5 Months in London - Love Letter nº1

From the name of this blog, you might already imagine how madly in love I fell with London during my 5 months there, during 2017.
Now that I am currently located in Switzerland to complete my Bachelor, I am literally counting the days left until I will finally be able to move back "home" again.
I wanted to create a small series of post where I will clear out what London taught me, how, the bright and the dark sides, and simply my point of view on the city, always with some pink glasses on.

I moved to London the 27th of July 2017, with two luggages and incredibly happy. It was raining that afternoon, and even if it was the fifth time for me in the City, it was my first time in Paddington. I knew it was the closest stop to my new house, but I had no clue where to go and what to do.
The sweetest friend of mine, already living in London, came to pick me up and helped me to arrive at the apartment.

One of the weirdest feelings ever has been entering my brand new room, realising that that would have been my new little space for so many days to come.
I didn't have anything apart from a bed, a closet and a drawer. I bought all my bedroom stuff in Primark the same day, and my shopping had never felt so "adult".

I arrived in London 4 days before my first day of work, in order to be ready and settled before starting officially my first working experience. The day I will never forget will be when I took a 50 minutes bus ride to the closest ("CLOSEST") Ikea, to get a lamp, a bed side table and a mirror. On the way the mirror became my umbrella and I swear, never felt so independently stupid.

Sometimes I just realise that I was 19 years old, moving alone, for the first time, in a foreign country.

And if there is something I know for sure, it's that on the day I left the City, I wasn't the same person that arrived in Paddington during that rainy afternoon.

Living alone, and living in London, taught me and changed me so much, and made me mature faster in 5 months than in the past 2 years.

One of the first things I had to deal with was loneliness.
Even though I loved the City, I loved being there and everything about it made me feel incredibly good, after around one month, I started to feel insanely lonely. Every day I used to look around, wishing that I could be there, in that exact moment, but with my mom, or my best friend, or anyway someone I really cared about. I felt completely left alone and it took me awhile to start to feel good again.
Obviously the situation improved greatly by getting to know some colleagues at work and starting to find my first friends.
I have to admit that this feeling of loneliness surprised me. How could I miss home and my friends so much if I had been living in Switzerland for the past 9 months before moving in the UK?

The weeks passed by, my homesickness started to fade away. London made me feel as I always belonged there, as I would always fit in, no matter what.
I started to embrace my lone time, my days off, the privilege of freedom. I started to do anything I wanted completely alone, and instead of feeling sad about it, I began to value this opportunity even more.
Vegan events and dinners, eating pizza in a restaurant by myself (anyway waiters used to entertain me in Italian, so...), simply going to museums, exploring new parts of the city, shops, parks, walks, anything, completely alone.
And that is something I've learnt as well. Being completely independent, free and embrace the time I had to spent with myself instead of fearing it.

London made me also grow up in many more aspects.
How many times I had to stop and wonder "ok, so now imagine what would mom do in this situation" and find my way out from a problem.
I made a beautiful cashmere sweater shrink to the point it would fit a dog instead of a human, I had lovely new panties that turned out completely ruined by changing colour (ah, my first laundry...), I burned the oven, I had to fix the shower and so many more little daily issues that before moving by myself I never had to face.
But I am so grateful for all of these and now I look back at them with a laugh.

I met a lot of amazing people, I learnt how to deal with clients, I had my first real job experience that has been freaking amazing.
I ate amazing food, I learnt how to deal with my own finances, managing my salary and my money, buying my own food, understanding more and more the "adult" lifestyle.
I had to pay rent and bills and I started paying attention to wastes and consumes.

I discovered with time where to buy my food and home equipment in order to save the most and get the best quality. I started to create little friendships with shop assistants and understand how to get the best deals. And all these little details hurt me the most the day I left.

That cold day of January, in London I left a life. I left my habits, my colleagues, my new friends, my shops, my house, my dailiness. I left a guy I fell in love with, I left a lifestyle I fell in love with.
I remember the first night I spent in Italy, after leaving the City, I fell asleep with flashbacks of me walking back home... as home became another place from where I was.
London is tough, London is busy, London is easy and London is peace.
London is choice, diversity, elegance, decay. London is moody as any woman is, London is strong and beautiful. London made me feel always welcome, always good, always proud and always home.
And I can't wait to come back and just fit in again where I believe... I belong.