January 23, 2008

They Said Never in Your Wildest Dreams

Today marks an official year since I left New York for London.
Hard to believe.
It’s been a rollercoaster, but it has proven to be the best decision I’ve ever made.
Here are my top 10 highlights from the past year in London:

1. The entire beginning, the magic of starting a new life in a new country, the excitement and anticipation of everything to come. It was always a dream, and the challenge of keeping it a reality proved to be an adventure in itself.

2. Moving into my house with people from all over the world, signing my first lease, and finally having a place to base my life here, a place to come home to instead of taking the last train back to Kent where I was staying (even though I was lucky to be staying there at first). It made everything feel a bit more permanent. Even if I didn’t have any sheets for a few months.

3. Finding a job at Jiq Jaq, the art gallery where I spent my first year as a marketing executive/promotional writer. Days in the gallery brought some interesting acquaintances and I also met some great new friends. Marketing wasn’t my first choice, but it was an excellent first job to have, putting together an art catalogue, writing letters and email ad campaigns, learning about the art world and being surrounded by colour. Not to mention the glory of that first salaried paycheck when my bank account was dry as the Sahara.

4. Obtaining my British passport and making my dual citizenship official. The day it came in the mail was the day I knew I could keep my dream alive, even if I ever did have to go home for a while. It was the moment I knew I could always come back and work here with no restrictions. Here, and anywhere in the EU.

5. My recent week of work experience at The Sunday Times was definitely a highlight. It brought back the rush of exhilaration that comes from being in a newsroom and solidified my goals of being involved in journalism. With the task of calling high profile people and researching for future stories, I made quite a few great new contacts and received some excellent advice from the people on the news review desk.

6. Having my first article published in a magazine. I had articles published in newspapers, but Graffiti was the first magazine to let my words grace its pages. It has since changed its name to Art in London, but it is still the same. Seeing my article title on the front cover and four pages of my work and some images in the center as a feature was another rush. Also, becoming the arts and culture editor for a new Vancouver-based magazine project, Haute, and an invitation to be a sub-editor for Seven Magazine.

7. Summer festivals. I was lucky enough to go to both Isle of Wight and Reading festivals this summer. In fact, they were my first camping festivals ever. I’ve always been a huge Smashing Pumpkins fan so being a few feet from the stage with an enormous crowd pushing from behind me when I saw them at Reading for the first time ever was unbeatable. Not to mention Rolling Stones who headlined Isle of Wight, some sunshine, a little bus trip to the English Channel “beach”, good company, dance tents, campfires and fish and chips. Also, though it wasn’t a festival, a trip to Brighton that caused much fun and frolicking on a cold beach and ended up with arcade games, tea and donuts.

8. Love. Meeting S. He’s been there for me since the beginning, making sure I had everything I needed when I moved into my house, spending money on my happiness left and right, moving in with me, making me laugh, taking me to new places and introducing me to a whole plethora of new friends. Not to mention being supportive of my dreams and booking a three day holiday in Budapest for my birthday with a double deluxe room and a private Jacuzzi. So maybe I’m spoiled.

9. The general awesomeness of London, which includes all of the free gigs I’ve been to, the new bands I’ve discovered, the amazing people who have become great friends, the culture, the fact that there’s always something going on, the tube and its usefulness, all of the exhibitions I’ve seen, the beauty of the parks that let you escape from the city noise, the shopping and the markets, the fire pit we built in our backyard for barbeques and parties, the social life, the fact that we have two almost tame foxes living in our back garden the food from all over the world, the new magazines and books I’ve discovered, etc. I am deeply in love with this city. After a year, it’s still just as fantastic and I don’t plan on leaving any time soon.

10. Finally feeling like I’ve made London my home. Also, being lucky enough to be able to visit my other home back in New York twice in this one year. I will always be tossed between the two, I think, but the fact that they both now feel like home makes me quite lucky, don’t you think?


bohemianbailie said...

I think I just might print this out to help me thinking forward towards June!

bohemianbailie said...

I am beyond excited I do think I can spend anymore money on books I think I have bought everything I can on moving and London!