This is a very impromptu blog post. I did not think this through whatsoever, and I have promised myself to not look back on this as critically as I normally do – I am just going to write as the thoughts pop into my head (I think my degree ruined me a little in that sense; heck, I had to sit an exam in a module called ‘Essay Writing’!).
The end of 2016 was not fun for me at all. I (more or less) briefly shared my worries and thoughts in this blog post, and considering I shared the low, I want to share the high. Or the medium.
I was going to call this post ‘Today, I feel great.’ but let’s not push the boat out too far. Today is the first day I feel semi-human again, having been down with an illness for over a week now. It is the first time I put make up on and left the house, even if it was just to get some new Paracetamol and 54 new packs of tissues (approximately). As I was wrapped up warm in what felt like 47 layers, letting the sun shine on my face, breathing in fresh air and sipping on my Coffee, Oat & Banana Smoothie from Costa (meh… not worth trying), I thought to myself – I feel okay. Life is okay. 2017 will be okay.
Just before Christmas, I was exhausted. I was dissatisfied with everything – my living situation, my job, my appearance, my love life; everything. I was going to wind down, relax, not think about anything but also try to get a clear head for everything, and then I got ill. And I was not one step closer to figuring out what made me unhappy, and why.
Actually, that’s not entirely true. Having had my dad here for almost two weeks opened my eyes to one thing I really need to change as soon as possible: my living situation. I don’t want to put this on the internet and say why I don’t like where I live, and it’s not the end of the world, but it subconsciously made me feel uneasy. I didn’t want to come home anymore, I didn’t like spending time in this house and so it was very difficult to balance my dissatisfaction with work.
Come to think of it, work is not actually that bad. It’s something else which made me feel unhappy with it: my impatient perfectionist self.
When I moved to London, I thought I had it all: the city I’ve always wanted to go back to, the job I’d always wanted, and consequently, the life I’d always wanted. Erm. Ok, naive little Lisa, you might want to get your head out of the clouds.
Creating the life I want takes time. I knew from the beginning that I wouldn’t be able to afford my own place straight away. I moved into a houseshare, and now I am going to look for a different houseshare. But that’s okay. Yes, I landed the job I’d always wanted, but it takes time to get used to it – it’s something I’ve never done before and it’s also my very first proper job. Rather than being proud of what I’d achieved, I focused on what I don’t have (yet). Because I will always be a bloody perfectionist. And an impatient one at that.
I can afford a life in London at the age of 26. I landed a great job with a good salary right after uni. I feel so at home here, more than I have ever done in any other city/country. Some people don’t even realise I’m not British, or haven’t lived in the UK for long, because I fit in so well. Is that not something to be proud of?
I’ve been here for eight months (already or only – both apply, I find) and it took me that long to fully settle in. This is not some study year abroad I’m doing – I moved to a different country. It takes time. And again, I have to be a bit more patient with myself, and just see things from a different perspective.
I’ve been worrying about my finances, but really, they’re okay. I’m really good with budgeting (thanks, Dad, I know you’re reading this!) and my bank account is not going to look like it did back in Germany ever again. Because I now pay rent and bills and groceries and I also do that in London. I never live from paycheck to paycheck, I never have to worry if I can afford food or rent. And that is incredibly nice and makes me feel rather lucky.
More often than not, I feel like I’m running out of time. I’m 26 and have been single for nearly a year & a half, and as my friends are getting engaged and married left, right and centre, it is all too easy to feel pressured; to think that I’ve missed the window in which this could’ve happened to me. But their lives are so different from mine. Marriage and children is not something that would’ve fitted in my life plan so far, and that’s okay. Rather than feeling pressured, I now solely focus on celebrating love with them (my favourite life event to celebrate!), and I shall attend their weddings being proud of and happy for them.
To summarise, for 2017, I am going to change my perspective. It is important to realise what bothers you and then have a good think: what do you want to change first, what is most important, and how do you want to do it? Chances are, if you change one thing, the other things don’t seem as bad anymore. They most likely work together; intertwine. And I am going to count my blessings because there’s a damn lot of them.
2017, I’ll be good to you. Please be good to me, too.