OK, I realise that starting a blog post with the word “oof” sets a very specific and perhaps disappointing tone, but alas, it is an almost perfect description of how I’m feeling as I write this post. It’s not that I don’t want to write this, it’s just that I don’t really want to write it. I know that makes no sense, so let’s go back a few weeks to explain.
Approximately six weeks ago (but who’s counting? Well, me, that’s who), I left the sunny climes of Melbourne with its 36 degree weather, and touched down to -1 degree snow and hale in old London town, some 24 hours later. It was a shock to the system to say the least. Many people on the plane were still wearing shorts, as if they thought they could take the weather with them. They could not. Still, I wasn’t really ready either, not for the snow, or moving into my mum’s house in Essex, or even being back in the UK.
Don’t get me wrong, I had been readying myself to come back to London for months; making a mental list of all the things I had missed here, all the experiences I was yet to have in London, and all the friends I had left behind when I said goodbye to the UK in 2017. But preparation and doing the actual thing are very different. All the activities and opportunities I had imagined are indeed here, but the magic of the city, of the country, has been lost for me.
Maybe I misplaced it during that one hour stopover in Singapore? Or on that hot summers day in December when I went with a group of friends to an African music festival and we got our lives? Or perhaps it was bit by bit, week by week when I went to dance in the dark with girlfriends, and forgot the few troubles I had in Melbourne; though you can barely call them troubles at all.
I keep telling people I’m just trying to get back into the groove of things, but honestly, I don’t think there is a groove left here for me anymore. If anything, I am trying to squeeze myself (temporarily) into a box that looks suspiciously like the box I was in in 2017, the same one I squeezed myself out of in order to catch a plane to Australia.
And listen, I’m obviously wild with metaphors and the like, which means I’m still processing everything, including what the heck to do with this blog. Should I keep using it as a public diary/ journal/ place to whine? Should it be more structured and organised, with restaurant recommendations and activity debriefs, like my Melbourne Diaries? Or should it be something else entirely?
All these questions are anxiety inducing because I don’t currently have answers to any of them. Instead, I want to write when I feel like it, depending on how my month is going and if anything of interest happened within it.
Sigh, the plight of the expat returning to a place she once considered home.
I’m open to ideas on where to take this thing next. Literally any ideas. There is no such thing as a bad idea. Please, @ me.
Image credit: confused by Mat fine from the Noun Project