Just before Christmas I made the decision to leave my job in the city and my daily commute in favour of a slower pace of life back in my sleepy home town in the country side. (Oh’ and to also save a LOT of money!) After a year and a half of commuting and trying to keep up with the fast pace of life, I’d completely fallen out of love with the London I once loved and dreamt of, so I decided to take a big step away and called it my city detox. 1. Because I may one day, see London as the wonderful place I once did and 2. it made a better title than ‘I hate London…’
Back when I was about 13, I dreamt of navigating the tube in my Manolo Blahnik heels, coffee in one hand, Mulberry Bayswater in the other. Striding through the crowds of aimless tourists like a scene out of Devil Wears Prada on my way to brunch, not once needing to look up once from my phone because I know where I’m going and I have my shit together. The city girl, with a dynamic career in fashion, beautifully polished flat in central London (that part is especially laughable), brunching and shopping because I was earning enough to actually shop on my lunch break, rather than just window shop! I wanted to be one of the girls that Vogue would ask to interview in an updated edition of their handbook and young teenage girls would aspire to be. That was my dream and I thought London was going to give me the life I wanted. Because dynamic and exciting things only happen in London, the woman I wanted to be didn’t exist outside zone 1 and 2. But in reality, walking and crossing the road in heels leads to instant regret and unbearable pain, and carrying a coffee and a handbag would leave you unable to get through the tube barriers! Not very Victoria Beckham.
When I did my first ever commute into London on my first day of college, I liked how anonymous it felt. I liked that in the hour and a half I spent on the train and the tube I knew no one and the faces I saw everyday were new ones, which was a world away from my little town where everyone knew everyone and all your business. I craved this change after the struggle I had with sixth form because it was kind of like starting afresh and I could be a completely new person because no one knew me before, I could pretend to be the woman I dreamt of being. At first, 3 hours of commuting was refreshing, I didn’t need to talk and saw it as a time out from work, but then I realised how much time I was actually wasting, and my life in the week was just work, the train and bed. The train was no longer refreshing but instead was lonely and had me longing to be home before 7pm- to go to the gym, to write, do anything more than flicking between social media whenever I could get signal. I wanted the highlight of my day to be more than my dinner and sleeping.
*Dress // Topshop
Boots // ASOS
Photography // Olivia Bush
Another element I loved about London was how fast moving everything was, how fast people walked, how everyone seemed to be doing or going somewhere new and exciting. But after a while, it made me feel even more lonely because no one bothered to really talk because everyone was always in a rush. I began to long for a slower pace of life and to not move at 100mph all the time, that I had to constantly be going or doing something all the time.
I’m not sure if it was the germs from the tube, the fast face of life or not looking after myself properly due to lack of time but just before Christmas the love I used to have for London was completely gone and no job could ever make up for that. Nothing about the city could make up for the 5:30am alarm and being pushed and squeezed into tubes. So I decided to take a step away to not move so fast, giving myself a bit more time to blog (which I have fallen in love with all over again), try a slightly new career path and just have more of a life really!
Although I miss Zara just being a short walk away from work, for now, I’m enjoying life a lot more! London has been the place of so many opportunities for me, where I studied fashion and started my first real job in the industry. But maybe, as much as I used to resent my small town, I’m much more of trainer wearing country girl than the stiletto wearing business woman 13 year old me wanted to be. And to be quite honest, life is so much more enjoyable in flat shoes!
Until next time,