7 years. Writing this number makes me realise how long it’s been. It’s never been so close to the big 10 and this experience in London is starting to look like a real long proper life experience rather than a quick introspection into myself and some new language skills.
I never came with a specific idea or duration in mind but 7 years ago, I would have been very happy to realise I am still here in London. And most importantly, that I chose to stay.
I think it’s one of the most serene “London Anniversary” of all. I am feeling balanced, proud and happy to be and feel like a real Londoner and I have never felt so myself when speaking and writing English. The proof is, I have recently started to translate every single post in this blog and really enjoying writing the English versions. Sometimes more than the French.
Obviously, not everything is perfect, but it’s a bit like those past 7 years, experiencing living abroad, getting to know myself and getting over all the challenges expat life and London life brought on my way made me a lot more grounded, humble, and of course, mature. Especially this past year. Which has started some big changes.
Last year, I started my 6th year feeling like something was not quite right and had to change. I needed a break from London. And from this “non sense life”. I started to question a lot of things, including some which were important to me: Success, ambition, life in a big city and feminism.
I felt like I was stuck in a circle: Questioning the “Cool” London lifestyle, the career, the social life, but also needing it to actually afford life in London and being able to thrive and be happy here. How to have both the balance and the London life?
I started to blame London. Too expensive. Too busy. Too grey and rainy. Too far from home. Too superficial.
And then I took a step back, listened to my instincts and did what has been working for the last few years: Getting out of my comfort zone, and do what scares me the most. Because that’s always what brings the best results.
Long story short, it’s been an intense autumn / winter. I changed jobs. Took a small break, went to Sri Lanka and started to look into a big career and life change.
On the 30th of August I celebrated my 7th year in London. On the 31st I officially started my new role as a Yoga Teacher, teaching to a room full of 20 people. A nice change from smart clothes / laptop / meetings life to leggings / yoga mat and rested and calm students after an hour.
To me, this and everything else that’s happened the last years is the reflexion that everything is possible in London. It’s given me the courage and strength to get out there, consider doing something different, and never made me feel bad to not follow the rules. Quite the opposite actually.
I know this 7th year is going to be a lot more grounded, realistic, non judgemental but still ambitious and full of moderated highs and lows. I can tell it’s going to be fine and really good, whatever happens.