It was exactly 1 year to the day yesterday that I packed my life into a series of boxes and suitcases, piled them into my parents’ car, and moved down to London.
It was a big move for me, and one that couldn’t have come sooner. 2015 was a year where, although I made some huge life changes which ultimately helped me to achieve my dream of moving to London in 2016, my mental health was at a very low point. I was broke, I was lonely, I was wildly unhappy in both my home life and my job and I needed a change. When I got offered my current job, I couldn’t accept quick enough, and after a very hectic few weeks finding somewhere to live I made the move to my dream city.
London has a reputation as a city that will either bring you out of your shell or chew you up and spit you out. I wasn’t sure which way it would go for me but I think it’s pretty obvious which one I was hoping for!
It hasn’t all been plain sailing. Within a few weeks of moving here, my ex and I broke up which was a big deal for me considering he was my main source of comfort down here. I will also be completely frank when I say that money has been a nightmare for me since I moved – I definitely pay more than I should for my flat but when I take into consideration how comfortable I am here and how amazing my housemates are I can cope with that…just about. It’s the other costs that creep up out of nowhere and surprise you. When I accepted my job offer, the increase in salary from what I was on in Manchester seemed like a dream – when I figured out my budget in theory I should have had hundreds spare, but I just didn’t realise how pricey living down here is. I don’t by any stretch of the imagination live a lavish lifestyle – I buy a couple of things each month for myself (usually a few books and a top off Missguided) just to keep me sane after a month of hard work, but the rest of my supposedly ‘disposable’ income goes on food shops. I don’t remember the last time I went on a night out, and while Joe and I try to go for a drink once a week we literally only have one round. It’s madness!
Negative aside though, I’m the happiest I’ve ever been in my life down here.
I’m lucky that two of my best friends in the world also live in London – we haven’t all been together since the end of college as they both went off to uni and travelling and I stayed in our hometown, so being in the same city again is amazing. When my ex and I broke up, the pair of them were absolute angels looking after me and cheering me up with theatre trips, days wandering through Chelsea, going for lunch and dinner, rock nights and our first girls holiday together. I couldn’t ask for a better bunch – they’re more family than friends really, we’ve all been through so much together.
9 months ago, my Mum made me go back on Tinder. I know right?! She told me to stop moping about and talk to people again without the pressure of needing to go on dates or anything. I decided to take her advice and lo and behold I got talking to this blonde haired, Dougie Poynter look-alike. We went on a date on the last May bank holiday and the rest, as they say is history. London gave me the love of my life, I couldn’t ever express how grateful I am to have met Joe and for the incredible memories we’ve already made together.
London has also brought me into contact with some amazing blogger babes, and through the crazy creative vibe this city has I feel like in the last 12 months I’ve really turned a corner with my blog after 2015 becoming pretty stagnant. If you’d told me a year ago that I’d be collaborating with HMV and Boohoo, being sent to stay in a London hostel for a blogger sleepover, and actually be making money off this little space, I’d be absolutely over the moon. Whenever I get a bit down about this space now, I think back to that unhappy girl sitting alone in her flat in Manchester wondering how the hell she was ever going to make anything of herself and her blog when she couldn’t create the content she wanted to alone. Now I’m thriving, I’ve never felt more inspired – I’m surrounded by people willing to help me out and cheer me on and I’m so grateful to each and every one of them for their constant support, help, and general cheerleading this last year while I’ve found myself again.
I wouldn’t say I’m 100% there yet with my confidence – I look back to videos and posts from 2014 and pre-Manchester 2015 and I still wish I could find that girl again but I feel like she’s the closest to the surface that she’s been in a long time. I’m making steps to getting my dancer’s physique back again, I’m on a mission to grow my long hair back and get healthy too. I’m getting there.
So London, one year on and I’m still here and still thriving. I don’t feel like I’ve even scratched the surface of what this city has to offer me yet and I feel like I’m at the start of a long and exciting adventure with my favourite people and my camera beside me.
The first 12 months were great but well, just wait for the next 12. Big things are coming.
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