What does it mean? It means something different to everyone. Settling in, settling down. Apparently it will take me 6 to 12 months to feel ‘settled’ here in London. I left Cape Town because life was too comfortable, easy. Well let me tell you, I came to the right place to avoid those two things – ease and comfort. At times I feel very uncomfortable – having to, or needing to do things that I would never have done back home. Like;
Joining a running club – to meet people, because I came from a City full of friends to City full of unknowns.
Getting up an hour earlier to avoid the rush hour on the trains.
Living with strangers.
Taking the wrong bus.
Walking instead of taking the bus.
Using an epilady for convenience sake after 10 years of waxing – horrifying isn’t it?!
Commuting for an hour to work.
Running in the dark, because of the commute.
And generally, well, just moving country I guess. Leaving friends, family and a job that you love, is well, not really a comfortable thing to do, is it?
So, I’m doing all these things that may be making me feel uncomfortable at first, but what its doing, you see, is liberating me, and forcing me to tap into strength I did not know I had. Putting myself in situations where I am forced to ‘survive’ or just ‘go with it’. I’m a control freak – so some of this and some stuff I have not mentioned – has felt really awkward and I have wanted to cry and scream and crawl under a duvet and hide there forever. And through all of it, I have been longing for a boyfriend who is living in Germany.
Long distance has been so good for us, I am more in love than I have ever been, but boy am I done with saying goodbye. Extreme highs, and extreme lows. And there is no Thandi (sausage dog back home) or Mom to cuddle when I’m in that extreme low. I have myself and my moleskin and my bed. And some peanut butter, to soothe the pain. I have friends too, not a lot, but some. Since I stopped drinking this is one of the few times where I am reminded of why most people drink – to soothe, to numb, to escape, to relax. All the more reason to tap into the healthy things I know provide me with that relief. Like running, listening to music, writing and talking.
I just need to find some balance. I need to settle?
Another quality I am learning here in London is patience – you have to, have to, haaave tooo, be patient when your train stops in its tracks and there is absolutely nothing, buggar all, you can do about it.
You also have to patient waiting in queues at Waterloo to put your ticket through the machine and to get onto a squashed tube.
You also have to be patient when your bus is not on time and when the self-help machine at Sainsbury’s is not being your friend.
You also have to be very patient, when your boyfriend is faraway and you don’t know when he is moving here because the future is not up to you or him, but up to a government who hold his passport.
Still, I don’t think its good enough, I’m not strong enough, and could be doing better. (Those are my scripts which I am trying to re-write).
I have to force myself to pat myself on the back or tell myself I am doing ok. (Like a good parent would).
I don’t treat myself like I would a friend in this situation. I should. I need to. Im stressed, and I am compressing a lot of it – being ‘strong’. I have never bitten my nails this badly. I stopped for years when I was back home. And sometimes I feel like I’m back at the ‘square one’ of life. But I know I’m not. I am just peeling off another layer, and it may feel like sometimes, emotionally, I’m a child again- but this is why I came here. To grow. Growing pains aren’t called growing p-a-i-n-s, for nothing.
So much more to do and learn. Honestly? I’m scared, but the fear is temporary.
I have my moments when all is bright and light, moments when I am bursting with faith.
Those moments make it all worth it.
I just wish my dogs were here.
Thanks for listening.