So, as I prepare to head back to the big city from my countryside retreat/confinement, I confess to feeling a tiny bit daunted as well as very excited. Much as I now love living there, London can make mincemeat of you from time to time. Its frantic pace of life, its unforgiving speed and saturated job market. Its overinflated housing market, which would make you laugh if you weren't already weeping. Of late, the Accidental job has been sapping my strength bit by bit, and what's been left has been crunched up by the Masters degree. Juggling two different sets of uni friends with old school mates, with family and work friends is a calendar-filling nightmare!
All that said however I am cautiously optimistic about 2010, which will, if all goes to plan (and stay posted for when it inevitably doesn't!), be the Year of the Accidental Londoner. Ta-dah! Aiming to start 2010 on a higher note than I've ended 2009, I plan the following for my Accidentally London-based self: I am going to surrender myself to this city more than ever before and invest in its very fabric. Yep, craziest idea of 2009 - I will buy a flat in 2010. This will require talking very nicely to mortgage people, and I will probably be forced to live off bread and water for the rest of my life, but if I have a place to call my own here (in which to eat my eternal meal) then it will be worth it.
In moving to this city I am all too aware that I have become someone different. No longer am I the wide-eyed student, filled with a desire to change the world and go out every night. My weekends are no longer deemed a success if I spend most of them in bed recovering from hangovers. (Oh my, am I growing up?!) Mad nights out are no longer mad, but merely give me a strong sense of deja vu; I have been to this place before with these people, we have screamed the same unintelligible and uninteresting things at each other above pounding music many times before. Boring though this may sound I would love something more to show for my time here in this city than a series of blurred photos. I would love a space which is mine and mine alone; it'll be just me and my city.
I do not long for the life of a hermit (a cosy cave to call my own!), a space of my own will not surgically remove my social life, but I will be able to entertain my friends in a space without my landlord's interesting taste in pleather sofas thrust upon me. A time has come though to strike out totally from family and flatmates, alone except for my chosen mortgage provider. A time to make my own home. I know the process will be long, and for a while I will have to rely heavily on those from whom I plan to strike out, but if I can make even the tiniest corner of this city my own I will be starting out down a path of being a thoroughly intentional Londoner!