April 29, 2011 § 2 Comments
So, this is the end.
I’m sitting here at an internet cafe in Charing Cross writing this blog post, surrounded by drunks in the West End that have been “celebrating” the Royal Wedding (or rather, the bank holiday + Friday) since 10am. Weirdly enough, I can’t really be bothered to actually go out drinking anymore today. It’s my last night in London from where I depart to go back home (in Brazil) tomorrow at 6am after living a little bit more than 2 years, now with a one way ticket.
The journey to London would be a tale by itself, my dream of living in the city since I was 12 years-old and then all the paths and decisions that led me here. However, living in London was probably the most important chapter of my life so far. Sure, it has been only a reasonably young life, but still. London was everything and nothing I expected. London changed me and London made me more sure of who I already was. You could argue that living abroad does that to you. Yes, it does, but London does it more.
I came here like an arrogant Brazilian who hated my country most of the time, who hated people most of the time, with a heartbroken, no plans for the future and at times unsure of what kind of person I was. I’m leaving London as an arrogant Brazilian who knows the faults of her country, but has decided to go back despite those because I believe I can help make it better. I’m leaving London as a person not with hatred of people, but with a passion for stories from whoever they are. I have fixed my heart and dealt with my shit (or at least I think I did). I have loads of plans for the future and I’m more than ever, absolutely sure of who I am.
I owe these changes as much to myself as to the city, to living alone, to having the same job for 2 years, to paying my own bills, to learning how to drink, to learning how to enjoy going out, to learn how to appreciate being by myself. More than that, I owe these changes to the amazing people I’ve met in here. Each and every single person that I came across and became friends with, dated briefly, hated for a little bit, loved for a little bit, worked with, lived with has made an impression on me and being surrounded by the magic that only London has made me absorb that in a way that – as said before – makes this time here the most important of my life so far.
I haven’t had a chance to say goodbye to everyone and I truly hope and believe I will meet them (you, in case you’re reading this – whoever you are) along the way. Either back in London or in Brazil or wherever the world ends up leading us to.
I must thank specially 4 people, more than anyone else: Lucia and Andrea, the 2 Brazilians that showed me London the way they saw it and that was the best gift I could ever hoped for. They thought me how to drink, how to accept that wearing make up was not the worst thing, that being a bit feminine and hugging your friends was not something for the weak. They showed me that friends can be soulmates (because those two were born for each other) and that London has a thousand things to say, to see, to feel, to smell, to taste and to enjoy.
Also, I must thank Elliot, the English boy who thaught me so much about the English culture, the slang, the way of thinking, the way of talking, the way of enjoying a cider in the rare sunshine, having a full English first thing after a night out and the tradition of drinking at least 2 cups of tea a day. Ah, and the “bless” (AWWW, BLESS HIM).
Finally, I must thank Brenda, the amazing American that made me truly confident that being a geek was something to be extremely proud of, that watched so much crap TV with me, introduced me to amazing people, amazing tv shows, amazing movies, amazing books and most of all who was a true friend that was never out of my mind.
Of course, there are more people I must thank, people that maybe don’t even know how amazing they were and how glad I am that I met them even if only a few times. They are American, English, Brazilian, South African, Australian, Irish, etc. They have 100 different names and I would spend too much time writing it all down and would probably forget some.
It saddens me to think of all the places I didn’t get to go (Hampstead Heath! Kew Gardens! Regent’s Park in the Summer!) and the people I didn’t get to meet. I walk around London now and think if I had gone to this party, to that pub, to this bookshop I might have made more friends and learned more about other cultures and heard more interesting stories. It saddens me to think I have no exact idea of when I’ll be back and how the city will look like then. I hope I have left my mark in here and that when I depart, I’ll be missed.
However, it was time to go. I have written a blog post about that somewhere. I have decided things need to not be stale in my life and sadly, they were in London. Due to both my laziness, people leaving, the Home Office, the new laws and a tiny bit of depression. This time in England was amazing and I’m so glad for all the places I got to go and experience, but life is always moving and with it, so will I. There’s so much I could write about this 2 years, but my time is almost up (at the internet cafe) and I have a plane to catch pretty soon.
This is not the last time London will see of me, though. It won’t be the same. I’ll be older, maybe even wiser and my views might change, but one thing will stay the same: my love for London. Therefore, I’ll be back.
PS.: I did promise to write about all the backpacking, which I didn’t. I will do eventually, but as no deaths have been reported on the lack of posts regarding my travels, I will do it on my own pace.