One of the best and worst things about moving away from a place you’ve lived for most of your life, is perspective. You get to see the bigger picture; how you fit in here and what you did there and with whom etc. And you get a birds eye view of all the relationships you held dear in that place that you considered home.
As an adult, keeping friends takes work, like any good relationship. You have to cultivate friendships, stay in touch, keep each other updated etc, to keep things flowing and be more equipped for the pitfalls that come along when people grow up and experience different things. For many people these things are getting into a relationship, getting married, having children etc. In my case it’s emigrating to another country, if we’re just talking big life events.
I had a feeling that I was going to feel differently when I came back, but I wasn’t worried about friendships. I had kept in touch with my closest friends while I was in Australia and I had a pretty good idea about what was going on in their lives. But again, the reality of actually being back and interacting with friends was a different beast entirely, because London.
I forgot that just because I’d managed to drag myself out of the London fog, it didn’t mean everyone else had, or that they even wanted to. I returned and friends made well-intentioned plans to meet up, reunite, but rarely did these things come to fruition.
I wasn’t surprised or even disappointed – I used to be the same way, but had been living very differently in Melbourne and so I was left to feel…left. I was also balancing two opposing experiences: (1) I was back and people were happy about that, even though I wasn’t sure that I was, and (2) I was looking forward to reconnecting with those same people but they didn’t really have the time to see me.
But things are what they are; London sucks you into routine and a specific type of tunnel vision, and if you operate outside of that experience, you’ll remain on the outside. And these are not new things; they are things I have always known but cared little about because I used to be deep inside the London fog myself.
Now I’m trying to figure out what to do on the outside of it.
Image credit: friends by Lluisa Iborra from the Noun Project