I always get a peculiar feeling when I come to London. As the train rolls into Kings Cross from wherever I’ve been, most likely, Peterborough or York, I’m always in awe; even though this is a more-than-familiar sight, I always marvel at the sheer vastness of everything, from the Emirates Stadium to Kings Cross station itself. Of course, more often than not there’s some new development at the station that I wasn’t aware of, so that’s enough to impress/irritate me in itself.
Today I travelled down from Peterborough, having moved out of my lovely lovely student house in York on Monday, never to see its crummy but homely 70s decor again. I loved that house like a baby..or something, and it’s the last symbol of my studenthood, the penultimate piece of student life to be taken from me before my graduation next Wednesday. Craig and I drove down to his native Peterborough Monday morning and today I’ve travelled down to London to visit my mother and sister ahead of their birthdays tomorrow.
As I said before, whenever I travel to London I get a peculiar feeling; by all accounts, it’s my hometown (or rather, Twickenham- zone 5- still technically London [even though I lived in Surrey from birth to age 14!]) and therefore very familiar, and yet, over the past four years, I’ve become gradually more accustomed to York and am happy to call it home. Everything I relished about London beforehand is now everything that riles me about it- the noise, the hustle and bustle, the crowds. York is more or less my paradise, cheesy as it sounds, while yes, I still enjoy the tough exterior that getting the night bus home at 3am has given me, I now enjoy the feeling of being safe at all hours in York. York is so quiet, with relatively little traffic, and it’s a lifestyle I could easily get used to.
I consider myself to have two personalities- my York personality, and my London personality. Whereas my York personality comprises of a well-spoken, patient, polite and easy going person, (not including while drunk) as soon as I hit London I go into what I call ‘London’ mode- on the tubes, it’s every man for himself, while unseasoned public transport users from beyond the Watford Gap might wait patiently to get onto the Piccadilly Line, I barge my way in, in keeping with the general hasty rudeness of London’s people. I’m sorry to say it, but London me is rude, unrelenting, impatient and tough, whereas York me is far softer and much less confrontational. So long as I establish barriers and am sure to make the transition from one personality into the other in the right locations, then I can get on in both places quite easily. It’s always amusing for the first couple of days in either location however, when moving from one to the other- London Katie in York is almost cockney and quite willing to go out alone at night, whereas York Katie in London momentarily fears walking down the street.
Just because I adopt these two separate personas, doesn’t mean I have a preference for either, however. While I enjoy the independence I have by knowing London’s transport network like the back of my hand, ultimately, it’s down to which location I prefer rather than which Katie. And the more I think about it, unlikely as it is, I really would like to settle down with a nice comfortable job in York.
How likely is that though?
I’m frequently reminded that ‘all the graduate employment is in London’, especially in the field of journalism, which is the career I want to pursue. The really annoying thing is I was more or less certain, perhaps arrogantly, that I had a job at a local magazine in York, based on nothing really other than getting on really well with the interviewers. C’est la vie I guess though. I’ve recently completed a week and a half’s worth of work experience there, and I really enjoyed it, so hopefully they’ll think about taking me on in the future, and if not, there’s always the experience.
I’ve since been (reluctantly) looking into magazine/newspaper work in London, and as ever, there’s far more choice down here than there was up there.
For now though, and ultimately, the point of this blog, which I’ve meandered around for so long, is that, as of the end of this month, I will be avoiding both locations to do the classic student raaah thing. I tell myself though that this won’t be an annoyingly pretentious trip. Sorry kids, I’m not going to a third world country to feed some hungry orphans and ‘find myself.’ I’m going to the biggest, most all-consuming, capitalist country in the Western World- that’s right, I’m going to America.
More specifically, NYC baby. Craig (the boyfriend) and I are flying out on July 26th, staying there for a week before moving on to visit my Uncle Neil in Colorado, and then will be hiring a car and driving down the West Coast. It’s something we’ve always talked about and we figure we may as well do it now ‘while we’re young.’ I’ve had enough people telling me to do it over the course of the past few weeks, so I guess I should embrace the spontaneity of youth for one last time and hold on to my studenthood. I’ve saved (some) money for the trip, and usually, I like to have the security of having money in the bank, but perhaps it’s time to let go of my paranoia and actually enjoy myself for once rather than letting myself be limited by financial fears.
So, fellow 2:2ers, there’s my second update on my plans- we fly back to the UK in September. I should imagine my next entry will be from a distant land. I’ll look for jobs when I come back!
Ciao for now!