Yesterday I travelled into London for the first time since we moved just over a week ago. It was the first time in about three weeks that I had some time to myself and I decided to get the train rather than drive so I could take the chance to sit back and do absolutely nothing. My batteries have been dangerously close to running dry for awhile now.
In the lead up to our house move Bird was away for a week, as well as being out many nights here and there, and it felt like all responsibility for home had fallen to me. I don’t mind really, that’s the way things go sometimes, but by yesterday morning I was ready to have some much-needed time out. I was desperate for some time when nobody would be calling my name and expecting me to do things for them.
Where we have moved is on the same train line as where we used to live, we’re just further out now, and it was so odd passing our old station. It was a fast train so the suburb whizzed by in a few seconds but I had the strangest sense of distance wash over me. As I looked at the road I used to walk down several times a day I didn’t feel sad at all. I thought I might, but I don’t think the nostalgia has hit in yet. I just felt strangely distant. I looked at the people walking about and thought that it was odd that only a week ago I was one of them, a local, and now I’m from out of town. It was a very strange feeling to pass through my old neighbourhood and know I’ll never live there again. It brought home to me that a chapter of my life has ended and a new one has begun.
I got off the train and marched through the tunnels at Finsbury Park station as I’ve done dozens of times before. I went from underground to overground then walked to meet a few great friends. I had a moment to be a flaneur again in a city I love. Each step and each breath filled me with new energy. I felt like me again. I wasn’t anyone’s mummy. I wasn’t anyone’s wife. I was just me. I haven’t felt like that in a long, long time.
Time will tell how much I miss London and whether or not this feeling of refreshment will last but for now I’m loving this new home and new chapter. I think it’s going to be brilliant too that I can escape to London on my own and travel back to an earlier me. Yesterday I felt a vibrancy that I hadn’t felt living in London for a long time. I think I had to go away to come back and appreciate it again. I had got so caught up in the day-to-day drudgery and yesterday I was reminded of the London I lived in when I was 17 and how free the city used to make me feel. I’m so glad we haven’t moved far. As I was travelling back on the train I was surprised that I didn’t feel sad to be leaving. London recharged my batteries and I was looking forward to coming home.