they wouldn't be able to. I often pass my old and first home in Syracuse near Greenwich and know if we were to move back as a family it would be impossible. Every time I'm on the tube, Every single stop I think or ask "would this area be affordable?" , "would it be okay to live here?", no matter the Zone number or underground line the answer is always "No this would be difficult it's too expensive".
Now that I'm seventeen, at that stage where I'm approaching adulthood as it were, people who have spent years telling me it can't be done are now occasionally saying that it can. Whether it's because they realise how much it pains me when they say I can't or whether they genuinely believe I could afford it with a flat share or something, I don't know. I'm not stupid though whether someone is telling me it to my face or I'm seeing it in the media I know that London is becoming gentrified by the second.I know I incredibly lucky to even make it down there a couple of times a year but honestly? It breaks my heart. Completely and utterly breaks my heart. To such a strong desire for years and years, to have something that you have wanted for so long that you think about all the time become ever more impossible it's a really difficult thing to accept. And it angers me and frustrates me. Even to see other people living there and doing it absolutely fine with no struggle breaks me because as irrational as it sounds it doesn't seem fair. But I would do anything to live back in London. To know nothing will ever be enough breaks me. Even now as I write this it upsets me. I know people are thinking Eilidh, will you calm down you're only seventeen with your whole life ahead. But think of the odds against it. I want to train as a Midwife. In London the NHS is not in a great shape at the moment because of the government and staff being overworked. All I hear from down south in negativity and how the staff want to quit and they're unhappy. So even if there will always be jobs for me, will I actually enjoy working? Because that has to come before anything I don't want to be stuck in my happy place doing things that don't make me happy. Then I have to afford it which even with a flatshare might be impossible. Especially as things get worse and more expensive... I don't think so do you?
Unless things improve I can't see myself ever getting back home for good. It's one of the most upsetting things I've ever had to accept. The Government need to save London. I'm not saying that for my sake but for the City's because soon it will become just another rich city with huge luxury penthouses and skyscrapers. It's history, individuality, unique people will be suffocated and pushed away by it. It's something is done soon, I believe a lot of London's issues could be solved. But until then, anyone reading this who lives in London, I know it's a pain sometimes but please please appreciate it. Take a walk down Fleet Street late at night because you have that choice and that's amazing. Or if you already know how great it is then realise how lucky you are and be humbled by the fact that you have that because many don't and many have had to leave. Even if you live down South but not in London at least you're only an hour to a few hours away because unfortunately it takes me at least 5 and a half hours and a drain on my savings! It seems so far away sometimes...
It's not about being on a constant holiday and sightseeing, I know that. For me it's about being back home, in a place that makes me feel joy and content. Perhaps things will get better and I am just being overly pessimistic, perhaps something that is impossible will be possible one day. But now for London, I love you so much. Thank you for being an escape through all the difficult times. Please wait for me, I'll visit soon.
"When you're tired of London, you're tired of life"