Today I celebrate my 5th year in London. Time flies. But even though it went fast, I definitely feel like I have felt the years go by one by one and made the most of each of them.
5 years ago, I came to London with my dreams and ambitions and almost a vital need to live this new experience. I was 27 and right in the middle of the “pre-30 life crisis” (Not sure it’s thing..), it was just after a change of job and sector, going from finance to digital, I was single, in Paris for 4 years and I was desperate to move abroad and experience the thrills of expat life and escape everything that I was “meant to do” as a girl who grew up in South of France. (ie, something like have an OK job, meet someone not too late, get married, have kids and give up my ambitions).
I think I had multiple plans:
- Work in London where Digital Marketing was booming, make a big work jump and move back to Paris a few years after to do an other work jump.
- Or stay a good 5/10 years to immerse myself in the London, British and expat life, face all the challenges, become perfectly bilingual and experience something strong.
The main deal with myself was to have a good job. I let myself 3 months to see how things would go and advise.
In the end, I did both. But didn’t move back to Paris and the 3 months tests became 5 years of a happy London life. Not always a smooth and easy one but definitely full of knowledge and amazing experiences.
It sounds a bit like the end of the story. Well it’s not, but 5 years is a big stage and it made me think at where I was in my life and what I wanted to do after this.
If someone had described me exactly 5 years ago my London life as of today and everything that’s happened in between, I have no idea how I would have reacted. Definitely happy on most aspects, very surprised on some others, and maybe a bit disappointed as well. Guess what: I am not the successful CEO, married with 2 kids, a house in Notting Hill, a job I love, lots of fancy travels and amazing friends. I have some of it though, and I learnt and discovered much more along the way.
Every months, I interview “French Londoniennes”, who basically are French girls who embrace and love the London life style on different aspects.
One of my favourite questions is about “What are the things you didn’t do before moving to London”? I love seeing how London changes you and challenges you. London has definitely made me see life from an other angle, made me more open minded, and consider happiness and success differently.
When I moved here, the quote I lived by was this one:
“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbour”
I have now picked a different one:
Life Is Short, Break The Rules. Forgive Quickly, Kiss Slowly. Love Truely. Laugh Uncontrollably And Never Regret Anything That Makes You Smile.
Let’s see what this new year has to offer..