London doesn’t stop, but I sure need to.
While walking around town a few weeks ago with my mum, she turned around and said to me “why are you rushing?!”, and actually, I had no clue as to why I charging around at 30mph when I had no where in particular to be.
The past four years I’ve been commuting to university in south-west London. I love London, I really do. It’s booming and beautiful, full of opportunity and wacky stuff to do, eat and drink. You wanna go to a cocktail bar with a ball-pit? A coffee joint with fancy cats to stroke? Do you want to try vegan fried chicken? London has got you sorted.
It’s a truly magical city…but boy is it taxing (and I mean that in all senses of the word).
Since finishing university in August it seems that I haven’t shaken off the ‘city girl’ traits. I’m not letting go of my coffee addiction because I simply just can’t adult without it, but I’d really like to slow down in life. While studying, I never felt like there was enough hours in the day; life was always ‘GO GO GO’, either trying to make a lecture in time, or work, or interviewing and filming people for my course, seeing friends etc. Life was never ‘pause, breathe, look around, take everything in’. That needs to change.
Everyone is always in one big rush. I remember the first time I went to Canary Wharf last year with my Journalism class and because I pretty much sprinted there in fear of being late, I was early and managed to sit down and chill for half an hour. The vibe was so bizarre. Everyone was suited and booted, going at full steam ahead with stern faces, a coffee in one hand and an iPhone in the other – probably speaking to another important businessy-person. It was like being surrounded by robots.
That’s what the city does to you. Turns you into a caffeine addict, one that can hear the clock ticking away. You sit on the train calculating the total hours of sleep you’ll get this week and as your under eyes dictate, it’s never enough. I’ve almost definitely slept an equal amount on trains in the last four years as I have in my own bed.
So my new rule is to slow down. I need to stop rushing so much to get life done to then find myself disappointed when I haven’t ticked everything off of my list. I’ll indulge in every single moment. Breathe the air right in, taste the coffee, not just drink it. Take pictures to capture memories, not just for Instagram likes. When listening to music, I’ll really listen, hear the words and relate to them. I won’t just turn up the volume to block the unwanted noise out.
I think it’s particularly important because when you do start to slow down, you begin to appreciate the tiny things in life that you can’t buy, the things in life that just are. You become more self-aware, and a lot more grateful.
Does anyone else find that living in a city does this to them? Or is this just me and my relationship with London?