Photo Credit: Visit London

I wonder if I can make it in London if I decided to stay here to work.

I honestly worry that much higher standards would be required of me than ever existed in the places I worked at in Istanbul.

British people love fashion and strictly differentiate between all the social classes, much more so than Boston, where I’m from (and I thought that this social status distinction was bad enough in Boston growing up), as I have observed during my nearly 7-hour wait at Gatwick airport (it’s been the second time I’ve gone through here) unfortunately, I have never been to the other airports. I’d love to fly to the extremely popular Heathrow airport one day.

Apart from higher expectation of work quality, I’m not certain if I could compete with other young professionals in the city.

I’ve been exhausted all day.

I woke up at 2 am and couldn’t go back to sleep, however, I managed to drift in and out of sleep (perhaps only a few minutes of it), having dreamed a little before waking up again and again.

I flew from Istanbul this morning. It was an early morning flight. I haven’t slept since 2 am Istanbul time. My eyes are currently watering and turning red a bit from lack of sleep. I’ve yawned deeply a few times already. Sigh.

Huge sigh. I’m sniffling a little. I don’t want to get sick. I’m really not in my usual neutral mood. I absolutely don’t want to talk to anyone right now. I feel so much more silent than normal (and I’m already a very quiet person so, now, I’m dead, dead silent).

During my observations at the airport and fascination over English snack names: Twirl, Crunchie, Double Decker, Discos, Big hoops, Wheat Crunchies, Nik Naks (bite-sized), Crunchie Rocks, Bitsa Wispa, Dinky Deckers, Giant Buttons, Caramel Nibbles, Minstrels, Curly Wurly Squirlies, Revels (all of these are chocolate candies) during this long layover, I’ve been thinking about how it’d be to remain in London on this cloudy (yet, not rainy) day.

Gatwick is like a mini shopping mall with restaurants on the second floor where departing flights are and a Simply Food Marks and Spencer store on the first floor. Many name brand shops like Ted Baker, Kate Spade, SuperDry, Accessorize, and a sneaker shop called Trainers like a King are also on the second floor with larger versions of Boots Pharmacy (a really nice one that I’ve come to like, better than CVS pharmacy in the US) and WHSmith bookshop as well with smaller versions of these on the first floor. It’s a crowded airport today including many parents accompanying small children to celebrate Easter holiday far away from London.

I love the sound of British accents (in person). Sure, there are a lot of mean and nice people everywhere but I’ve come to find that British people are rather friendly. London is foreign enough for me that I could live there and still be able to speak to the locals. British people are different enough for me to feel good around them. I tend to feel easier around non-Americans because being myself (which is more different from others, I think) isn’t perceived as strange to them since I was born and raised elsewhere; differences are to be expected.

There’s something about being away from home that motivates me more to work as a restaurant server or cashier at a shop. In London, unlike in Turkey, I know the local language which means I can work at a cafe if I feel like it or work at a small hotel. I wouldn’t worry about not earning much because a salary in British pounds would be acceptable (however, of course, living expenses would be challenging but I’m a thrifty person so I don’t imagine that this would be problematic). The thing that I really want is to live on my own and experience something new.

I dread returning to my hometown as the magic I have in me when I’m away from it always disappears. I feel bored. I feel restless. I feel like time goes by way too fast in my hometown when I hardly do anything. I have feelings against aging in my hometown. There’s automatically no excitement in me when I’m in Boston. I possess only half of the energy I have when I’m abroad. I’m not likely to seek anything new in my hometown.

I’m not interested in working in Boston.

Doing so is equal to my mind wondering again about being far, far away, hungry for a life in another country, hoping for happiness from seeing historical sites long distances from me.

I wouldn’t mind staying in London even when some English people may not even pretend to smile at me. I’ve had a lot of respect for English people for a long time now that I don’t mind when a couple are unpleasant.

I like the idea of London. It’s my kind of city with Indian snacks in abundance in grocery stores and enough places to watch people shop and to see so many nationalities represented. Living in a city differs from visiting it but I strongly feel that I can survive living in London if I secured work there (again, it doesn’t have to be great work, just as long as it’s steady) and a home that completely keeps me away from rain.

I’m exhausted in my hometown. I don’t feel a bright light inside me as much. I don’t tend to feel happy in a world I know too well, I suppose. I can’t explain why I don’t feel much inspiration in the city where I grew up in.

I just don’t feel as motivated to smile to a whole new day in my hometown. There’s a feeling of there not being much to see nor do. I think of a routine that can’t be tweaked just a little for entertainment. Even if I lived abroad in the same country for years, I would still feel amused (I know myself so well that I’m fully aware of this). Living in my hometown for the rest of my life without living anywhere else doesn’t sound like a good idea to me. There are too many thoughts of my losing colors and carefree waves and skips.

If I stopped in London and struggled here and barely make a living, I wouldn’t feel that bad.

Again, when I’m in a place entirely different from where I grew up, I feel good. It’s what keeps me more active and healthy.

I conclude that I may be okay if I were to stay in London. I wouldn’t pay any attention to any inconveniences nor rudeness but only feel grateful, always, for being in a place unknown to me.

Author of ‘A Girl All Alone Somewhere in the World’, ‘Confessions and Thoughts of a Girl in Turkey’, ‘From Just a Girl Grown Up in America’. (Amazon.com)

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