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Sunday, 8 July 2012

How lucky we are

I remember writing in one of my earlier blogs, that Sundays were fast becoming my favourite day of the week.  As I sit here in bed, listening to the rain, I have to admit that I stand by that comment. Every Sunday, I am given the opportunity to truly sit back and reflect on my life, my travels and pretty much everything.

Today has been no exception.

For those of you reading this blog, I want to let you in on a little secret. For me, the last two weeks in London have been some of the toughest of my life and really made me question the decisions that I have made. I knew it would be tough leaving my old life behind and starting afresh in a new city. In fact, I had a huge conversation about it with my Aunt the day before I left. I was in no way, naive in regards to what to expect and in fact I remember my Aunt(who lived here for four years) telling me in no uncertain terms that I would find it difficult. But no matter how much you prepare yourself for something, you have no idea as to how it will affect you until you do it.

For me, the moment I arrived in London, I powered ahead at full speed, determined to get a bank account, phone, flat and job sorted straight away. And I did it. However what I failed to really anticipate was how lonely London can be when you're the new kid. I went from a confident graduate in Auckland, with friends and family close by at all times, to an uncertain nigel no mates. Well perhaps that is being overly dramatic, but I certainly didn't have the network of people that I had built up over time back at home. If any of you are reading this blog, I hope you know that I have never appreciated your friendship more than in the last few weeks.  Every email or message that I get, reminds me that you all haven't forgotten about me and that you're there.

Anyway, I promise this blog will have a happy ending (note the title) so keep reading....

I think the thing that really got to me in the last few weeks was when I applied for a permanent position at the NMC (Nursing and Midwifery Council) where I currently temp. For weeks, I waited to hear if I would get an interview and then after that, whether I had wooed them enough to secure a job. Turns out I had. As I got the job though, I realised with a pang that I would have to wait eight hours to tell anyone back at home my great news. Couple that with some terrible weather and a very stressful week I had never felt so alone in my life.

But what has changed? Well- firstly, I had a few wines with a very good friend of mine and confided in her that London was a lot harder than I had ever anticipated. To my relief, she told me that she had felt exactly the same way and reassured me that it would get easier. And you know what, as soon as I said it out loud and started talking to other Kiwis and Australians about it, I realised that I was not alone in this feeling and that they had all found it difficult in the beginning. I guess I forget that I have only been here for three months and that really, I am still at the beginning of my adventure.

This weekend I was fortunate enough to go to Phantom of the Opera with a group of friends. The show was breathtaking. Afterwards, we headed to Oxford Circus where we were promptly chatted up by a club owner and lured into a three story club containing a lambryth of different bars. As we headed to the top cocktail lounge and had a drink, one of the girls I was drinking with looked out the window and said ' can you believe how lucky we are to be in London and to be looking out at that.' I turned my head and saw the bright lights of Oxford Circus staring back at me. She was absolutely right.

 I am living in one of the most incredible and unique cities in the world.  And although it is hard, what isn't hard in life? 

As we drank and danced our stresses away, I couldn't help but think that I had passed a milestone in my new London life, in that I had accepted that things were not always going to be easy and no matter where I go in the world, I cannot escape that. But, look at where I am and what I am doing.

To those of you who are planning to come over here and work (and I say work because travelling through London is different), please prepare yourself for a whirlwind adventure. Don't be afraid to ask for help and to admit when you need it because inevitably you will.

But then all the hard times are outweighed with moments when  you look out the window and see London staring right back at you.

Right. That's me done. I'm sure that you've all come to expect my emotional blogging which seems to occur more regularly than I would like. But hey- It adds character and substance right? Haha. Well don't feel too sorry for me. Did I mention that I am off to Spain on Tuesday heading to Barcelona, Pamplona and Mallorca for a tan. I cannot wait and will be sure to update you with my adventures!

Adios Amigos!

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