17 September 2014

It's a bittersweet symphony, this life


I've been doing a lot of thinking. Dangerous, I know, but I've had a lot of time.

Time is rather plentiful when you never really have any plans (cue the violins, I know). There's time when you're getting ready and commuting, whilst you avoid other people's gaze on public transport. But I've found I have more time, recently, daydreaming through TV adverts, preparing my meals for the rest of the week, enjoying "me time" after a gym session, refreshing my social media feeds (I'll be the first to admit I do this compulsively). And I've come to this really quite earth-shattering conclusion:

London isn't the place for me.

Yep. I said it. It's now immortalised on this blog as long as I don't choose to delete it, putting it down to a moment of sheer madness. But I can assure you, I'm deadly serious.

Ever since things ended awfully at my last job, I knew that I needed to take a step back and consider what I really wanted and what was best for me, rather than what I'd been telling myself was good for me all these years. Thankfully, I can now confirm that PR is not an industry I want to dabble in again, and that I really would like a job which involves writing of some sort. I'm currently enjoying creating copy and social media material for all things beauty, and I think I'd like to continue down this career path and maybe expand into other things. But I'm not sure yet.

So why the sudden realisation? Don't get me wrong, I love London. As in, I LOVE LONDON. My experience of the city has heightened my love for it. I love that you never have to be bored. I love that every new corner, or street, or square I discover becomes my new favourite place. I love the cosmopolitan vibe, and the idea that everyone is on a mission to become their best self here. I love the buzz, and I love that it never fails to surprise me and delight me. I love it that it's close to home, and that lots of my friends are here. I love that it has a cat cafe. I love it.

But I can't enjoy all of this. My financial situation is complicated, and it means I've become isolated from friends. I can't move home and commute in, because by the time I've taken refresher driving lessons (I haven't driven since I was 18. I'm 22 now), bought a car, got tax, had it MOT-ed, paid for petrol, the parking space at the train station, and my season ticket, I might as well be living in London anyway. I don't want to move, as I've finally found a place within a commutable distance from work that I feel safe and happy in, and I'm living with nice people. Not to mention I'm literally across the road from my gym, so there's absolutely no way I can avoid it.

The last month and a bit has aged me. I'm now utterly focused on saving, having a buffer, and making sure I'm never in a sticky situation financially. I also seriously dislike the fact that unless I marry someone earning three times more than me, there's no way in hell I'll ever be able to afford to buy in London, on the outskirts, or even elsewhere. That makes me angry. Even before I was let go at my former workplace, I was overspending every month, dipping into savings bit by bit until they were significantly diminished. Not ideal, right?

In an ideal world, I'd stay where I am, and find a job that pays me significantly more. Obviously. That way, I'd be able to live, enjoy myself and also be sensible and put money away. The trouble is, at the rate I'm going, and in the business I'm in, this could take YEARS. Why? Because everyone wants to be in beauty writing. There's no need for employers to be particularly competitive. If I went into a job and asked for *insert ideal wage here*, I'd most likely be laughed out of the door. People will always do "dream jobs" for less. If you need further proof, look at magazine work experience where they pay expenses and expect you to be GRATEFUL for it.

So anyway, I'm exhausted. I'm so tired of getting off a sweaty tube everyday feeling gross, but still trying to look more than just presentable. I'm tired of it taking at least 40 minutes to get anywhere. I'm tired of paying over £100 a month just to get to work. I'm tired of the cost of everything, from eating out, to paying £5 for a glass of wine when I could just go to a supermarket and buy a WHOLE BOTTLE for that. I'm tired of saying "I'm broke, I can't do anything." I'm tired of panicking when I get to the check out at tescos and praying I don't exceed my weekly food budget. I'm tired of knowing going out will mean either a traumatic night bus home or a small fortune on a taxi. Did I mention I'm tired?

I mean, if I'm spending my evenings at the gym, watching TV and reading, I could be doing that ANYWHERE. 

The fact is, there is little point being in London if you don't have the time and money to enjoy it. Don't get me wrong, I'm not suddenly going to retreat to the country and say how much I love the fresh scent of manure come fertiliser season; I enjoy city life. It just seems like London is a high price to pay when there are other cities which promise something quite similar at the fraction of the price.

Originally the lure of London was down to the fact I wanted to be in PR. London is the hub for PR. But now I'm leaning towards an editorial and social media route, I'm aware that there are opportunities elsewhere.

And no, I won't be moving out of London next week, or even next month. But it's most likely that I won't be here in 5 years. And that is that.

Sorry for this extremely copy heavy post! Just had some things to work through :)

Until next time.

Image: WeHeartIt
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